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PropTech Today: Christmas gifts for the PropTech obsessive

For my final EAT contribution of 2018, I’ve put together a list of Christmas gifts that you could buy your PropTech-loving partner, friend, brother, mother, sister, boss, uncle, or dog. 

I was inspired to do so by all of this recent Emoov furore. But not because of anything that’s happened in the past couple of months, instead because of a memory from better days, for Quirk and eMoov, back in December 2016, released the brilliant PropTrumps playing cards

Each card features a loose interpretation of a well-known PropTech influencer, including Russell Smirk and Alex Chesterfield. Smirk’s card describes eMoov as ‘the most controversial estate agency business’. Some things never change... 


Anyway, all the glibness aside, it’s Christmas, the time for giving and the time of year when that age-old question rises once again: what do I buy the PropTech obsessive in my life? 

They don’t offer an answer for that on morning television, do they? Well, look no further, my friends, because you can’t go wrong with any of the below… 


The Digital Transformation Playbook - David L. Rogers

Stephen King, he is not, but I found this David L. Rogers book so useful that I have more or less enforced it on my colleagues at The Digital Marketing Bureau. The book very clearly and very brilliantly explains what Digital Transformation (DT) is and what it means for the future of the world. 

The playbook is built upon a structure now known as The Five Pillars of Digital Transformation:

• Customer

• Competition

• Collaboration

• Innovation

• Value

I really do recommend it - it’s not purely PropTech-focused, but every single rule of DT applies across the board of business innovation.

Do you understand how DT changes your relationship with your customers? Blurs the line between competitor and collaborator? And entirely dictates your business values now and in the future? If not, this book is priceless.

Make Real Estate Great Again: Proptech, Real Estech, Construction Tech - Robin Rivaton and Vincent Pavanello

This book offers a holistic overview of global PropTech, paying strong focus to the world of startups. Published in March of this year, it’s still relatively up to date, but I recommend checking to see if a second edition is yet available before purchase. 

There are short sections of this book which more experienced property players may find simplistic, but I recommend sticking with it because, for everything you read and think ‘I already knew that’, I guarantee the authors will offer two others things which make you think, ‘I didn’t even think about that’, or ‘That’s a brilliant way of putting it’. 

If you want one book that looks at PropTech in its entirety, this is the one. 


UKPA membership

Membership to the UK PropTech Association is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does membership open the door to the UK’s most diehard group of PropTech fanatics and influencers, it also makes you eligible for the UKPA PropTech Awards, gives access to a variety of overseas trips, and, perhaps most importantly, ensures you get prime access to a whole host of brilliant and vital UKPA events.

Gift the one you love, or maybe just like, with UKPA membership and watch as their knowledge grows as large as their newfound friendship group. 

Media subscriptions

Is there anything more frustrating than a paywall? Not much, and that’s because you know it’s forcing you to miss out on some really high-quality journalism. Give the gift of insight with a carefully chosen media subscription. It doesn’t need to be a property-specific publication, much of the most interesting property news is found in the Financial Times, for example.

One suggestion for you. Join for free at Infabode, a decent site with over 500 content contributors. Basic subscription is free and you can filter well. Should keep you busy over the Christmas break.

Platform subscriptions

I bet you didn’t think about this one, did you? That’s right - why not gift the ones your care about an annual subscription to their favourite PropTech platform?

Is asset management their thing? Or perhaps they’re a lettings agent? It might be that you share a home with a conveyancer who would get a real kick from spending Christmas morning playing with the most cutting-edge technology in BIM and 3D modelling?

Don’t judge them, but do make sure they leave the laptop alone for long enough to play at least one game of Monopoly which, as we are all too aware, could be the last thing you do as a family…

SmartHome tech

This one is a little more universal - who doesn’t love a bit of smart technology in their life, and, technically, all SmartHome tech is PropTech.

Buy them a smart speaker so that they can use voice commands to hear the latest PropTech headlines each morning; or how about some smart lighting to both save on utility costs and set that perfect mood for the post-Christmas dinner stomach cramps.

I hope you all have a truly wonderful Christmas and New Year, and I look forward to getting back into the swing of things in 2019 when I’ll be gagging to get back to school so we can all show off our Christmas presents.

Thank you so much for supporting these articles for another year, I really do appreciate it. If you lot didn’t read them, the good folk at EAT wouldn’t let me write them, after all!

I hope 2019 brings even more fascinating subject matter for us all to get stuck into. 

Cheers! And Merry Christmas!

*James Dearsley is a leading PropTech influencer and commentator, and is co-founder of PropTech platform Unissu. You can follow James on Twitter here.


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