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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

PropTech Today: UK PropTech Awards 2018 - the winners

There is a lull in my imminent flat sale. Just no activity at all, despite a price reduction! 

So, I am forced to fill my column with other worthy news for the week. But next week, hopefully back to the flat.

As I’m sure many of you already know, last week saw the inaugural UK PropTech Awards presented as part of a rather rowdy ceremony after a long day at FUTURE: PropTech 2018. 

Twenty different trophies were given and gratefully received, many of which were for categories unlike any of those found at other industry awards, something which I know the team at UKPA are very proud of, and rightly so. 

So, as I scatter a few thoughts throughout, here’s a rundown of the winners. Huge congratulations to all of them.

The Winners:

Lifetime Achievement 
WINNER: Vik Tara, Founder of TechBlue & Rentr

Can PropTech really justify a lifetime achievement award, I hear you say? Well yes, if you consider that technology has had an impact at every stage of progress so far. 

A winner of this award will have been dealing with progress of technological change before the term PropTech even existed.

With this in mind, what can be said about Vik Tara? With property in his blood, he rose to great heights during the lettings boom of the 90s, but it’s always been his foresight into technological intervention that has set him above and beyond other industry figures. 

In an interview last year, Vik said: “PropTech is giving us options - yes: there are some who have ambitions to ‘disrupt’ our space, but if you look at the success stories among the startups, they are all technologies that enable us to do more and do better within our businesses and for our clients.”

A man who practices what he preaches, he has used Rentr to help drive adoption of his tried and tested solutions. The same solutions which now drive most of the lettings industry. 

This has helped Rentr become one of the most universally appreciated and respected PropTech firms in the UK. It’s an appreciation for the vital symbiosis between tech and tradition that makes Vik the most deserving recipient of a lifetime achievement award.

Best Marketing Campaign - Residential
WINNER: Emoov 

Best Marketing Campaign - Commercial
WINNER: Datscha 

Diversity Advocate
WINNER: Jonny Britton, Co-founder of Land Insight 

Fastest Growing Business - Commercial
WINNER: VTS

Fastest Growing Business - Residential
WINNER: Land Insight

Wow, Land Insight came away with three awards! More than any other company. Huge congratulations to everyone over there, it’s all very much deserved.  

Its tag line says it all: Any deal you can do, you can do better. The startup’s impressive growth is down to providing a transparent service which has tangible, actionable value for property professionals. 

Perhaps more importantly, as with all of the winners here, it’s working with the constant goal of improving the way the industry works for those who work within it and those who rely on it to find homes that they love.  

It might sound precocious, but success in this industry is very attainable if you bring something that property professionals really benefit from. 

Getting them to see that, admittedly, can be a different matter altogether, but value must be obvious even to those who only take a cursory glance.

Most Collaborative Business - Residential
WINNER: Lavanda

Most Collaborative Business - Commercial
WINNER: Office App

PropTech News Provider
WINNER: Infabode

Deal of the Year - Residential
WINNER: Plentific

Greatest Social Impact - Residential
WINNER: Acasa

Greatest Social Impact - Commercial
WINNER: Pavegen

Deal of the Year - Commercial
WINNER: Coyote & Realla

After a couple of years ranting and raving about collaboration and consolidation, it’s great to see Deal of the Year awarded to Coyote and Realla in recognition of their pioneering data sharing partnership. 

Combine this with Lavanda and Office App, both winning Most Collaborative Business gongs, and the UKPA Awards really start to stand out amongst the other, more established awards, proving themselves to be forward looking and, most importantly, relevant to today’s industry.

Excellence in People Development - Residential
WINNER: Land Insight

Excellence in People Development - Commercial
WINNER: Hubble

Exporter of the Year - Residential
WINNER: EyeSpy360

Exporter of the Year - Commercial
WINNER: Equiem

Technology Adoption in Property - Residential
WINNER: Base Property Specialists

Technology Adoption in Property - Commercial
WINNER: LendLease

Association of the Year
WINNER: RICS

RICS are awarded Association of the Year in recognition of their steadfast support for technological adoption industry-wide. 

As one of the UK’s flagship property companies, RICS’s work has proven invaluable in its scope and influence, and much of today’s PropTech success is down to such support. 

It will be interesting to see how things go now that Dan Hughes is no longer with them; he has been instrumental in all of their tech evangelism, shouting from rooftops ever since day-one. Vital shoes to fill.

The PropTech Awards were a great way to finish a very successful day at FUTURE PropTech. Each year a doubling of attendance has been grabbing the headlines (this year over 1,300 attended). To have the inaugural awards of a trade body celebrating PropTech this year is further justification that this is an industry in the flux of change. 

If only it helped me sell my flat…

*James Dearsley is a partner in PropTech Consult, digital transformation specialists for the real estate sector.

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