Proptech Association president Kylie Davis is a foremost expert on Australian proptech. She spoke at the launch of Landnow.
There are more than 480 proptechs across Australia that the Proptech Association identified in our Australian Proptech Ecosystem map this year. And at the Proptech Awards, developer and construction tech was one of the fastest-growing sectors.
It's worth reflecting on why that might be.
The traditional tools of house and land developers have always been a signboard, a phone and a paper contract.
In the 1980s, we started faxing contracts and were amazed at the time savings. Then email arrived in the 1990s, and the mobile phone and we added digital signboards in the form of websites to physical signage.
But while the rest of the world has been creating apps on phones, in-house and land sales, we have stubbornly continued to use our smartphones for phone calls - and emailing PDFs! This is why the questions our clients ask us today are still identical to those asked 20 years ago.
While smartphones and digital tech are improvements but they are not transformations. Because at the heart of all of these transactions is a human being, the centre of the communication who is limited in how much they can handle.
Whether that is one-to-one on a phone call or one-to-many on an email, the response always has to go back to a person to receive and interpret and then pass on or act on the information.
In 2023, this is inherently inefficient. Waiting for someone to call you back no longer meets the definition of a great customer experience. In fact, it is just slow and annoying.
And what it means for those of us working in the industry is that we define ourselves by how busy and frantic we are in this role as a human bottleneck - not by whether the work we are doing is effective.
What proptechs like Landnow do is create truly transformational technology.
To be transformational, a Proptech must play a part in creating end-to-end processes that are efficient, transparent and enable many to many transactions in real time while also supporting and speeding up one-to-one communication.
Humans are no longer the centre of every transaction and problem in a transformed ecosystem. Instead, they drive relationships and solutions, and in this way, more transactions are able to occur effortlessly and with less stress.
To do this effectively as a Proptech, you need deep industry knowledge and experience and a connection with the pain points.
I'm personally impressed with the expertise and industry know-how that Landnow has in this space and its connections to the house and land market in WA where it is being launched.
It makes it simple and straightforward to see available land, to place a hold on a block, assess the suitability of a housing style and even purchase. It gives buyers much-needed confidence and security in the process. It removes a great deal of stress and it stops communication bottlenecks because everything is shared, available and visible in real time - not hidden in a PDF at the bottom of someone's email.
And yet the house and land market is booming in WA, with strong demand meaning properties are virtually selling themselves. So why bother to invest time and money and adopt it now?
Well, because we know that good times are exactly the time when it makes sense to plan for winter. While it may be tempting to put it off til later, there have been over 1700 builder insolvencies in Australia over the past 12 months - the result overwhelmingly of inefficient practices and broken business models.
The rising tide of a strong market may float all boats but when the good times are over and the tide recedes, it's easy to see who was smart and took the time to move to deeper water.
I encourage all of you to learn more about Landnow now. Don't put it off til later. Get ahead of the curve and skill up now so that when the market cycle turns - and they always do - you are strongly positioned to sail through any storm.