Did you know that there are over 9,000 real estate technology companies that have emerged over the past decade? Yes, over 9,000. With so many startups flooding the marketplace, the real estate industry needs something to cut through the marketing noise. There’s an ever-expanding universe of product solutions that are nice to have, but CRE professionals are usually looking for must-haves. It’s incredibly easy to get overwhelmed. That is, of course, until now, thanks to Real Estate Tech360.
Smart building technology company Kastle Systems, along with PropTech event promoter CREtech, have come together to draw a real estate technology treasure map in the form of a database of the top companies creating technology for the industry. Real Estate Tech360’s mission is to enable users to track the development of new real estate tech solutions among the thousands of companies in the market. “In the marketing world, there are tools and landscapes like this for technology stacks that already exist,” said Jake Heinz, Chief Marketing Officer at Kastle Systems. “If you’re a software company that handles media or some other aspect of marketing, you know where to start in your research. But, that doesn’t exist in the world of real estate technology.”
Heinz explained that Kastle specifically sought a partner who could provide a third-party view of the landscape. A partner who could “do the work and the research to provide a total, honest view of what the ecosystem looks like, including where Kastle shows up.” Kastle Systems developed Real Estate Tech360 using CREtech’s independent research.
Though Kastle developed a platform that would effectively highlight their competitors, Heinz isn’t vexing himself about that. “In my view, that’s okay. There’s a lot of running room in this space, and folks are going to figure out which solutions work best for them anyway, whether or not it’s with Kastle,” he shrugged. “We’re just saving people a ton of time and helping educate the decision-makers in our industry.”
But Real Estate Tech360 doesn’t just track the evolution of individual companies, it categorizes them for the end-user. “Because so many technology solutions overlap, it’s not often clear which category they’re in. So we wanted to, besides doing research on these companies, understand which sort of silos they were competing in,” said Michael Beckerman, CEO of CREtech.
Indeed, the categorization of these companies was a huge undertaking, as Beckerman explained. “Our research took about six months, but the bulk of that was just spent on categorization because it doesn’t exist.” It’s common for PropTech companies to self-categorize, and that can get confusing for real estate firms as they try to build their technology stacks. “PropTech is the youngest tech sector in the biggest industry on earth, so it is messy.”
As Beckerman tells it, CREtech’s research team went out and assembled a list of thousands of companies, gathering as much information as they could from public sources. The researchers looked at factors such as company size, revenue projections, employee size, and funding raised. Then they presented their findings to third-party members from landlords, venture capitalists, and various CRE professionals for their input. “Once we got their input,” said Beckerman, “we were able to whittle the list down from 30 prospective categories to just 15.”
These 15 categories include Access Control/Video Surveillance, Construction, CRM/Marketing, Data & Analytics, Energy Management, FinTech, Flex Space & Software, Integrated Workplace Management Systems, Investment Management/Fundraising, IoT Smart Building Solutions, Listing Services, Parking Management, Property/Portfolio Management, Tenant Experience, and Visitor Management.
Real Estate Tech360 lists the top companies within each category, but neither CREtech nor Kastle wanted to overwhelm the industry even more by merely providing a running list of technology solutions. Along with the names of these companies, Real Estate Tech360 provides company descriptions, statistics, and a link to their website. Additional company data and more interactive elements will be added in future updates.
Property technology may be a young industry, but it is rapidly evolving, and so are the expectations of what PropTech can do. What’s unique about Real Estate Tech360 is that the platform gets updated once every quarter, meaning that the platform can effectively chart how PropTech companies position themselves as the market ebbs and flows. This allows Real Estate Tech360 to highlight which companies are the most relevant to buyers at any given time.
Real Estate Tech360 is an industry source that’s the first of its kind, especially as it’s not a pay-to-play product. “A company cannot pay us to be included on the platform,” Beckerman added. “That’s not how it works, it’s all based on independently verified research.”
For real estate firms, investors, owners, and building operators, finding the right solutions to adopt into an existing technology stack is already a challenge. Most of the available solutions are not integrated, and that puts a lot of pressure on real estate companies to adopt multiple solutions that don’t always work well together. Firms that use Real Estate Tech360’s user-friendly interface will be able to see which categories are out there. The adoption of tech will only go up.
Real Estate Tech360 is already achieving accolades from venture firms. Jake Fingert, Partner with Camber Creek, a leading NYC-based PropTech-focused venture firm, only had glowing reviews. “Camber Creek applauds CREtech and Mark Ein and his team at Kastle for producing such a valuable and insightful tool to help the industry understand which companies in the PropTech sector are scaling and which categories are also gaining the most traction in the sector.”
Travis Putnam, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Navitas Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage real estate and construction technologies, gushed about Real EstateTech360 as an “invaluable resource for the real estate industry to understand which companies and categories are scaling the most in the sector. Congratulations to CREtech and Kastle on building such a useful and informative tool for the industry.”
But developers are finding that Real Estate Tech360 is a game-changer for them as well. “We endeavor to employ the best technology to enhance the performance of our expanding property portfolio,” said Dave Gelfond, Managing Director, Portfolio Management & Development at The Meridian Group. “Real Estate Tech360 provides a great resource to help us monitor the ever-changing PropTech landscape.”
Because of technology’s many influences on the property industry, the very word “PropTech” can mean so many different things. The market bliz in the space coupled with the lack of consensus on what PropTech actually is can be a nightmarish briar patch for CRE professionals to sift through, but it’s what makes Real Estate Tech360 an incredibly ambitious undertaking. CREtech’s mission from the very beginning has been to inspire innovation in the commercial real estate industry, and through this partnership with Kastle, they are providing a data-driven treasure map that can help property companies navigate the sometimes confusing technology market.