This year our firm celebrated our 2nd “Nine Four” day (September 4…get it?) and gave me an opportunity to reflect on how far things have come not just for our firm, but for the PropTech space overall.
It was fitting that this week the team was scattered up and down both coasts tending to firms and people that are all interested in what’s going on in the space. It’s an increasingly common theme for our team and I believe highlights the potential breadth that technology companies can have across all facets of real estate across our country and the globe.
Several years ago, we needed to explain to people what PropTech was, why they should care, and what impact it could have on their businesses and industries. By and large, the tone of conversations with people in the industry (senior executives down to junior folks) has changed, and there seems to be a shift from needing to educate on the space and working with earlier adopters to explaining what the “menu” of options are for keeping a pulse on the companies and themes in the space, working with them, and investing in them. I tend to believe in the “classic” definitions of innovation and disruption, and these conversations continually energize me for what the future will hold as more companies want to get involved and push themselves forward technologically. I believe that the startups we’re investing in will force companies to change faster, and once that pace increases, it won’t be slowing down. Companies that adapt to that pace of change, have processes and people in place to test and implement new technologies, and look at new companies’ potential to create new revenue streams and reduce costs, are likely to be more valuable than those that do not.
Looking back since Nine Four started a year and change ago my beliefs in the space continue to grow, as does the engagement of firms that realize they’re at a fork in the road with technology. We believe that maintaining the status quo as it pertains to technology is not a choice if you want to be successful, and looking forward, we hope to be a catalyst to drive technological change and adoption in the industry.
Happy Nine Four Day!