Let’s start with introducing the term proptech. In layman’s terms, proptech is the application of technology designed to improve the ways we utilise and manage property, from Wi-Fi connectivity and smart access systems to easy online payments (also part of fintech, another one of those buzzwords). Current disruptor of the real-estate industry, proptech is also defining the way flexible workspace owners find and develop their offices, and enables owners and managers to seek out new opportunities for growth.
Let’s move online
Proptech has actually been around in the flexible workspace industry for many years. However, it’s becoming more developed with the addition of cloud-based systems such as Kisi, and passport-style apps such as Croissant, which connects its members to coworking spaces across the USA. In the flexible workspace sector, proptech is able to facilitate all coworkers’ needs, from finding and booking a space online and onboarding, right through to billing and invoicing.
So how does proptech fit into the flexible workspace environment? Since 2012, the flexible workspace industry has seen a rapid growth reflecting the universal need for good, well-equipped workspace resources. Co-working spaces often attract tech startups and this means there’s a constant demand for very fast, very reliable internet connectivity.
There are various different ways that proptech can benefit a flexible workspace business. One is workspace automation – where day-to-day operational tasks that can be automated through systems such as Habu and OfficeRnD. These kinds of systems are able to manage new members, billing, subscriptions, bookings etc. which allows your community managers to focus on clients and building business. Then there’s the use of intelligent glass, electrochromic windows that automatically tint to reduce heat and glare and maximise natural light. And digital mailbox systems such as Earth Class Mail and Anytime Mailbox can help cut the time it takes sorting mail by hand for virtual offices.
The welcome advance of mobile technology
The widespread use of mobile technology and apps have now made it even easier for developers to offer a range of technologies to help commercial property owners and operators. Entrepreneurs can access more investment money to bring new services and technologies to the market quickly. Blockchain technology is also becoming more and more popular, with several co-working spaces specialising in supporting blockchain startups, such as Full Node in Berlin, a blockchain-only co-working space. “Thanks to the advent of simpler programming languages, the accessibility of cloud storage and the weight of investment capital aimed at the sector, setting up a proptech company has never been easier.” says Neal Gemassmer, vice president, international, for Yardi.
Proptech benefits all
As the world becomes more technologically advanced, proptech is the key to maintaining our coworking spaces. Not only is it a disrupter, but it’s redefining the way that flexible workspace is managed, which ultimately benefits our fast-paced industry. Automated systems are proven to be faster and more accurate than manual entry, saving time and increasing efficiency. Proptech takes a brand into the digital arena and keeps the business open and available 24/7. And, finally, it supports the future of work: the more your space is automated, the more your employees can focus on their clients.
Want to work in an environment that helps you be connected through tech but also focuses on the human aspect of it all? Book a free trial day at Spaces and experience it for yourself.