FTI Consulting’s PropTech Research

Comments on FTI’s collaboration with Future:PropTech

FTI Consulting presented the results of the PropTech survey they conducted in conjunction with Future:PropTech at the event on the 4th May. While we again welcome work that brings a level of professionalism and academic scrutiny to the world of PropTech, especially where this translates to matters of digital transformation in the property world, sadly this research appears to be more of a PR piece than of real commercial value.

The key findings may be summarised as follows:

  • 93% of all respondents are positive about the outlook for their organisations regarding PropTech over the next 12 months;
  • 74% of all respondents are primarily concerned with revenue growth in the next 12 months;
  • 64% of all respondents expect PropTech to experience a boom (only 4% think it has reached saturation point;
  • 72% of all respondents considered a lack of understanding of the benefits of PropTech and resistance to change as the key challenges for PropTech businesses; and
  • 87% of respondents consider PropTech to be an enabler, rather than a disruptor, to the property industry.
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We have three main concerns with the research and the sample used:

  1. Conducting a qualitative survey is inherently flawed. It is widely acknowledged that surveys are the least reliable source, simply because people lie. There’s a great Freakonomics podcast called “How Big is My Penis” on that very subject;
  2. The sample size is too small. Without a much wider range of responses, any analysis must be strongly caveated. 202 participants from the property industry and 99 from PropTech cannot be representative of the wider sector; and
  3. The respondents are almost certainly heavily biased. By the very nature of their awareness of the survey (given distribution through well-known PropTech information channels) the respondents are already keenly engaged in the topic, either professionally or personally. It could be inferred that most have a vested interest in positive outcomes for PropTech thus.

With these points in mind, we look forward to further work in the area, and to establishing a clear picture of the PropTech landscape supported by data, a wider cohort and filtered for bias.

 

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