Industry

Friday Flash: Then and now

Author
Brian Boero
No.
1145
Date
04/17/20

We’ve had tech in real estate since the fax machine and mimeograph. “Online real estate” has been a thing for 25 years. 

Recently, a new term emerged. 

“Proptech.” 

This word, an investor-ese spin-off of “Fintech,” entered our vocabulary with the massive surge of investor money into real estate startups. The scope and scale of this surge was unprecedented. More companies. More money. More new business models.

Some of these companies became our clients. We got to know many more just being around the space. But we found it hard to keep track of them all.

So a couple months ago we put together a cheat sheet. 

Then, in early March, we decided to publish that cheat sheet publicly. 

Then… well, you know what happened. Everything is different now. 

It is within this very strange context that we now share with you the 1000watt Proptech Guide.

It’s simple on purpose, just companies categorized. Without comment, silly rankings or qualitative judgements. A handy reference. 

Yes, VC funding has ground to a halt. Layoffs are happening at real estate startups just like anywhere else. Some, perhaps many, of these companies will not survive. 

I’m not sure what to say about that other than “I know.”

But the strong and scrappy will survive. Consumer behavior relative to real estate, already changing in unprecedented ways before this crisis, is now a ball bouncing around a roulette wheel spinning backwards. Will people be more inclined toward something like iBuying coming out of this, or less? Let’s be honest: no one knows.

We just can’t say where the ball will land yet. 

So take this for what it is. A map of the shaken Proptech world. We’re going to update it constantly. 

A couple caveats:

First, we’re sure we missed some companies. Please let us know.

Second, we limited this to new companies (no more than 5 years old) and companies that have received VC or PE money. There are many, many outstanding older or bootstrapped companies out there. We know and love them, but aren’t trying to capture them here. Some of you might remember the 1000watt Index from years ago, where we tried to capture all of real estate tech. This isn’t that.

I did a video interview with Compass California President Mark McLaughlin last week. I’ve known Mark since 2009, when he acquired Pacific Union Real Estate. He’s been a client, friend and source of inspiration since.

His take on navigating this crisis and moving from defense to offense was really strong. 

You can watch it here

Inman has announced Connect Now, a live digital version of its popular conference. I’m all-in. It’s super smart. But I also think it’s going to show all of us how to pull off a virtual event. The Inman team will execute this really well and it will be interesting to see how prevalent this sort of event becomes post COVID.

Nothing beats in-person networking. But many things beat airports and hotel rooms. 

This concludes week five of shelter in place for me. I’m healthy and busy, so feeling very fortunate. 

Another month of this, though, and you may find me in a fevered state, not unlike Brando’s Colonel Kurtz, hunched in a dark corner of my den, soaked in sweat, mumbling NAR’s Code of Ethics. 

If I go there, I’ll send you the Zoom link so you can join me. 

Be well. And enjoy the thing formerly known as “The weekend.”