Not so long ago, PropTech Lab, the rise of FinTech, pushed a wave of digital transformation through the financial sector. Nowadays, PropTech is causing the same waves within the real estate business. And at the heart of that transformation is PropTech Lab, a community for all types of innovators in the Belgian real estate sector. “We want to be the one-stop shop solution when it comes to PropTech.”
“We wanted to create an environment in which all actors can talk about what is happening in the real estate sector.”
PropTech Lab is an association designed to support all kinds of actors in Belgian real estate, ranging from architects to developers and facility managers. Its mission is to foster innovation by aiding corporates with their digital transformation strategy. How? By providing them with the necessary tools: matchmaking services to connect corporates to innovative PropTech (short for Property Technology) startups, supported by a platform that visualises trends and actors in the real estate ecosystem.
Founder Idriss Goossens started PropTech Lab two years ago. “We wanted to create an environment in which all actors can talk about what is happening in the real estate sector.” Their members pay a membership fee and in return get access to an array of benefits such as exclusive content, two-monthly conferences, leadership breakfasts, workshops and matchmaking services.
“Our target audience consists of two segments: on one hand we have startups, who are looking to grow their network and their lead generation efforts. On the other hand, we have corporates, who want to stay on top of market intelligence and be kept up-to-date with the latest innovations. PropTech Lab serves as a matchmaker between the two. We want to grow interactions between these two audiences to foster innovation.”
Our target audience consists of two segments: on the one hand we have startups, on the other we have corporates. PropTech Lab acts as a matchmaker between them."
Their members range from architects, contractors and engineers to real estate agents, developers, property managers and real estate investors.
To grow these interactions, PropTech Lab offers its members access to the DataScouts platform. “Our members get free access to the platform. People want to become part of our community to learn about the real estate ecosystem. This way, they get access to a clear visualisation of that ecosystem. It allows them to easily monitor it, get in touch with each other, gain market insights and identify new opportunities. Basically, it’s a great way to get to know each other and the market.”
“Our members can monitor the real estate ecosystem, get in touch with each other, gain market insights and identify new opportunities.”
But not only PropTech Lab members benefit from using DataScouts. "We ourselves use DataScouts to automate our mission. Our business model was not scalable. We organise events and offer matchmaking services, but don't always have the time to speak to every member, be it by phone or email. Thanks to DataScouts, we were able to scale. It allows us to help our members even better than we could have done on our own. It's basically brought our offline activities online, but with more features."
The feature Idriss is talking about? “For me, the most interesting part is to be able to analyze the ecosystem and learn about new trends. The social media monitoring dashboard tells us what people are talking about. The map with actors is often used as well: where are certain actors based, when were they founded, which segment are they in, … This data helps us understand trends. But it also helps us increase and improve our matchmaking services; how mature are certain startups? Are they early seed or scaleup and how many employees do they have?
”The dashboard makes it very visual, which is time-saving. My co-founder Diego and I often use screenshots of the dashboard and analytics during our presentations at conferences. It allows us to quickly show the sector numbers, trends and insights.”
What do those insights look like? The Belgian PropTech ecosystem consists out of more than 135 startups with over 1.850 employees and a common turnover of over €200 million. “This data shows that PropTech is becoming a really important segment of the Belgian real estate sector. We gathered this data through DataScouts. It’s simply a must-have tool if you want to be able to monitor the trends in the market.”
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