Fintech Tips: A rough guide to PropTech

By Roger Baird on Tuesday 18 June 2019

Alternative Lending

Property-based fintech has mushroomed into a variety of businesses catering to consumers, investors and developers.

Fintech Tips: A rough guide to PropTech
Image source: By Pexels.

What is PropTech? 

Property-based fintech, or proptech, is a key part of the financial technology sector that breaks down into many parts.

Fintech emerged in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis significant groups looked for better services and higher returns. Consumers looked for higher quality customer service that unchallenged high street banks failed to offer. Investors hunted higher yields to beat historically low interest rates, while small firms searched for looser borrowing limits as traditional lenders clamped down on lending to riskier smaller businesses.  

UK PropTech pioneers

In the UK, portals such as Rightmove, PrimeLocation and Zoopla - founded around, or a few years before the crash - were proptech pioneers allowing house buyers to see thousands of properties offered by estate agents across the country.

However, as these services took off, new property firms followed aimed at investors opened their doors.

Different types of PropTech

Platforms such as Assetz Capital and CrowdProperty specialised in property-backed lending, while firms such Property Partner and Propio, gave investors the chance to build property portfolios online, picked and managed by teams of investment specialists. These firms offer investors returns that range from anything from 3 per cent to 15 per cent a year.

Protech firms have mushroomed in recent years focusing spanning property crowdfunding, online mortgage brokers, flatmate seeking apps and more.

The amount of global venture capital investment this sector, also called real estate tech, has attracted has jumped from $519m in 2013 to just under $4bn in the first ten months of 2018, according to data group CB Insights.

Dos and Don’ts of building a digital property portfolio

  • Much the same rules apply when making any property investment.
  • Do your research into the property, or the team you will pick the portfolio. How much experience do they have? Find out as much as you can about their track records.
  • Do not treat these investments as you would your home, asking would I like to live there?
  • Instead, find out if properties are in desirable locations with high tenant demand and high-performing yields. Look at the performance of the local housing market in recent years, study future development plans in the area, as they are an indicator of future growth.

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