Only 5% of proptech firms will survive, says leading tech guru

The Negotiatior - Nigel Lewis - 27th September 2019

proptech neil singer

A leading tech innovator who helped pioneer blockchain, online sales execution and digital auctions within the property industry has predicted that a shockingly low number of proptech businesses are likely to survive their early years.

Neil Singer – who runs sales agency Singer Vielle, digital selling platform clicktopurchase and has just launched a proptech consultancy firm – says the huge wave of investment in proptech three years ago has now slowed down as people realise that as few as ‘five in every hundred proptech businesses will survive’.

“I really believe that to be the case,” he says.

Singer should know; his own proptech firm controversially persuaded Rightmove to trial his online transacting service for commercial property on its platform earlier this year.

The trial is ongoing and has yet to be confirmed as a permanent feature on the portal, he has confirmed.

“The reason I launched my consultancy is because there isn’t anyone out there who has crossed the divide between understanding the property industry and understanding technology,” he says.

“The nature of the agency role is changing very quickly because of technology and I believe advice about tech will become another service sub-sector of the industry.

“For example, how does a medium size property company or estate agency find out how to develop the tech they want – that’s the question the consultancy is trying to answer.”

The 57-year-old says too many property firms think they can develop their own tech in-house and that they soon find out it ‘requires huge amounts of time and money’.
On the other hand, he says too many tech innovators are building proptech that no one wants or needs because they don’t understand how the industry works.