#5: James Dearsley | The Digital Marketing Bureau & PropTech Consult
In recent years, through a heavy social media presence, an active blog, a weekly newsletter and as a keynote speaker at global events, James Dearsley has managed to become almost synonymous with the UK PropTech scene.
Beyond his public persona, James runs The Digital Marketing Bureau, providing tech-enabled marketing services, and PropTech Consult where he advises property companies on digital transformation strategies.
While PropTech has gained a great deal of media (and investor) attention in recent years, there remains confusion as to exactly what it is. James has done as much as anyone in working to clear away the ambiguity - his PropTech map can be found here.
James's map is great overview of the current landscape. Hopefully, everyone will recognise a few names in each of the major categories but it also provides a good place to search for a few of the less know names and see if they can help the way you do business.
James sees the PropTech outlook in two broad phases:
- Phase 1: in the short-term, the focus of PropTech is how technology and innovation can collaborate with existing industry in order to improve current processes and business.
- Phase 2: what happens next is less certain as we see how truly transformative technologies, such as blockchain and AI, impact the way we all work.
It's hard to escape James's belief that everyone in the industry ought to be aware of at least the elements of PropTech that are useful to them. As he points out, this doesn't mean that you need to follow the full inside-outs of everything going on, just understanding the key developments. James's weekly newsletter is an excellent place to start in this regard!
James's PropTech innovation to watch out for is HyStreet; a business providing white label CRM software for estate agent branches. Another great example of the symbiosis of technology and traditional real estate viewed through the prism of PropTech.