They say no man is an island, but when it comes to business, companies are increasingly secretive and competitive, wanting to be bigger and better than their industry peers. This is a mindset that tends to isolate larger companies, so that they stand alone in their attempts to be seen as a leader in their field. While this may work for some multinational companies, it does not make for a sensible business plan for emerging entrepreneurs in the property industry.
Even estate agents who were previously successful in working alone are starting to rethink their strategies, with many merging in order to stay relevant in the industry. PropTech partners Audioagent and KeyAGENT are two of the latest companies to join forces, enabling them to be the biggest property marketing group in the UK now that they have become FocalAgent. Together, they can offer a more technological experience to their clients, including video walkthroughs and virtual viewings, as well as floorplans, EPCs and professional photography. Separately, both companies were keen on using PropTech to enhance their work, but as a single entity, they will be able to further these developments and introduce brand new services, while sharing their combined knowledge and expertise.
While a PropTech ecosystem doesn’t have to go as far as company acquisition, having a network of companies that are happy to work together makes for a refreshing and positive change. This community culture allows smaller companies to share research, discuss business competence and leverage technology in a way that might not be able to do alone. Most importantly, it allows them to compete against the bigger companies, giving customers more choice when it comes to selling/renting their homes.
Some companies are reluctant to become part of a PropTech ecosystem, resisting the idea that they might need to conform to business practices that they do not currently adopt. It is certainly true that business ecosystems do require businesses to adapt and evolve, adjusting their systems to fit with the community, but with change comes growth and an ecosystem works on the principle that businesses working together can achieve so much more than a single enterprise.
However, it is important to create an ecosystem that suits your business, working with other companies whose principles align with your values and mission statement. Savvy businesses will aim to work with those that can enhance their current offerings, rather than emulate them, choosing companies that specialise in areas that their own team struggles to maintain, while sharing their own expertise. A collaborative ecosystem should enable all businesses within it to offer a much more holistic and enjoyable experience to their customers.
That doesn’t mean that members of the PropTech ecosystem can’t compete. In fact, working in close proximity with each other should create a source of healthy competition, encouraging each business to work harder to get their share of the market while maintaining a friendly and synergetic relationship.
If you have been looking for ways to boost business and regain your grip on the competitive ladder, establishing a mutually beneficial PropTech ecosystem might be just what you need.
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