What is a PropTech Company?

Everyone’s talking about PropTech, but what exactly does the term mean? We explain.

Flatfox was one of the first PropTech companies in Switzerland, founded in 2012, when the word had yet to be invented. PropTech, a combination of the terms Property and Technology, describes the digital transformation of the property sector that began in the mid-2010s, as well as the individual innovative companies (often start-ups) in the industry that support and drive this process. The term is in line with innovation trends in other industries, such as FinTech, MedTech or LegalTech.

PropTech companies optimise or invent property-industry products and services by applying the latest information and communication technologies and by digitising, improving the efficiency of, or streamlining business processes or business models. For example, procedures, processes or complete business models can be optimised or streamlined using the latest software and hardware solutions. PropTech products can be aimed at either companies (B2B) or end users (B2C).

The rise of PropTech

PropTech companies are active in all areas of the property life cycle: development, planning, construction (the additional term ConTech can be mentioned here, combining Construction and Technology), letting, sales, marketing, use, management and maintenance. Flatfox is active in the areas of letting, sales and marketing with its software for a digitised letting process and property marketplace.

After many more PropTech companies were founded over the years and some disappeared again, it became increasingly difficult to gain an overview of the market. We now see a trend towards stabilisation for the companies that were able to establish themselves in recent years and tangible benefits that result for the real estate sector.

Swiss network for Proptech Companies

Alongside the emergence of PropTech companies in the mid-2010s - particularly in Switzerland – the need arose to link the various companies within one network, in order to maintain a form of dialogue between them. The innovation network SwissPropTech was created in cooperation with several founding members, including Flatfox, and the initiator Mario Facchinetti. The network now has over 80 members, organises various events and represents PropTech companies at major property trade fairs.

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