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ProptechBNE: The Australian Proptech Industry Roadmap [Transcript]

Kylie Davis:

Welcome to the Proptech podcast. It’s Kylie Davis here, and I’m delighted to be your host as we explore the brave new world where technology and real estate collide. I passionately believe we need to create and grow a sense of community between the innovators and real estate agents and property owners and sharing our stories is a great way to do that. The aim of each episode is to introduce listeners to a Proptech innovator who is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and to explore the issues and challenges raised by the tech and how they can create amazing property experiences. And my guest this week is a dear friend of mine and a partner in Proptech crime, the fabulous Isaac Coonan, founder of Proptech BNE, and author of the Australian Proptech Industry Roadmap. Isaac is the senior industry development manager of technology at the Brisbane economic development agency, which is part of Brisbane city council.


Kylie Davis:

And he’s also the founder of Proptech BNE an initiative that supports the development of the property technology community in Brisbane and in Southeast Queensland. The two are a unique marriage that looks at Proptech through the lens of how Proptech can transform one of Australia’s biggest cities and create jobs while also pursuing goals like smarter buildings and cities. To get a handle on any of this you need data, and last month Proptech BNE launched the Australian Proptech Industry Roadmap report. More than just a map with the logos of Proptech stuck on it, this is a great deep dive and the first attempt to capture data about the Australian Proptech universe. In terms of our makeup, our demographics, size, growth, and funding. It’s been a huge undertaking, but Isaac pretty much knows everyone in Australian Proptech. So he is the perfect person to drive the project. So here to tell us all about it, Isaac Coonan welcome to the Proptech podcast.


Isaac Coonan:

Thank you very much for having me.


Kylie Davis:

It’s awesome. So, now we always start off with a elevator pitch. So tell me what the Proptech BNE elevator pitch is.


Isaac Coonan:

No worries, of course you start off with an elevator. But Proptech BNE is a group that was formed midway through last year, and it was really to take a city approach into driving engagement between industry and the emerging property technology cluster. Our main focus and our main goal is really to drive amplification, awareness, and knowledge exchange from industry to the Proptech cluster and then reverse from the Proptech cluster to industry. So the best way to view us is that little agitator that helps industry communicate to Proptech’s and helps Proptech’s communicate to industry. We do a number of things that just kind of allows for that to happen.


Kylie Davis:

Okay. So let’s talk about some of the things that allow for that to happen, because I love this idea that because for in Proptech land, we’re all kind of got our head in the space that we build a product and then we go to market and we sell it to our market. But I love this idea that actually there is a whole world out there of council and government that are there to sort of do good and support the community. And I love this idea that one of Australia’s biggest council areas is actually looking at our sector through that prism of, “Oh, what could that help us build as a city?”


Isaac Coonan:

Yeah, absolutely. And look, Brisbane City Council have been incredibly supportive of Proptech BNE. We do sit as a separate entity to council, but obviously because we’re a city led initiative, we collaborate with them on every opportunity. An example of one of the initiatives we put together, Cross River Rail is one of the largest infrastructure projects going on in Australia at the moment, it’s a $500 billion initiative to build our underground Metro. It is a phenomenal project, but like any major project like that, there’s 1,000,001 inefficiencies, 1,000,001 opportunities for the emerging Proptech cluster. What was hard is Proptech’s didn’t know how to get into or speak to the right person, leading a project of that scale. Likewise, the people in the innovation technology team at Cross River Rail were finding it hard to understand, well who’s on the ground, what solutions can solve the problems we know, but also what solutions are out there are solving problems that we don’t even know yet.


Isaac Coonan:

So where Proptech BNE came in, is we worked with Cross River Rail. We said, “All right, where are you guys at at the moment? What are some of the issues you’re facing?” We then go to our proptech network and say like, “Great, who’s solving for X, Y, and Z?” And then we curated an afternoon where we actually brought the proptech’s in to meet with the right people from Cross River Rail, do a site tour and start the conversation. So that’s really where we try and fit, It’s less of a bring everyone together and serendipitously hope for the best. This is more of a direct approach.


Kylie Davis:

What I love about what you guys are doing is that you’re effectively acting as like a matchmaker and helping coordinate almost reverse pictures because if we’re going to be building smart cities, there’s a hell of a lot of problems out there and pain points that need to be solved as part of those smart city roadmaps and the people inside government or inside the infrastructure companies, yeah, like you said, they don’t necessarily know what they don’t know that’s out there. And equally the proptech’s who are the best position to maybe solve some of those problems, don’t understand that the pathways in to talk about that.


Isaac Coonan:

A hundred percent, I think it was one of our industry partners who made this connection for us the other day. And it opened my mind. We are the Tinder for Proptech and that’s how we like to see where it’s like, we’ll help you swipe left, swipe right. And that’s that really sweet spot that we get to operate in, which is phenomenal.


Kylie Davis:

But I think too, also having that as a city council or as an initiative connected with those links to council, with those links to government is also hugely powerful and important as well, like powerful for good.


Isaac Coonan:

And I think there’s something around taking responsibility as a city. And obviously the work that Proptech Association of Australia does is phenomenal, it’s why we’re a partner, we love it. But what we also like is Queensland’s huge, if there was Proptech Queensland, well, that’s enormous. Where if you actually take a city level and say, all right, what projects are going on in our city? What initiatives are going on in our city? What technology is being curated and created in our universities, incubators, accelerators, and how do we strategically pair them together? It’s more of a clustering initiative than anything else. It’s how do we put a net around a city cluster and tell that story.


Kylie Davis:

Cool. Now let’s talk about, I love this and I hope other governments and other council bodies out there, look at the Brisbane example because I would love to see Proptech Melbourne’s, Proptech BNE’s there is a kind of a Proptech Perth in WA popping up. But I think there is something hugely complimentary to the work that accelerators and incubators and the associations are doing. But I think having the big government and councils and city owners adopting this is usually powerful. So yeah, reach out to us if you want to do that with us, I’ve actually got a meeting with Sydney City next week. So hopefully that goes well. So let’s talk about the big initiative that Proptech BNE did, which was the Australian Proptech Industry Roadmap.


Isaac Coonan:

Yeah, absolutely. So this project came to be more so out of my own and Proptech BNE’s teams personal frustration than anything else. And Kylie, you would be able to attest to this. There was so many preconceived narratives for the Proptech economy here in Australia, that we knew we’re correct because you and I, and people in our teams live and breathe Proptech on a daily basis. We roughly understood the demographic of the founders, we roughly understood the services and products that were being created, but it wasn’t backed up by hard data.


Isaac Coonan:

Data that actually says, this is where we’re at right now. This is where by growing, these are the solutions we’re creating so Proptech BNE in collaboration with our 2021 council and then our awesome partners the Proptech Association Australia and Unissu launched an Industry Map, which was an opportunity for Proptech companies from around Australia to submit data through a survey, which was aggregated to create an industry map or an industry report. And the key features of this report were really centred around who are the founders of Proptech companies? Where are they founded? Where are they growing? How are they funded and what sector of the property industry are they serving? That was a very first for me to deliver initiative like that.


Kylie Davis:

It’s a huge job.


Isaac Coonan:

I’ll tell you what. I have a new found respect and admiration for people who do this on a daily basis. We have committed that this will be an annual project for us and we’re excited for next year. So we can actually see the growth of the Proptech economy, but it did actually take us a few months to distil the data, pull it apart, write the reports.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah, yeah, data’s hard.


Isaac Coonan:

Data’s hard, but we were happy. So as of today, we’ve had 500 downloads from industry which we’re really, really happy. And what we’re seeing as well is it’s the like of the big investment firms, it’s the likes of the state and city councils from all around Australia. It’s the industry, it’s the corporates that are kind of using this as an opportunity to better understand how our growing economy works. And I think that’s just super powerful to have something that we can point to, something that we can stop articulating.


Kylie Davis:

Well, yeah look, when I started at CoreLogic and I heard the story of how Ray Ellis and his partners started RP data, and they started RP data by literally giving a whole bunch of backpackers cameras and making them walk up and down the streets and taking photos of the fronts of houses so that they put men and women on the streets to physically capture the data. And I think we’re in an interesting place at the moment now, because we’re so used to having a source of data, that the idea that there’s no data and that you have to actually physically create the data from scratch is kind of alien to us. But there are times when you just have to physically go out and capture the data, which is what you guys have done. So like big props.


Isaac Coonan:

I think it’s one thing to capture and I feel like there’s multiple data sources as well. Like Unissu have a great portal that actually captures a lot of the proptech’s. And there’s all these different industry maps that are floating around that are really telling the story of how many proptech’s in total we have in Australia. I think a big part of what we try to do particularly seeing we wanted this to be a tool for industry. Because we made sure we were capturing data from revenue generating proptech companies.


Isaac Coonan:

And why we personally made the decision to create that distinction is we love early stage tech companies. We understand that you’ve got to start somewhere and you’re generally not making revenue for the first… It’s an effort, it’s a defeat. But for us, this report is really centred around well, okay who is in market, who is creating revenue, not profit, revenue, and who’s hiring people, where are those people located? So for us, it’s really breaking that down, those maps down even further saying, yeah, there may be a thousand proptech’s in Australia, but a lot of them are also brand new baby tech companies that they’re going to change six or seven times before they actually go to market. So for us it’s important to really tell the story of the companies in market.


Kylie Davis:

I just had the baby shark song go in my head around baby Proptech. Sorry, everyone for that ear worm.


Isaac Coonan:

Now everyone will be humming along to that verse.


Kylie Davis:

I’m so sorry. And let’s have a look at some of the key findings. Have you got it in front of you?


Isaac Coonan:

I certainly do.


Kylie Davis:

Awesome. Let’s have a look at some of the key findings of the report and look understanding this is the first time the data has been collected. Some of it is going to reflect on where and how it’s been collected, but it’s the line in the sand. It’s the first iteration of it. And in coming is each time more and more data gets collected, as we all know in Proptech, the bigger the data set, the more stable and the more insights you get out of it. So, what’s our first year showing us?


Isaac Coonan:

Yeah. Look, I couldn’t agree more and a beautiful analogy I heard on this the other day is when you read the first page of a book, you don’t know the full story.


Kylie Davis:

Exactly.


Isaac Coonan:

And this is the first page of the book and it’s going to evolve over the years. And that’s just the beauty of being at the beginning. But look, what I thought was really affirmative for me is when we really break down, year one, who are the people founding proptech companies, this aligns with nearly every data set we’ve got for the innovation industry, heavily skewed towards male founders. Now this is something where actually trying to champion and change, but at the moment, 80% of Proptech founders in Australia are male.


Isaac Coonan:

But what we did like to see is that, and again, we kind of knew this, but it’s great to have this data that the average age of Proptech founders in Australia is 40 plus years old with a minimum of 11 years industry experience. And so that tells us that your typical Proptech founder is actually an industry veteran or an industry leader, who’s probably cracked the shits with their super annoying inefficiency, or sees a real opportunity to create a new revenue stream. And they’re like, you know what, I’m going to do it. And that’s not just sentiment, that’s what the data’s showing. The majority of Proptech founders are actually property professionals who are looking to solve for an inefficiency in the industry.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah, fantastic. And look, a considerable proportion of them have got masters degrees.


Isaac Coonan:

We are educated.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah, yeah. We know shit.


Isaac Coonan:

We are educated. No, and look again, I’m not overly surprised by that whatsoever. When you just look at the statistics of education in Australia, we are an educated population as a general rule. But to have that master’s degree is something that I wasn’t quite expecting. I expected there to be a lot of diplomas and bachelors, but I think it was showing just from the top of my head I’ve got in front of me pulling it up a 45% of Proptech founders in Australia have a masters degree.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah, yeah, that’s incredible. That’s incredible. Now look, so also I think like one of the things around the foundation and some of this reflects the fact that Proptech BNE and you guys were the most active in pushing your members especially, or people that you knew to fill in the survey. But according to this, Queensland is the centre of Proptech innovation. I’m not sure how Melbourne are going to feel about that.


Isaac Coonan:

Bring it Melbourne. No, look again obviously this is something that is going to evolve over time. However, a big part of the reason Proptech BNE came to be, and there’s different city and state initiatives here in Queensland that are driving proptech is we do have a significant number of Proptech companies here that are flying under the radar. And they’re not even flying under the radar, look at the likes of console. Console Property Group is probably one of Australia’s earlier Proptech-


Kylie Davis:

Established suppliers, yeah.


Isaac Coonan:

Established suppliers they have, what 250, 300 staff. And we’ve got-


Kylie Davis:

30 years experience.


Isaac Coonan:

30 years experience. So we’ve actually got Proptech companies that people wouldn’t consider a proptech startup. We’ve got phenomenal solutions coming out of UQQT. It is by far one of our strongest innovation clusters we have for the city. So whilst I’m expecting next year, that it won’t be as significantly this high, I will put money on the fact that I still think Queensland is performing incredibly above its way when it comes to creating Proptech companies, for sure.


Kylie Davis:

Look I’d completely agree with that. And so anyone who’s listening to this podcast and who thinks no 40% of proptech’s are not founded in Queensland, I can’t believe that number, it’s not right. Don’t dismiss it, next year make sure you and your team and everyone you know in your state, fill in their survey and questionnaire so that we’re capturing data across as many proptech’s as we can as possible. But I certainly know from my experience, Brisbane’s my favourite place to come to for Proptech. Because there’s always great people to hang out with, there’s some really amazing innovation going on up there and the community is really engaged.


Isaac Coonan:

Speaking on that foundation piece as well. I think something that we can take with absolute certainty is the expansion. When we asked Proptech companies, “Look, where are you looking to go?” No one is surprised that US and Canada makes up 42%. 42% of Australian proptech’s are looking to expand to the US and Canada. But what I like to also see is the rates of companies looking to expand to the United Kingdom, particularly if you’re in that residential proptech market, the similarities in the Commonwealth law between Australia, UK, Australia, and Canada make expansion vastly more simple than trying to crack the US. So it’s good to see that prop tech companies are realising that.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah. And it’s interesting, isn’t it? So James Desley and I have an ongoing debate where he tells me all the time that UK Proptech adoption and UK Proptech is superior to Australian Proptech. And I tell him how wrong he is about that and how much more innovative our real estate agents are at a residential level and how their adoption of tech is better and the tech that we’ve got is better. And it always surprises me that everyone wants to go to the US first when there is so much available expansion in the UK.


Isaac Coonan:

No, it’s so much in the UK, but I think we’re still suffering from that Silicon Valley…


Kylie Davis:

Oh yeah. And also we just all love going to the conferences in the US.


Isaac Coonan:

Don’t get me wrong they’re great. But I think when everyone is speaking with our proptech companies and they all really figuring out what markets to crack first. Singapore, New Zealand, UK have to be high up on your list just from an ease standpoint. And they’re actually a great test bed. The US market is so hard to crack, giving yourselves those opportunities to practise global expansion with a more familiar landscape.


Kylie Davis:

Legal landscape especially. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, no, I think that’s right. I think externally there’s the perception that the US is easier to crack into because you can go to those conferences, there are things like Reach out there. There are programmes where you can plug into, whereas the UK is a little bit more of a black box in how do you scale over there from Australia? So maybe we need to talk to James and make change that.


Isaac Coonan:

No, absolutely. And I think as well, when you look at the US, it is such a huge country with such a large… Even just from a landmass standpoint, when you think UK, whilst their population is huge, it’s very small, like in comparison, you know what I mean? So there’s ways that we can simplify that process and where we’re really looking at it, but yeah, it’s good to see that people are picking up on that.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah. We should definitely have a conversation with James. James you need a better conference to bring the ELZ proptech’s over, that’s what we need to do, a live physical event. Once we can all travel again. And now let’s hear a word from our sponsors.


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Kylie Davis:

So how are proptech’s creating jobs according to the data?


Isaac Coonan:

They’re creating jobs in a way that we’re not surprised by because we were tackling revenue generating companies. The jobs numbers was great to see, what we’re noticing is this took a while to actually distil what is a full-time employee versus a contract versus a part-time employee. But what we’re able to say is there’s roughly around 2,200 jobs, full-time jobs in the tech industry being created right here in Australia, from the Proptech industry. Now there’s a number of tools that you can use to actually understand what is the economic impact of that data. So we have decided to use the Naya data, which puts an average job in the technology space at $250,000 of economic impact. So when you think 250,000 times 2000, you got a really decent size economic impact number.


Isaac Coonan:

I’m also not surprised by this, when you look at the bigger proptech’s that you guys have in New South Wales and Victoria, the vast majority of jobs are actually in New South Wales with 39.2% of jobs in New South Wales, 35% of jobs in Victoria, and then 22.3% of jobs in Queensland. So what that is also telling the data here is proptech companies that are being founded here in Queensland are not staying in Queensland. So that’s on Proptech BNE to try and fix. We need to make sure that we are creating better investment pathways, access to markets and we’re actually doing pretty well on that right now. But what this data kind of indicates to us is whilst they may be starting here, they migrate down to Sydney or New South Wales [crosstalk 00:23:36] Victoria.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah. Well, look we saw that with companies like RP data migrated, still had always had offices in Brisbane, but then expanded Melbourne, Sydney and made Sydney it’s base as it grew bigger. So, it kind of makes sense.


Isaac Coonan:

[inaudible 00:23:53] data is confidential and we can’t say who, but it’s also really surprising in my mind, companies that I would have thought were Victorian or New South Wales actually were founded in Queensland. There was probably at least 10 or 15 companies that I actually had to email the team. I was like-


Kylie Davis:

Are you sure, is that where you’re based?


Isaac Coonan:

“Been in Melbourne for the past five years, what do you mean?” They’re like, “No, no, we were Brisbane founded and then we moved down.” And so it’s interesting to see that migration pattern across the report.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah, interesting. Really interesting. So what are the sectors and how are they breaking down? Because there’s this constant tension, or maybe in my imagination between commercial and residential.


Isaac Coonan:

Look I didn’t think that’s in your imagination. But again, being fully transparent, this is actually one of the sections of the report we’re going to break down a lot further next year, to bring some further visibility into it. For instance, we put property management as a sector.


Kylie Davis:

That’s probably right.


Isaac Coonan:

Well it is, but in hindsight, because hindsight’s that bitch that never goes away, property management is for residential and for commercial. So we can’t sit down and be like, okay, so your property management, but are you property manager resi or property management commercial? So we will break that down further. But at the moment, 23% of Proptech companies are servicing the residential real estate sector. 19% of proptech companies are property management and then 15 are commercial real estate. We also do have a number of other, so if you want to see it please download the report. It’s on the Proptech BNE website, but property construction was at 14%, property developers were at 12%, and then property finance was coming in at that sub 5% along with a property architecture.


Kylie Davis:

And design.


Isaac Coonan:

And design. So we captured as much as we could, but we do want to break that down just a little bit further because property finance well, is that commercial or residential because trust me, they wouldn’t be the same.


Kylie Davis:

Tags, we need tags. We need tags more than categories, that’s what we need.


Isaac Coonan:

And we’ll get there, this is a thing. [crosstalk 00:26:05] This is page one. Page one. But what I love about this, the sectors is also then the customer acquisition strategy. Over 30% of all proptech’s still use referral marketing, which means that they are still using word of mouth. They’re still using conferences, anyone who thinks that the property conferences are a thing of the past will be emerging technology clusters that has taken the property industry to the next evolution, are still using referrals. So we are still just as much a relationship industry as the traditional property industry is.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah. Hallelujah. But look we saw that reflected at ARIC this year. So, the ARIC trade hall was full of scaling and emerging Proptech coming through. It was awesome to see there was about 20 different little businesses or not little businesses, but there were 20 proptech’s there. Yeah. So 20% are using social media and marketing. So I guess that’s amplifying your word of mouth and referral and another sort of 15, 16% using direct marketing. So lots of stuff going on there. So let’s talk about funding though, what’s happening with funding because everyone wants to know? And funding is such an interesting issue in Australia, isn’t it?


Isaac Coonan:

Absolutely.


Kylie Davis:

Because we’re a country of small businesses who have a kind of mentality that you’re supposed to grow, or that there’s this clash between our mindset of you start something small and you grow it and you nurture it versus the accelerated pathway that we see through mainly the US or through that US example.


Isaac Coonan:

And look, I do think that again, this is what’s so beautiful about having this data is, well, we now know that the majority or the average age of a Proptech founder is a 40 year old female or male with a minimum of 11 years experience. Yeah, they’re not out there living from raise to raise or mass expansion, they understand business. They understand having a product, growing the product, scaling the product and where I do feel like a lot of the mindset around this hyper growth or this raising to become the next unicorn. A, it’s not a very sustainable way of doing business and B, it’s also not a very realistic way of doing business. It’s kind of like saying my savings strategy is based off buying the lottery ticket.


Kylie Davis:

Or a Bitcoin.


Isaac Coonan:

Or a Bitcoin, like, don’t get me wrong, you know what I mean? So look, the funding also ties into this interstate migration piece that this data comes in. Queensland, vast majority of companies being founded, New South Wales, vast majority of funding. So, it’s something like 40…


Kylie Davis:

42.6.


Isaac Coonan:

Yeah. But I was talking about percentage wise.


Kylie Davis:

Oh, okay.


Isaac Coonan:

45% of proptech funding comes out of New South Wales. So if that’s pretty much saying, look, if you want to get funding or you need funding, realistically you probably need to do a couple of trips to Sydney, if not relocate. So this is another thing that we’re trying to get some of the growing economies and growing cities to get behind is proptech’s are growing. We need to start educating our investors, we need to start educating the people with capital to this trend. So over the past 10 years, we had just shy of a hundred million dollars of funding poured into early stage proptech companies in Australia. Now what’s important to note about that is we only capture data or collated data from companies that are still in operation.


Isaac Coonan:

So if your company received funding, but in the past 10 years you’ve closed up shop or you weren’t successful at scaling and you’ve had to close your business or you’ve exited and you’re acquired. We’re not actually counting that, this is for proptech companies that are still in operation, who are still leveraging that capital. So just a pointing note as well, we see obviously New South Wales taking the win with 42 million of that, Queensland with 28 million, which is great to say that we are actually starting to grow that. And then Victoria at 13 million.


Kylie Davis:

Hmm. That’s really interesting. Yeah. And like again, these numbers are the first time we’ve captured them. So I’m looking at how they change the bigger that data set gets for future years. And I think it’s really great to have this information sort of sitting behind us because one of the things that I’ve noticed since we set up the association is the number of words, and the amount of myth and urban myth that goes on in the industry. And the number of words that we use that we think mean one thing, but in fact can mean lots of different things. So, we use the word Proptech and it could mean a million different things, which is why we’re trying to get really specific about our language at the Proptech association.


Kylie Davis:

So, talking about is a business a startup, is it a scale-up, is it an established supplier and what does that mean? And I think one of the things that is a really important area where we need to have better quality conversations is around this idea of what does growth look like? What does growth look like for you as a founder and what are the different models of that growth? There’s lots of different ways to grow your business or your proptech. And there is no one perfect exit strategy, there’s lots of exit strategies out there, and the exit strategy might be, I work in my business and grow it for 30 years. And then I retire with a watch, whatever. It might be IPO, it might be being acquired by an aligned business. It might be, I’ll just build an amazing business that makes a shitload of money and happy days.


Kylie Davis:

There’s lots of future growth strategies, but this unicorn idea that seems to dominate the industry puts a lot of pressure on founders that I think is probably unnecessary and not helpful.


Kylie Davis:

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Kylie Davis:

So let’s talk about growth. What does the data show us around growth?


Isaac Coonan:

So we decided to capture growth by asking financial year revenue data from 2020, and then also financial revenue data from 2021. What we loved to see was the growth rate in terms of this data. So in the 2020 financial year, 72% of the revenue generating proptech’s were generating sub 500K annual revenue, which is great it aligns with what we expected, but in the 2021 financial data that dropped to 58.4. And what we saw was a massive increase in the company’s generating 500K to 1 million, that was an 8% increase. But what we also saw is we saw a massive increase in companies generating one, two, 3 million annual revenue, and then likely we actually saw an increase of companies generating 10 million plus out of revenue. So being able to track this, we can see, all right, we’re actually pushing people up through the ranks, these companies aren’t just remaining stagnant. They are growing at a [inaudible 00:34:57] rate.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah, and we’re seeing that sort of scale up to start up and scale-ups really revving hard in that space, which kind of tallies with the environment that we’ve been hearing about with COVID and tech adoption during COVID and how so much of the industry has been reliant on its technology solutions when we’ve all been sort of working from home.


Isaac Coonan:

Well, I think the data shows that for the financial year, 2021, 36% of all proptech’s who have participated in this report grew by 100% plus annual revenue. So they are growing at a massive rate, and then those numbers went down, but not dramatically. So companies who have grown 51 to 100% annual growth rate they’re at 16%. So like we are growing as an economy.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah. So, what do we need? This is so exciting. Because basically property is Australia’s single biggest industry, it touches just so much of our lives. And now we’re seeing that the technology industry that supports Australia’s biggest industry is on a rapid growth path and scaling very quickly. What do we need to do to support this growth further?


Isaac Coonan:

This was probably one of the most wholesome things in the report for me, I’m not going to lie. As someone who’s worked in the startup innovation space for the better part of a decade, I get a little bit tired of the handout approach. We need government to give us money, we need investors to give us money. If we don’t get money, then we’ll pack up shop and we throw the toys out of the cut. That is not what the proptech economy is asking for. The number one need coming through from this report is collaboration between proptech startups and scale-ups. So more of an open dialogue between the companies who are doing great and the emerging, but then also data standardisation. How the property industry is capturing, storing, and standardising that data that needs to be at the forefront.


Kylie Davis:

Especially in commercial.


Isaac Coonan:

Especially in commercial. It’s funny.


Kylie Davis:

And there are some great proptech’s working on that. So go team.


Isaac Coonan:

We’ll [crosstalk 00:37:16].


Kylie Davis:

Yeah. We’ve got you, we’ve got your backs.


Isaac Coonan:

But even things like when the request from government was there, it was not more money, it was government to open up more pathways for customer acquisition within the industry. Industry acquisition, like the majority is we need better data that clearly articulates how the property industry is navigating and working so we can create better solutions. And once we’ve created those better solutions, we need those introductions. And so for me, I just think it’s such an incredible narrative for an emerging technology cluster to have that level of maturity to say, we don’t need free shit, we need data that’s usable. We need a coalition of the willing, and we need to introductions. We need to be treated as businesses and that is just the coolest thing in the world.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah absolutely. And it reminds me of the conversation that I had recently with the CSRIO and NABERS. Kevorn Adrin from NABERS about the power of government is not always to give out money, by government support of the NABERS scheme. And that support looked like we are a very big property owner and if buildings don’t meet minimum standards, our buildings all need to meet these minimum standards that the early stage Proptech basically set up. The power of that to then influence the rest of the industry is huge and to basically make the guidelines and regulations around what great looks like and put support behind that rather than financial handouts. Give us the space to grow and we’ll fill it.


Isaac Coonan:

Yeah. So that’s great for me. And it was completely validating for the work that the Proptech Association of Australia does, which is we need more connectivity between the proptech’s. And then it was really great for the work with Proptech BNE, it’s like, once we connected as an ecosystem, we need [inaudible 00:39:31] to industry. “Great, we’ve got you covered, we’re a step ahead, let’s go.” So I just kind of feel like if anything, this really validated the work that’s been done over the past four or five years to say, all right, no, this wasn’t a mistake what we’ve done, the industry are actually needing it. For me I feel like we’re onto something.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah and we need to be sharing our stories about what we’ve done right, what we’ve done wrong and what we learned from that. So that the people coming up behind us can not necessarily make the same mistakes, bu we can lift up and rise them on our shoulders. And we need to be generous with our connections and to share it. And I think that’s the basis of an outstanding industry. Awesome. So, well done, fantastic work, Isaac. I know how much work goes into producing a data driven report and connecting the data. So it’s such an awesome initiative. The Proptech Association of Australia has been delighted to support in the small way that we did, but we think this is such an asset to the industry and encourage everyone to download the report and definitely to participate in the data collection next year. When is the next one, when are we doing the next one?


Isaac Coonan:

So, we will be opening the survey portal again in December of this year. And it will be open from December all the way through to the beginning of March, with it coming out roughly the same time. Look, I think I would be remissed without saying that it absolutely isn’t something that I did as a lone soldier, Julian Brockhurst and Paula Guino from the Proptech BNE team were instrumental along with the entire 2021 council. We’ve got 12 incredibly awesome industry thought leaders who helped guide us. Kylie is one of our council members for this year. So this is something that was a collective effort. And yeah, I can’t say it enough, page one, by the time we get halfway through it, this is going to look really freaking cool.


Kylie Davis:

Yeah. Fantastic. Well, look, Isaac thank you so much for being on the Proptech podcast. It’s been awesome to hear about Proptech BNE. I am very excited to be collaborating with you on behalf of the Proptech Association of Australia on some very exciting initiatives coming up.


Isaac Coonan:

Absolutely.


Kylie Davis:

Watch this space, we do have a conference coming. If I say it out loud, we have to do it right?


Isaac Coonan:

[inaudible 00:41:51].


Kylie Davis:

Thank you for being my partner in crime on some of these.


Isaac Coonan:

Always, always.


Kylie Davis:

And congratulations again, on the Proptech Industry Roadmap, we’ll put a link into the show notes. So please everyone download it and participate in the collection at the end of the year.


Isaac Coonan:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time and look forward to it.


Kylie Davis:

That was the wonderful Isaac Coonan, founder of Proptech BNE and author of the Australian Proptech Industry Roadmap. The very first detailed look at the Australian Proptech industry. It is a really rich source of insights into the Australian Proptech landscape. So grab your copy, I’ve put a link in the show notes. If you’re an investor, if you’re an agent, or if you’re just curious about this new thing called Proptech, it answers a lot of the questions that were regularly asked at the Proptech Association of Australia. And while I suspect that the data is a little Queensland centric in its first iteration, it doesn’t change any of the validity of the findings. So if you didn’t participate in the data collection this year, make a diary note to take part for the next one. We’ll be sharing the details closer to the date as will the Proptech Association of Australia, and make your voice and your data as a Proptech heard.


Kylie Davis:

And I did want to give Isaac a special shout out for the fantastic work that he’s doing at the Brisbane Economic Development Agency and Proptech BNE. He and I first met at the Proptech summit back in 2019, and we just clicked. He was one of the first people I go to when I’ve got a mad idea about how we can grow the Proptech community and his knowledge of the Proptech space and how to grow and accelerate a technology business is absolutely phenomenal. He’s also very generous with that knowledge. And I love this idea of looking at Proptech through the lens of a city, which was his baby and his great concept. It’s the other side of the coin of what we do as proptech’s. But it does us well to remember the industry is not just about us as founders growing our products and our businesses for real estate and property owning businesses.


Kylie Davis:

We’re in part of a much bigger framework, which is that we’re part of Australia’s biggest industry, property and there’s responsibilities and obligations and opportunities as part of all of that. So taking an economic development view is really clever and it’s part of this huge jigsaw puzzle that we’re all committed to solving, of how do we create smart, low impact cities faster. Government involvement is key, but this is really engaged in dynamic involvement, not a ponderous legislative solution.


Kylie Davis:

So great work Isaac and your team, which I know includes Julian Brockhurst and Paula Guino, who we’ve also had on the show. Great work guys. The Proptech Association of Australia was delighted to collaborate with Proptech BNE on the Australian Proptech industry roadmap. And if you haven’t downloaded it, go to the Proptech BNE site, right now. If you have enjoyed this episode of the Proptech podcast, I’d love you to tell your friends or drop me a line either via email, LinkedIn or Facebook. Please follow this podcast on Spotify, Google podcasts, Anchor, Apple iTunes, or whatever podcast platform you’re currently using.


Kylie Davis:

I’d like to thank my audio support, Charlie Hollins and the fabulous Jill Escudero and our sponsors Direct Connect, making moving easy. Smidge Wines, exclusive wines made in limited quantities by master winemaker, Matt Wink. And HomePrezzo now part of Active Pipe in helping you make engaging content for your email marketing. Now do you run a Proptech business, either founder of a Proptech, make sure you join the Proptech Association. It’s Australia’s new not-for-profit association made up of tech people who are passionate about the property industry and committed to improving experiences in how we buy, sell, rent, manage, build, and finance property. Joining will give you access to events and networks across Australia and globally, that will help you grow and promote your business. Go to proptechassociation.com.au. Thanks everyone, until next time. Keep on propteching.