‘Huge potential’ for the PropTech sector to create jobs and attract private sector investment

Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) has unveiled a blueprint to unleash the potential of the PropTech sector in the West Midlands.

It was officially launched at the Modern Business Services Showcase Day that is running alongside UK House. This central hub for trade, investment and tourism is part of the Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme.

Christine Oates, GBSLEP board director and tax partner at Deloitte, said: “Through our triple helix structure of public, private and academic partners, GBSLEP has helped to accelerate the professional services technology ecosystem in the region through programmes like SuperTech West Midlands.

“This latest report is a blueprint for growing the PropTech cluster. Taking forward these recommendations could be a game-changer for our region, but it will rely on the continuation of a strong public and private partnership, as well as attracting national and international investment.”

Over the last five years, investment in PropTech – the use of technology in real estate – has increased significantly, with £8.4bn funding in 2020. In Europe, the highest number of PropTech companies are based in the UK but predominantly in London.

The report authored by CBRE makes the case for the PropTech industry in the West Midlands focusing on how it can attract private sector investment, positively contribute to GVA, create and grow start-ups, and generate new jobs for the local economy.

CBRE’s Harri John, head of digital advisory, said: “We are seeing an increasing shift in the importance of PropTech for our clients, with technology for real estate now becoming a ‘must have’ as opposed to a ‘nice to have’. This demand is being driven by the need for better outcomes in the sector across sustainability, efficiency, productivity, experience, and security.

“The West Midlands now has a real opportunity to think differently about how it can effectively drive innovation and bridge relationships across the public and private sector, leveraging the strengths of the area to create an ecosystem that helps these PropTech companies to grow and thrive.”

To date, the West Midlands has strengthened its FinTech (Financial Technology) and ProfTech reputation (Professional Technology) by establishing the UK’s first ProfTech supercluster. Funded by GBSLEP, SuperTech West Midlands was launched in 2021 by business leaders and technology firms to capitalise on the region’s BPFS sector – the largest centre outside of London which generates £27.8bn gross value added annually and employs more than 360,000 people.

Mike Bristow, CEO and co-founder of CrowdProperty, added: “The West Midlands is a very powerful place for us to be based as a disruptive, high growth stage PropTech / FinTech business, allowing us to create a stronger, more resilient business stemming from a combination of an extensive talent pool, lower fixed cost base, physical proximity to clients and an inspiring employer brand.”

Harri John, CBRE; Vincent Keaveny, Lord Mayor of London and Hilary Smyth-Allen, GBSLEP

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