Researching the Leaders in PropTech? Kastle and CREtech’s Real Estate Tech360 Tool Gives You a Kickstart
When asset managers, developers, and property managers want to know which technologies will help them manage and grow their real estate businesses, it can be difficult to know where to look.
The reason: due to the rapid growth of the sector, many PropTech companies are relatively new. The PropTech sector — which attracted just $1.1 billion in capital funding in 2011 — reached $32 billion alone in 2021. The industry is predicted to grow over 16% annually through 2032.
That growth means new startups are popping up all the time, and existing companies are consistently shifting their offerings. With over 10,000 technology companies now in the space, how can real estate firms figure out how to build the best tech stack for their specific market?
That’s the problem Kastle, a leader in property technology and the nation’s largest managed security provider, wanted to solve. The Real Deal sat down for an exclusive interview with Kastle CMO, Jake Heinz, and Michael Beckerman, CEO of CREtech — the largest network of real estate technology professionals globally — to discuss their new joint research partnership, Real Estate Tech360.
The Confusing Landscape of PropTech
As a leader in property access control with decades of industry experience, Kastle has gained a reputation as an expert in the PropTech space.
The access control system is at the core of a building’s technology ecosystem and integrates with solutions across a broad range of applications. As such, Kastle has experience with existing and emerging companies, knows which solutions fit in which categories, and has a feel for the performance of a wide variety of platforms.
Existing PropTech companies are consistently evolving business plans and moving between categories. And when you add emerging startups to the mix, choosing the right solutions can be very overwhelming for real estate firms, explained Heinz.
“Clients would continually come to us asking questions about who the emerging players are and what recommendations we could give for specific applications. We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could create a visual tool that could bring some clarity to this confusing space?”
Thus, the idea for Real Estate Tech360 was born. Recently launched, the visual research tool provides insight into PropTech solutions across numerous verticals, including identifying industry leaders based on size and market value. Heinz wanted a partner to provide a wider scope of cross-industry knowledge and a broader network of subject matter experts for creation and validation of data.
“The Gartner Magic Quadrant for the PropTech Space”
“It was extremely important to us that Real Estate Tech360 be an impartial, honest tool,” emphasized Heinz. “We thought of it as a Gartner Magic Quadrant for the PropTech space. It would be a third-party assessment of where companies are in the maturity cycle and where they are in relation to the industry leaders. To create a resource like that, we needed a partner that knows that space better than anyone. Naturally, we thought of CREtech.”
When Kastle approached CREtech about the project, Beckerman immediately recognized the idea’s promise. He noted, “One of my main jobs as CEO of CREtech is to talk to C-Suite executives at the biggest property companies in the US. For years, all I heard about was the confusion when selecting technology solutions. For one category, there could be 50 different options! And with categories blending together, it’s not clear which companies are competing in which categories. So when the team at Kastle approached us with this big idea about developing a research tool to provide clarity in the space, it made perfect sense.”
To identify market-leading solutions, the team at CREtech researched thousands of PropTech companies, analyzed them on a diverse set of criteria (revenue, employee size, customer feedback, market penetration, etc.), and interviewed industry executives and thought leaders.
Jake and the Kastle team gave us fantastic input on how the tool should be presented visually, Beckerman added. But our research was independent, authenticated, and validated by industry experts.
How Companies are Using Real Estate Tech360
Kastle and CREtech envisioned Real Estate Tech360 as a jumping-off point for decision-makers researching new technologies to gauge how the platforms fit in their ecosystem.
Since its March 2022 launch, the tool counts multiple groups among its users, including asset managers, developers, construction companies, and even venture capital firms. Heinz elaborated, “As ownership teams and investors make centralized decisions about their technology stacks — especially consolidating tech platforms across multiple buildings in a portfolio — this tool helps them make those decisions in a less fragmented way than in years past.”
When users visit RealEstateTech360.com, they can sign up for access to the Real Estate Tech360 content. They’ll receive an email with a PDF recognizing industry-leading companies divided into distinct categories and subcategories. On the site itself, visitors can select a category to see greater detail on the established leaders for that area. Or they can search by company to see if they make the cut and which categories they fulfill.
By providing well-organized research for the PropTech space in one centralized location, Real Estate Tech360 helps firms answer basic questions like:
- Where do I start my research?
- Who are the primary players in this space?
- What other spaces do these companies participate in?
Kastle and CREtech created a tool that educates and informs the real estate industry with easy-to-digest research that provides a roadmap that companies can use to build the best tech stack.
What type of feedback is the tool getting?
Beckerman noted, “The feedback we’ve received from a broad range of users is that the tool has been incredibly helpful and valuable to them.”
Travis Putnam, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at leading PropTech VC Navitas Capital, raved, “Real EstateTech360 is an invaluable resource for the real estate industry to understand which companies and categories are scaling the most in the sector.”
And Dave Gelfond, Managing Director, Portfolio Management & Development at The Meridian Group, remarked, “We endeavor to employ the best technology to enhance the performance of our expanding property portfolio — Real Estate Tech360 provides a great resource to help us monitor the ever-changing PropTech landscape.”
Even with all the positive feedback, both Heinz and Beckerman explain that the tool is still a work in progress. Heinz explained, “This is not meant to be a set it and forget it tool. It’s a living, breathing tool that we will continue to update — so it can evolve as the space evolves.”