The coronavirus outbreak has influenced every sphere of human life. As a result, many of us had to reanalyze according to business sectors and the world economy as a whole. As one of the most crucial and significant industries, the real estate market and also property technology are working ceaselessly to regulate the impact of the virus. Various corporate and industry leaders are fighting with long and short-term decisions that include different discussions between investors, owners, tenants, and lenders.
Under regular circumstances, we would be talking about certain strategies on how to control the unbelievably competitive sphere of public relations in the real estate industry. However, everything, that was suitable three months ago, does not have a place in nowadays world. To be honest real estate faces a lot of issues these days. Many tenants have difficulties with paying for rent, while many are afraid that their businesses will close down unless authorities will restart the economy in a more wide way. Real estate lending has low positions, thus funding for property technology has gone done by about 45% in comparison with the same period last year.
The pre-crisis collapse of WeWork has already started a huge pause across different PropTech investors. They are pushed by the idea to work more intensively and attentively because of hard work on business models of innovators, this way analyzing whether they are offering sustainability. However, a slowdown of funding is connected to numerous social and economic effects of coronavirus. Although some experts believe that the venture capital (VC) market for property technology will come back with a certain vengeance as the COVID-19 is going to disappear. Nevertheless, try not to make any mistakes. You still have a good window of opportunity for technology startups in the property sphere and innovative real estate companies to make a good media impression.
In comparison with the beginning of the year, the marketplace has become significantly thinner. Such a situation should make all PropTech companies think: how can they maximize positive presence on media in quite a smart, sophisticate, and strategic way while still having an uncontrollable media appetite to tell any good news and having a limited competition?
To follow the line of all strong communications plans, we suggest you start at the very beginning. Meaning, at first ask yourself the main questions and then answer honestly. Among these questions:
Who are you or your team as a firm? Who are the members of the executive team? Why have you chosen this space? What is the created depth by the engineering team? Does this team continue to alter it according to the situation on the market?
What goods or services do you offer? If you are a problem solver have you found out your market’s certain issue and strictly described a possible solution for it?
What value do you offer to your clients? If you are requesting from your possible clients to invest in your goods or services, have you opened up about financial commitment to buy your goods and their possible savings? How your product or service can better the quality of and simplify the operations of the client?
What differentiates your goods or services from the opponents? In what precise ways do you solve an issue that opponents can not do?
Of course, these questions may seem too simple and too basic, however, in reality not many companies can truly answer these questions in a concise, consistent, and truly clear way.
There are a number of reasons for such a situation. The most simple of them is that most PropTech companies are mainly software engineers. They can be good at creativity and abilities but not so good in messaging. They are used to communicating with other companies and clients in an intense, shared, and professional language. As a result, they forget that non-technical client still needs messaging about his or her firm and proposition of value to be translated into quite simple terms.
Besides that, there is a lot of apprehensions silenced in appealing to VC investors that executive teams of PropTech keep focused on VC-speak that the company unintentionally fails to clearly explain who they are, what issue they solve, and why exactly their platform is unique and better than other opponents.
As a result, one of the hardest hurdles to cope with can be persuading PropTech executives that their messaging is not as concise and clear as they think. Thus, it is important to engage with PR experts and writers. These professionals can become a third party who can discover messaging issues or wrong language that you can overlook mainly because it is too personal for you.
These experts can also help you find your tone of messaging that seems small but important at the same time when you present yourself to clients and others. If you decide to focus a lot on the professional vocabulary you are risking to lose possible clients because they do not get what you are trying to tell them when they simply ask for your services and support. However, if you talk in too simple terms, your audience might think that you are not professional or your services are out of date.
Also, remember to time and measure market outreach. Preferably, you want to cause a stir, however, in reality, it is not enough for a strong market presence. Your long-term aims have to be to establish steady mentions and interactions on the media, with a combination of reporter meetings, webinars, announcements, events, etc.
So, why collaboration can be necessary when it is related to PropTech Investments? Let’s imagine you have agreed upon needed terms of content, timing, and tone to build effective engagement with certain media. How exactly should you develop and perform a program of strategic communications that formed to gather maximum positive media exposure for your PropTech company?
As we said, under regular circumstances, a contest for media coverage across PropTech firms is immense. However, for the remaining part of this year, the contest is going to be rather small creating opportunities for a bigger spotlight for PropTech companies that are already in the real estate market or are coming there these days.
During the coronavirus outbreak, the real estate market is facing a one-of-a-kind level of system-wide destabilization. As a result, they are looking for possible tech solutions that many of us have not seen or experienced before. This means each PropTech company has a huge opportunity both from a media and business standpoint.
For older, more established PropTech companies, the media will need you to supply certain data, update on various trends, and guide their reporting. All of this can come in the form of reports, white papers, or other needed and peculiar analysis that you can cease from the feedback and data you collect from your platform and conversions with various industry professionals and your clients. Increasing and establishing your media relationship nowadays will help you brand your company and all executives as professional thought leaders in a sophisticated and critical space and support your image of the best expert in your sphere after the coronavirus crisis diminishes.
Sooner or later the coronavirus crisis will end, and when that happens, at last, the real estate market may look and operate differently in comparison with a few months ago. PropTech firms have a huge opportunity to make a difference in this situation. Our best advice is that when you are communicating with real estate customers, prospects, or media, ask yourself if your communication is clear and distinct or your speech has too many professional vocabularies.
All in all, have some people changed their opinion on promising types of sectors and tech for the nearest future?
In a few words, our answer is going to be no. After all, venture capitals consider long-term strategic views on the upcoming years and though the nowadays crisis has brought extra details to VC’s consideration it has not changed the foundation. Many experts agree that it will work as a catalyst for the PropTech ecosystem in the gross, and some spheres of tech will have an extra push.
The VCs are on the same page that technologies that lessen the need for human contact will become leaders in the nearest future, whether they have platforms that erase the need for any at all human contact in property transactions, have building controls that work from gestures, or have technology that provides social distancing and safety on building ground.
Over the long term, the companies will continue to concentrate on the best solutions that turn real estate processes more effective and create better user experiences. However, remember that they should be related to sustainability plans.
Are changes related to coronavirus crisis going to last, or are they only temporary adjustments for this period?
Not many VC think that influence from the COVID-19 crisis is going to be permanent, however, they still have different opinions on how long it will take companies to recover. Meanwhile, some experts believe that this global crisis will have a long-lasting impact on the full ecosystem of real estate for many following years. They even offered a good example of thermal cameras in various Asian airports after SARS. This technology is still popular that shows the coronavirus management systems that are used in cities of China will stay for a long time with humanity.
Some other experts believe that the coronavirus impact will be wrecking for longer than many of us hope. They add that humankind will have to adapt to a new version of daily life. More and more according to technologies are going to be implemented. Many professionals and companies from the real estate market are ready to implement these technologies.
Despite all of this, there are still experts who highly doubt this. They are sure that the coronavirus outbreak only pushed those changes in the real estate market that have been there previously. Thus, there are a lot of predisposing factors for PropTech companies all over the world. They just need to seize the opportunity.
All in all, even though the coronavirus outbreak has had and is continuing to have a huge impact on the real estate and the economy in the short term, the current related crisis may become in handy for rising tech developments as soon as the worst will end. Thus, PropTech has a great future ahead.