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Beginners Guide to Proptech

May 01, 2019

An Introduction to Proptech for Property Managers

It’s a startup world in the booming property management sector. A bonanza of newly funded firms fight to solve property manager’s most pressing problems using new software and hardware technology.

And since real estate and property management have resisted the adoption of technology and amidst a changing business landscape, there are growing cries for help.

To Understand PropTech, Consider Real Problems to Solve

Proptech is an abbreviation of the term property + technology.  Proptech describes the emerging companies who lead the digital transformation of the property related sector with high tech services, smart hardware, cloud based software platforms and smartphone apps. It’s a fascinating topic you can read more about here.

This summer A/C repair will eat up operating budgets

Business Verticals That Are Within Proptech:

  • the real estate market (RETech)
  • smart cities and buildings (automation, IoT, G5 Wireless)
  • the sharing economy (Sharetech)
  • the home building industry (ConTech)
  • real estate finance (FinTech)

Booming Sector of Startups

Most startups are still in funding stage. Read more at Yostartups.

Startup Funding in Proptech. Sceenshot courtesy of Yostartups.

Most startups still in financing stages. Screenshot courtesy of Yostarups.

Each Solution Responds to a Gap in this Property Eco-System

Through research and experience, these entrepreneurs know landlords and property managers are falling behind and need help.

You can see the top property management challenges listed below. Property managers are falling behind in many areas – cost efficiency, staffing, marketing, acccounting, revenue growth, maintenance and tenant management. Operating margins are slimming down faster than Oprah on another diet.

The pressures of on-demand property management and business disruption are more than many experienced pros can cope with. And “propping up” exhausted property managers is what PropTech is all about.

As examples, the companies listed below have all developed some creative solutions for property manager’s top problems. And this is just the beginning. Each will learn to add more value and fit in with other proptech solutions. ManageCasa is one of these companies.

Rather than solving one problem though, ours is an all in one property management software. We help solve the biggest challenges and added on more benefits. Check out our property management resource page too.


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Focus on the Top 5 Benefits of PropTech:

You can view the top property management challenges below, but the 5 major ones may be:

  1. time and cost efficiency
  2. services gaps
  3. business intelligence
  4. service extension and improve value proposition
  5. better management of human resources

Real estate agencies and property management companies using traditional business processes including paper documents, face to face transactions, and hands on maintenance and repair are vulnerable to ultra low operating margins. Property managers and landlords fear the pain of change, yet the pain of bankruptcy is a bigger threat.

Global Property Management Way Behind

In Germany for instance, Berlin property management companies are lagging farther behind their US counterparts. Some haven’t even adoped digitized property management tools, let alone cloud-based platforms and apps. Industry experts say these businesses will be gone in the next few years. Changes are happening fast.

These companies need PropTech for its cost efficiency, improved service, and increased revenue potential.

How Should I Understand Proptech?

PropTech is complicated and it’s difficult to comprehend everything it can potentially do. It’s simpler to consider the actual challenges of property managers, and how these solutions might come to the rescue.

Energy Savings just one small sector of Proptech industry. Screen Capture courtesy of

16 Best PropTech Startups to Watch

Elevate Energy — Firm helps multifamily property managers reduce operating and energy costs, improve their buildings, and support sustainability goals.
WeWork — This California based startup allows property managers to offer individuals and companies more affordable, managed, and flexible office rental leases. Many property managers have no physical business location due to high prices and lack of office space.
Movinga — This German startup streamlines the residential moving process for those renters or homebuyers on the move.
Ziroom — Chinese rental services startup that helps property owners and managers with their huge and varied portfolios, manage those assets more easily and live freely.
Homerez — Uk proptech startup that helps simplify the process of renting owner’s vacation rental properties via its app.
OpenDoor  — like other virtual real estate sales services, it attempts to shortern the home selling process.
Jiffy on Demand  — if the regular maintenance contractor is too busy to deal some calls, Jiffy connects property owners and property managers with a wide array of home services contractors to fix anything broken.
Homee —  startup’s platform provides a network of thousands of qualified, insured, and background-checked home maintenance pros ready to work in about 30 minutes.
Setter  — finds the best contractors across handiwork, plumbing, electrical, carpentry and more. It researches options, negotiates a bulk rate and, with its added markup, you pay a competitive price with none of the hassle.
Spaceti — is a proptech startup which uses IoT sensors and data to help utilize space, occupancy, as well as indoor air quality.
Tapkey  — this startup takes keyless entry door access to new levels of convenience which saves landlord and property manager’s time spent on lost key replacement.
Zip Recruiter  — if finding good staff is like finding a needle in a haystack, Ziprecruiter offers a wide net to get the message out.
Sentio  — After you’ve found many candidates, leverage Sentio’s power assessment tools to pick those most likely to succeed.
Tantiv 4 — IoT based app helps manage multifamily and apartment buildings security and aiding automation of heating/cooling of buildings. Keeps managers on top of building usage and energy conservation.
Joist — app allows homeowners and property managers to find a qualified contractor quick for any task.
ManageCasa — ManageCasa is a California/Silicon Valley based property management platform startup whose cloud-based service give property managers a one stop shop solution for managing rental properties. Stressed property managers and landlords benefits by how it eliminates paperwork, reduces time waste on maintenance, organizes contractors more efficiently and creates direct communications with tenants. ManageCasa’s accounting features streamline administration, and the financial reporting tools help property managers understand how their business is doing and makes it easy to prepare for all work events.

Find out about more Proptech startups and the property management apps they produce.

What Challenges Will PropTech Solutions Solve for You?

The top 3 challenges are telling: finding good staff, growing revenue, and preventing unexpected costs. How about your business? Which of these are your most pressing? 50% of respondents to the Unicom property management survey said hiring good staff was their top problem? Wouldn’t an app dedicated to solving staffing challenges, controlling expenses be a worthy venture?

Top Property Management Solutions

  • hiring and maintaining quality staff – (Linkedin, Zip Recruiter, Sentio)
  • growing revenue – (Zumper, ManageCasa)
  • damage and unexpected maintenance costs – (ManageCasa, Homee)
  • time management – (ManageCasa – streamlines property management so you don’t have to worry about time spent)
  • controlling costs – (ManageCasa keeps you on top of maintenance, expenses and bills)
  • finding and keeping tenants – (Zumper)
  • managing tenant complaints – (ManageCasa)
  • accounting tasks – (ManageCasa – designed for property management accounting)
  • government regulations –
  • communication with staff/tenants – (ManageCasa – online tenant accounts)
  • inspection – (ManageCasa)

We can’t say for sure what’s essential for your business right now. But for many property management companies in Germany, Australia, UK and the US, modernization is important. It’s a catch all term for keeping up, improving service, cutting costs and optimizing ROI.

Come and meet us at Apartmentalize Expo in Denver Colorado. See our new State of Property Management report which includes a critique of data from the Buildium/NARMP state of property management survey.

A lot of change and disruption is happening in the industry, and hopefully these Proptech startups will fill the gaps.  PropTech can be seen as a significant plus to your company’s unique value proposition.

Big picture or small, new technology has something to offer. Check them out!

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