The property and facility management segment is seeing magnanimous changes in the way it has been functioning. While the call for most other proptech segments has been the insertion of technology in more areas, this particular one calls for a better balance between technology and the human factor. The most pertinent question that is being faced by the incumbents in this segment presently is about how can they bring back the charm of a segment that is characterized by the human interaction while at the same time retain the benefits that technology has to offer to make property and facility management a breeze. Automation has becoming synonymous with tech-enabled property management processes with every payment and maintenance activity being governed by AI, automation, and machine learning.
Exterior property inspection has become a breeze with the advent of drones in proptech and understanding what works for the residents of a particular unit with the help of data has become a norm. With ample tools and sources for the collection of data, the property management space will be seen on focusing on the various aspects of data governance going forward and how the vast data available can be optimized. Outdated property management models have been replaced by newer and faster ones. While the stakeholders rejoiced at these leaps, the culmination of the segment to what it is today, it also has been noticed that it has been devoid of peer-to-peer customer service. The solution for this is not lesser use of technology as most would chime in but smarter use of it. Startups in the property and facility management are taking note of it, nevertheless, creating tools and platforms to take care of a number of tasks and also in helping create communities of all kinds of stakeholders in this space. The ‘personal touch’ in this aspect does not necessarily translate into face-to-face interactions at all times as it is more about ensuring some amount of human- to-human interactions than human-to-machine.
The data analysis conducted for the report unearthed positive trends in the tech-enabled facilities management segment. A cumulative investment of $1.1 billion was made into the facility management segment from 2010 – 2018 from 181 disclosed deals. There were 69 deals for which the funding amount were not made public, bringing the total number of deals to 250 for the years from 2015 to 2018. The highest growth for investments was recorded in 2008 when the investments grew ten times than the previous year from $1.6 million to $17 million before plunging down by 78% the next year. 2016 shined with the highest number of deals and maximum investments in this period in question with startups raising $371 million and closing 53 deals. Startups in Asia crowned the region as a winner in the facility management segment. Despite the flow of investments becoming significant only as recently as 2015, the funding secured in the years up to 2018 was $587 million. This amount invested in Asia hints at a hotter facility management segment in this region over powerful regions like North America that raised $347 million from deals in a fourteen-year period.