The role of proptech influencers in your business
Often, I am asked “what is an influencer, exactly? And what do you do?”
To put it into context, as well as owning the publication Proptech-X, being the executive editor of Estate Agent Networking, and having separately produced over 2,500 articles and written a daily commentary on real estate and property technology, I am also an influencer.
Before I explain more fully what an influencer is, I need to explain that, with the help of my team and eight strategic advisors and partners, I have three core day jobs.
The first is ‘growing property technology companies and selling them, by solving the founders’ problems. Sounds interesting doesn’t it, it is the best job in the world.
The second is we provide a proptech-focused, digital transformation consultancy service. A full advisory on developing strategies, and delivery approaches that enhance your business.
We partner with clients to transform their organisations, helping them adopt suitable new technology, and build enduring capabilities.
By increasing revenue, leveraging opportunities, derisking your present archaic and analogue business model and creating efficiencies. If you’re targeting growth, need to restructure, or just trying to navigate the next five years.
Our consultancy provides sound, strategic and operational advisory services to facilitate this.
The third of my day jobs is being a proptech and real estate Influencer – which means, in reality, I am a micro-influencer with an engaged audience of around 40,000 people who listen to what I have to say and enjoy finding out new things as I discuss them.
On top of that, we have an extensive network of about 1,500 key high-level individuals that we network with annually, pushing the envelope of real estate and helping to modernise the industry.
The influencer part of my life is an interesting one, too. You may be a new or existing business looking to enter or scale up in a certain marketplace.
You may be a property technology company or a corporate body or even a large non-profit making association looking to amplify your brand, gain more clients and be front of mind. But we live in a noisy, crowded, nano-second attention-grabbing digital age, where your fickle, hard to reach, target audience demands huge cost of acquisition spends, just to get their momentary attention.
Your business and service may be at the top of the tree, but with no clear differentiator, it could take five-expensive years to reach your target clients at scale.
Our solution at Proptech-PR is to use my personal influencer services, because we have a global reach, having already got that huge, engaged audience who trusts and follows me daily.
Influencer marketing will be worth £30 billion by the end of 2022.
In an arms race of digital spend, intelligent brands realise that if they align with ‘Influencers’ who fit with their products and services, bringing with them a huge network of loyal followers who ‘trust’ the judgement of the influencer – then adoption, and client acquisition, can be done a better, cost-effective way.
Amanda Russell, who wrote The Influencer Code is a topflight influencer, who explains that David Beckham might have 45 million followers but if he tries to endorse for example blockchain, his reach will be low, as he is not feted as being the top person in the know in this vertical.
Amanda makes the point you can’t become an influencer overnight. Having spent six-years at the hard edge I see that intuitively I have carved a niche, where I straddle both real estate and property technology and people trust my word. She says there are four types of influencers; –
Celebrity – People known through name recognition and popularity – tick
Authority – People who influence through their role or position – being in the top 10 out of 3,400+ global Proptech Influencers and having authored numerous published articles in all verticals. Having 21,000+ engaged Linkedin connections, 85% in C-suite as my audience – tick
Expertise – 36 years in real estate, 6 years researching and advocating proptech and moving the industry forward. Having met over 500 proptech founders, with 20+ meetings a month with new proptech companies, both in the UK and global, I know a great deal about what is going on.
Also having had 93-Proptech Founders as clients, helping them to scale up, means we know an awful lot about getting from MVP to exit – tick
Affinity –Those who influence through their pre-existing relationship of trust, based on personal relationships – huge tick
Endorsement –Advocacy – 1:1 within the c-suite, across social media and publications, as editor, writer and thought leader. We couple my trusted and high-level brand with your brand, shortening sales cycles.
Being an influencer is often about turning up the volume, it can be a tweet across my 40,000-strong audience or a Linkedin post viewed by 13,000 professionals in the property vertical, or a thought leadership article, webinar or my being part of a prime-time panel discussion in front of your key audience hosted by Robert Peston.
It can be my commentary in the Times or the Telegraph, with national readerships. It can be an article in our publication Proptech-X.
But, equally as important is my Influencer reach, when the volume is dialled down at a micro-level. Just one key message to a Chair, CEO, HNWI, VC, PE, from my extensive contact network, could open up a huge opportunity for clients. My ability to connect is legendary.
When it comes to being an ambassador for your brand, I am daily asked my views on what technologies to utilise, which companies to invest in and work with and what is happening in the real estate, proptech landscape.
Often, the people asking for my advice are complete strangers, running multi-million-pound enterprises who trust in my insight and judgement. They make contact with me, as my day job is to keep my personal brand top of mind.
Imagine if your company was aligned with that brand and within my circle of influence. So the next time you meet me or get on a call or see me at a conference or a meetup, hopefully, I will not have to explain what a proptech and real estate influencer is, and that will save us both time.
PRESS RELEASE: UAE real estate leader Aldar partners with UK tech pioneer Lavanda to facilitate flexible short term stays for visitors to the Middle East
- “Cloud Living” platform launches to offer renters premium, fully-serviced, “plug and play” accommodation for a day, a week, a month or a year – all packaged up in a seamless, digital-first customer experience.
- Professionally managed accommodation offers more trusted alternative to Airbnb and other peer-to-peer rental platforms, yet remains better value versus a hotel or serviced apartment.
- Platform to operate under regulatory framework overseen by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and developed in consultation with Aldar.
- Cloud Living seeks to take a bite out of the $116bn global short term rental market (2020 Short-Term Rental Market report, Skift).
Tuesday 1st February, London, UK – Aldar Properties (‘Aldar’), the leading real estate developer and manager in the UAE, today unveils Cloud Living, its vision for the future of flexible, fully-serviced short stay accommodation within the Middle East region. The Cloud Living concept is uniquely enabled by a strategic partnership with UK software company Lavanda, the world leader in flexible rental technology.
Cloud Living is a pioneering short-term leasing platform that provides individuals and families with flexible stay options in exclusive and elegant homes within Aldar’s integrated communities. The vision underpinning the Cloud Living platform, and the goal of the strategic partnership between Aldar and Lavanda, is to create new residential concepts in Abu Dhabi that put customer experience and innovation at the heart of living in, and visiting, the region.
A commitment to creating industry defining customer experiences
The Cloud Living platform offers flexible stay options with all-in-one pricing and no hidden costs or utility bills. Listings on offer range from studios to 3-bedroom furnished apartments, with fully flexible leases ranging from as little as one night to yearly agreements. To promote health and wellbeing, guests also have access to outdoor fitness equipment.
A commitment to sustainably developing Abu Dhabi and the region
Aldar, Lavanda and the Cloud Living platform are committed to enabling professionals, ex-pats and tourists live and breathe the very best of Abu Dhabi and the region. At launch, the listings will offer easy access to central Abu Dhabi, the Corniche, and the cultural and entertainment attractions on Saadiyat Island.
The platform will operate under a new regulatory framework that has been developed after collaboration and consultations between the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and key stakeholders from the private sector, including Aldar and Lavanda. The platform will thus enable the region to embrace fully flexible short and medium-term renting in a sustainable and equitable manner that works in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Hamad Mohammed Saeed Alsudain, Licensing & Regulatory Compliance Department Director at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi commented: “Cloud Living is an industry-first case study in how real estate, tech and the public sector should be collaborating to design and deliver socially and economically impactful solutions that improve the experience of customers and challenge the status quo. We are excited to have collaborated with Aldar and Lavanda to create the regulatory framework and infrastructure that provides the basis to understand the potential impact that this new format of more accessible, more flexible and more affordable accommodation can have within the region.”
A commitment to technology and innovation
In keeping with Aldar’s unwavering commitment to innovation in real estate, Cloud Living is powered by a next generation technology platform that puts flexibility, convenience and simplicity at the heart of its customer journey and experience. This will be the first technology implementation of its kind in the UAE region. Pioneering a digital first strategy allows Cloud Living to measure, manage and optimise the experience of its customers – a core foundation that will enable continued excellence as the platform scales across the region and beyond.
Commenting on the launch of the platform, Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director – Strategy and Transformation at Aldar, said: “The launch of Cloud Living is testament to our commitment to develop new products and solutions that satisfy our customers’ desires. It also meets the needs of Abu Dhabi’s rapidly evolving real estate market and contributes to the rise of the global gig economy which is set to reach $347 billion by the end of 2021.”
“We understand that convenience and flexibility are vital when choosing a home or booking a vacation, and that is exactly what Cloud Living offers. Whether you are a digital nomad who can work from anywhere, a family that is relocating, or a tourist, this platform has been designed to provide flexible stay options without long-term commitments. We look forward to welcoming guests to our most sought-after destinations in Abu Dhabi soon.”
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Aldar and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi on this hugely important initiative for the region,” said Frederik Lerche-Lerchenborg, CEO of Lavanda. “As demand for greater flexibility and digital-first customer experiences continues to sweep the industry and shape its future, so does Lavanda’s technology become increasingly critical to the effective management of institutional real estate. We’re very excited to build upon this launch and explore what the future has in store.”
Customers can access the Cloud Living platform through https://cloudliving.aldar.com/