Set out on a journey to discover the answers to your questions in SEE PropTech (This article was published on the webpage of PropTech Bulgaria)
Author: Milan Bogar, Founder PropTech Slovakia

1. What is the highest potential in PropTech in your country?

– The most numerous group of PropTech players provide services in two real estate lifecycle stages: 1. Manage & Operate including large group of smart city players represented for example by Sensoneo, the winner of the first Europe PropTech Start-Up Award, and 2. Live & Work. This group counts over 60 out of more than 100 solutions present in our country. But we have a couple of interesting players providing their innovative services in other real estate lifecycle stages too. For instance, geospatial player There digital with their City Performer increasing transparency in residential real estate transactions by robust evaluation of geotechnology available in 10 European metropolises.

2. What are the greatest challenges facing PropTechs and Property Developers in your country?

– In general, the biggest PropTech challenge is lack of new Investment & Financing platforms that are focused on development of real estate and lack of specialised accelerators or incubators focused on PropTech. PropTech is still a relatively unknown term in Slovakia and it is our mission to change it.

– From the perspective of real estate segments, in each segment it is a bit different. Slovakia is located in the centre of Europe, and this very good strategic position led to its strong commercial segment of logistic centres and storage houses. At the end of first half 2020 Slovakia had 2,64 million square metres of industrial and logistic spaces and another 0,25 million square metres in construction. However, from a long-term perspective, the demand here has been driven mainly by automotive industry, which is now in deep recession due to the pandemic situation. On the other hand, increase in other distribution and e-commerce demand brought a bit balance here, because the biggest transactions were conducted by the largest distribution and e-commerce channels in Europe including global player AMAZON. In PropTech, we see increased demand for automation of inventory and supply systems and for applications increasing safety and security of employees with distance and movement tracking functions in these centres.

– We see the same increase in PropTech demand we see in office segment. There is about 1,9 million square metres office spaces in Bratislava and another 100.000 m2 under construction. But the pandemics has significantly slowed down the construction activity and some of the biggest developers of office spaces announced postponement of finishing some of their largest projects in the centre of Bratislava. However, according to the latest surveys, an increased demand is expected for smart and green office buildings in this segment.

– In residential segment, the pandemics has not led to any dramatic decrease of demand or prices. There is around one million flats and about the same number of family houses, but Slovakia still lacks around 200.000 flats with the capital Bratislava alone 40.000. Rental living is almost nonexistent in Slovakia, but the new government wants to support this kind of living in a larger scale. Vast majority of all living units are in private ownership of its inhabitants. From PropTech perspective we expect larger demand for green and smart building features and this will not be limited only to new buildings. For example, from 25 October 2020, the European directive 2018/2002 on energy efficiency requires to newly install only such metering equipment for heating, cooling and domestic hot water that is readable remotely and this rule should be valid in all multifamily buildings including the older ones. From 2022 all energy consumers must get very detailed set of regular information about their energy consumption, which is without smart metering functions in their homes and houses.

– Retail segment was hit the most by the pandemics but a handful of PopTech solutions was offered to them either focused on automated touch-free identification, disinfection units, traffic management with automated counting of maximum number of entering customers according to the new anti-COVID regulations or automated controls of wearing masks.

3. What’s your message to PropTechs as a co-organizer of the 1st international PropTech Conference in the SEE?

– I would warmly invite all PropTech companies to the 1st international PropTech Conference in the SEE that can contribute to improvement of construction and real estate sector in SEE and want to scale up with their solutions to other countries. International co-operation, exchange of knowledge and building relationships is basic condition for improving either our built environment or coping with global climate challenges that are ahead of us in the best possible way.

– We are looking forward to line-up of great speakers that will be present on this amazing event. Big thank to PropTech Bulgaria for organising the whole event and giving us chance to contribute with our co-organisation.

– Although real estate is very local phenomenon, thanks to international business co-operation, new technologies can bring in many improving features that are not limited by country borders.

4. What Property Developers expect from the Conference?

– Property developers can expect amazing event broadening their knowledge, relationships with suppliers of new technologies that can immensely improve their buildings, innovation workshops with some of the best experts in the world with many experiences from other countries. There is very impressive line-up of other well-known speakers that all developers should be looking forward to watching.