Associate...pivot to Prop Tech? How hard is it?

I'm an associate at a large institutional shop. The only thing the senior executives at the firm seem to care about these days are the big buzz words like "property technology" and utilizing "technology" to deliver alpha to clients. They want to use technology to underwrite deals and manage buildings. It's all I hear 24/7. 

It makes me think there's a good future in it and real estate seems to only be at the beginning of the "big data" push. 

Anyone make the jump over from an institutional shop doing acquisitions / portfolio / AM  into one of these prop tech companies? 

Is it hard to move over or is it pretty easy as they are looking for people who have an "institutional" background? 

Comments (5)

Most Helpful
Nov 29, 2021 - 12:21pm

What aspect of PropTech do you want to get into? Like a traditional CRE path, there are many paths in the proptech scene, all specialized in some niche segment of the market. I've heard of the PropTech investment platforms (think RealtyMogul, CrowdStreet, etc) poach top tier talent to run their acquisitions and AM businesses, but there's just not a lot of opportunities since it's such a small number of players right now. 

If you consider the Underwriting & Analysis proptech platforms, as well as the Investor Relations & Asset/Portfolio/Property Management Platforms, they need programmers and sales people, but rely less heavily on real estate talent. 

Then you have the major CRE brokerage shops who have started their own "consulting" businesses for proptech platforms, to advise clients on which tools are worthwhile. But this seems to be a funnel for them to acquire leading technology (think JLL acquiring Skyline AI).  

Most PropTech pivots I've noticed seem to be CRE professionals finding a niche and going out to raise capital and build a product that solves a problem they faced as an associate at a large institutional shop. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Nov 29, 2021 - 12:52pm

Not hard at all.

Most of the Prop Tech guys usually come from a traditional CRE background anyways because you need to have that knowledge base to really understand your end user.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Dec 1, 2021 - 7:22pm

I'm a first year REPE associate and have been thinking about a similar move. If the right startup comes along with a great business model (and I can get in early) I have a desire to be a vp of sales etc.

Dec 2, 2021 - 1:27am

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