Colliers International, a prominent real estate services company, today announced that it was partnering a proptech company, Booqed, to respond more quickly to demand for flexible workpaces in Asia.
Booqed, a Hong Kong-based startup launched in September 2016, is looking to change how organizations utilize spaces and link workers with temporary office spaces and event venues.
Established by a group of young entrepreneurs, Booqed is a mobile-based proptech company and functions as an on-demand marketplace for boutique spaces for work-related activities.
The business model for Booqed emerged when the co-founders, who needed a temporary space to conduct a video conference, spent three days and were unable to find any available spots. The proptech company started when they decided then to set up a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace with the aim to “redefine and re-imagine” the use of space.
In announcing that they were partnering the proptech company, Colliers pointed out that Asia boasts the largest market of flexible workspaces and growth globally and by 2022 will represent a larger market than the United States and Europe combined.
Colliers said that its partnership with the proptech company would provide occupiers in Hong Kong and Singapore access to greater value, speed and choice when selecting short-term flexible workspaces.
Booqed is a Colliers Proptech Accelerator Powered by Techstars company. This program is part of Colliers’ focus on targeted innovation which it believes would enable the company to create solutions, shape technologies and find opportunities to advance its business and accelerate success.
Colliers said that by partnering the proptech company, it was responding to exploding demand from companies of all sizes who are looking to leverage the strategic benefits provided by flexible workspaces.
“Combining Booqed, a marketplace for unique and flexible spaces, with Colliers’ leasing expertise in Hong Kong and Singapore will allow occupiers to quickly and easily secure the best and most appropriate flexible workspaces at competitive prices,” said Colliers. Adding: “This partnership will drive speed, access and value for occupier clients across companies of all sizes, prior to taking longer-term or larger workspace decisions.”
Sam Harvey-Jones, Managing Director of Occupier Services, Asia at Colliers International, said: “This partnership on the back of the Colliers Proptech Accelerator program is a testament to Colliers’ commitment to advancing proptech innovations and improving the real estate industry for our clients. Through our partnership with Booqed, we will be able to provide added value and service to our clients in flexible workspace options on top of our already best-in-class real estate platform.”
He added: “We are thrilled to partner with Colliers and bring new flexible workspace options to their clients,” said David Wong, CEO of Booqed. “There are significant strategic benefits to both companies, but at the end of the day, it will be the clients who benefit most. Co-working is here to stay. This partnership will bring the best of Colliers, Booqed and our flexible workspace partners to companies looking to leverage this market evolution of office space usage.”
Mr Paul Ho, the chief mortgage consultant at icompareloan.com said that proptech companies such as Booqed are already disrupting traditional business operating models in real estate here.
In keeping up with proptech start-ups, property agents “must upgrade or die”, said Mr Ho. He noted that many property agencies struggle to keep up with all the regulatory changes in the industry, as well as the changing financial calculations for acquiring a property. He urged property agents to master the basics in property financing, refinancing, taxation and CPF.
Mr Ho said that iCompareLoan.com runs a full 2 – 3 days course on how property agents can produce such reports for their customers. He added that the trademarked course teaches Property Agents how to generate complicated Financial calculations using – Home Loan Report (TM) – in 3 mins flat. This helps Property agents to close deals faster and serve customers more professionally.
Proptech is technology and real estate coming together to propel the real estate industry forward. The proptech ecosystem is flourishing now in many parts of the world, thanks in large part to ample venture capital, community efforts in local tech hubs, and an increasing realisation that there is a real need for innovation in the sector.
Proptech will have an impact on traditional business operating models. Whether this impact turns out to be positive or negative depends largely on how real estate players will use them to their advantage. These technologies are however still a long way away from replacing human judgment, touch, and ability to react to dynamic changes, which are all critical to the decision-making process.
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