Five Tips from a Strategic VC to Accelerate Growth of your Proptech Startup

Andrea Jang
Sep 5, 2019 · 4 min read
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Andrea Jang at CREtech LA 2019

Recently, I was asked to share my thoughts with Forbes on how proptech startups should approach strategic growth within the commercial real estate industry. While we covered a lot of ground, there are a few things I wanted to add here.

As Growth Lead for the Americas at JLL Spark, I guide proptech startup founders on strategy and sales growth and help teams navigate the myriad of decision makers within the commercial real estate industry. I also educate commercial real estate leaders about technologies that are creating new value to this industry.

Startups can overcome adoption challenges and accelerate growth by leveraging a strategic VC’s prominence and network of contacts. Unlike traditional consumer-facing tech that aims to reach hundreds of millions of consumers, proptech decision makers comprise of a finite group of executives with backgrounds spanning IT, real estate investments, property operations, legal, accounting or other. While these individuals may be learning about new technologies through the web, more likely, they are gaining insight from peers, “boots on the ground” analysts and associates, commercial real estate innovation leaders, or strategic VCs themselves.

Find a strategic VC aligned with your goals and vision for the future, who can offer advice on how to utilize resources, make introductions, and support growth and adoption across the industry.

How to Identify a Growth-focused Strategic VC

  1. Deep knowledge of the end user, gaps and pain points. An effective strategic VC will have a deep understanding of the target end user, their core business objectives and workflows. By understanding the gaps and pain points of your target clients, a strategic VC can help refine your product and message to resonate with your clients.
    For example, my experience working with property managers enabled us to identify a crucial pain point that property administrators face with managing certificates of insurance. When JLL Spark invested in Jones, I presented the solution to JLL’s regional property management leadership and scaled the platform to reach over 400 buildings in less than 8 months.

The tips above are based on my experiences in commercial real estate, and I suspect they hold true across similar relationship-driven industries where barriers to entry are high. I am passionate about breaking down the barriers in commercial real estate to ensure that our industry benefits from digital transformation. Stay tuned for my next article which will cover how to present your proptech startup to prospective landlord clients.

Proptech Trends

Commercial real estate and property technology innovation…

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