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Separating location from value in Real Estate: Tom Selva speaks in RE:Connect

23/2/21

Mayordomo Smart Points is a global scale-up focused on real estate innovation and adding value to buildings with the objective of bettering the relationship between the user and the building. Having been awarded World’s Best Proptech in 2020, Mayordomo's efforts seems to have been met with enthusiasm and interest by organisations and buildings across Europe and worldwide. Recently, Tom Selva, CEO of Mayordomo, presented a webinar in Unissu’s RE:Connect online networking event series, explaining the keys to new Proptech companies succeeding in the overcrowded market of Real Estate. 

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What is a Smart Point and what problem is it looking to solve in Real Estate?

A Smart Point is a single multiservice point in the building that aims to connect the user with hundreds of services and thousands of popular shops around the world. Physically, it looks like a simple and elegant metallic closet, conformed by individual lockers and a central screen that can be used to order and collect parcels in a safe and easy way. It has its own marketplace with over 220 services and products. For building owners and promoters, it represents an easy and smart way to provide amenities and services to the building's residents. 

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However, it is also looking to solve a specific problem in Real Estate. Namely, to finally get rid of the sector’s obsession with location, location, location. Whilst this obsession is far from unfounded (at the end of the day, it still does represent a big part of the appeal of a building in some cases), it is definitely slowly getting obsolete. As individuals, we are increasingly more interconnected with services, people and material assets, despite their actual location.

That tendency has already reshaped many sectors, moving at an extremely fast pace towards user-focused value. However, Real Estate, is proving to still remain reticent to adopt these new cultural views.

Nevertheless, despite this sector’s slow adaptation to the new tendencies, buildings are becoming that space where we live, work, work out and shop. And this is where the Smart Point comes in: allowing promoters and owners to add value to their buildings, separate from its location, creating their own demand and attracting their own footfall. 

 

How can new Proptech companies succeed in an overcrowded market?

However, as new Proptechs starting off in the market, how can we become relevant? What we need to consider is that the Proptech sector is already saturated with managing apps, trying to cover this hole in the market -at the moment there are 680 building maintenance apps, and there are 950 user satisfaction apps, 1250 meeting room and space management apps!

However, real disruptive solutions are still few and far between, creating a new opportunity for new companies to stand out: to do so, they need to disrupt the industry, presenting a leap in design and innovation. 

According to Tom’s words during his webinar in the RE:Connect series, there are three distinct pillars to achieve success, creating the perfect alignment between stakeholders, adding new value and being recognised for it:
 

  • 1. Add value to the property, do not steal the user away: unlike FinTech and HealthTech, the PropTech industry has a very obvious gateway to offer value, which is the property. 
  • 2. The best value propositions create their own demand; they don’t just respond to the existing. It’s the old adage of Henry Ford, up until he proposed the automobile everyone only ever wanted faster horses.
  • 3. A step change in conventional technology is required. Design and present your disruptive technology to the world, stepping away from the conventional.

 
Our success is based on 'Collaborative game theory' which supports high-risk and high commitment strategies to unlock long-lasting three-way win-win agreements, or in our case, between building owners or administrators, tenants, and ourselves. The combined leverage of these partners can unlock the inherent value of everyday office and residential spaces, and accelerate the adoption of new technology in a historically slow-to-adopt sector.
My first job was as a field engineer for the United Nations and I went on to work in Zero Carbon Cities, the world's first SpacePort, and leading the Innovation Engineering for the second generation of Apple Stores under Norman Foster.

 

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