Blueprint Las Vegas is the must-attend event for industry executives interested next-gen concepts for real estate technology, attracting a wide array of real estate, construction and PropTech startups, as well as established companies and venture capital investors. Given the recent trends in financing and focus on profitability in the start-up space, I was not sure what to expect at this year’s event – but when I got there, I encountered a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and significantly more attendees and exhibitors than last year’s show. In fact, Blueprint reported more than 2,000 attendees from 750+ start-ups at this year’s event.
This year’s event also featured more than 200 speakers exploring the theme of artificial intelligence in many of the presentations, including large language models (LLMs), natural language processing and other AI applications, like computer vision that enables computers to turn digital information into practical recommendations. Other topics included technology that can produce 3D printed houses, virtual reality applications, additional uses for drones, and exploring innovation from electric vehicle charging companies.
I had the pleasure of joining a panel that discussed customer trends in real estate data, which also included exploring best practices for developing a successful data strategy and what companies should focus on to ensure success.
People Data, Parcels, and Single-Source Providers
Our discussions highlighted that both startups and more established companies were seeking companies that could complement what they do, offer efficiencies, and a path to scale. Speaking from the data space, we recognize that startups often struggle to get the data they need and often source multiple datasets from multiple sources to achieve actionable results. This means they must combine the data from the different datasets and overcome the obstacle: the data is presented in different, incompatible formats and many hours are wasted trying to combine and source through this data. We enjoyed speaking with these startups and more established companies to speak to the strengths of working with a single-source provider like First American Data & Analytics: our broad range of data assets and our ability to link them all together in a single, standardized, and actionable format.
Additionally, during our conversations on the show floor, there was a great deal of interest in First American Data & Analytics parcel data and how it can be enhanced with additional property data attributes, such as commercial tenant data, recorded mortgage data, and county assessor information. Our Procision™ AVM also received a fair amount of attention from PropTech and lending attendees.
One data trend that I noticed was an increased focus on “people data”: information relating to a person's identity, behavior, or interests. We learned that people data has useful applications relevant to our industry, such as planning multifamily and new home building. Some of the panels discussed how cell phone and migratory data can help land developers understand migration patterns to guide development and future building decisions. How to factor “walkability” into commercial real estate site selection was another a hot topic.
Good News: Funding is Still There…for the Right Business Models
Another key theme at many of the general sessions: there is still funding available for the best companies that can show promise to deliver on the metrics investors and VCs require. It is no longer just about the innovation and the efficacy of the solutions; investors are now focused more on a company’s path to profitability and scale versus solely its ability to demonstrate a path to revenue growth. Growth is important, no doubt, but more immediate cashflow and margin are the top priorities for many investors.
The bottom line: there was no shortage of startups and later-stage companies with exciting ideas to address the needs in the market and ever-changing technology. Innovation is alive and well in real estate, PropTech, construction, and adjacent built industries – and we saw it on display during Blueprint.
Thank you to the Blueprint organizers for inviting me to participate on the Data Deep Dive panel during the event and share industry insights on behalf of First American Data & Analytics.