A few large Canadian organizations have made announcements of their move into the PropTech space. One of those is Colliers International. The Toronto-based brokerage has partnered with Techstars to create an accelerator program that is set to start on Sept. 10th. Another is Brookfield, one of the largest real estate companies in the world with over $285 billion in assets under management. They have committed to investing $300 million into real estate technology and have even bought up a section of properties on Bleeker St. in NYC to test out new technology and ideas.
The Canadian government seems keen on attracting innovation to its cities. They have a plan to exceed their normal amount of high-tech transplants in a bid to benefit from the U.S. hard-line stance on immigration. They also offer incentives for “innovation and technology-driven activities” such as advisory services, networking andnon-repayable financial assistance. There is also a 30% tax credit to resident investors who provide capital to small businesses conducting R&D.
All of this seems to be adding up to Canada becoming a technology epicenter. One of the draws of the U.S. for property technology companies is the size of the market, something that Canada will never be able to compete with. But this advantage gets stripped away once operators start seeking out new technology rather than having to be convinced to implement. If other industries like retail and transportation are any indication, chasing after technology is almost an inevitability.