Vivian Chan, Founding Chairwoman of HKPTA, on PropTech Innovation

Vivian Chan, co-chair of the Hong Kong PropTech Association (HKPTA), talks about her journey with the organization and shares her thoughts on creating the PropTech ecosystem.

Many of the city’s family real estate businesses have not truly embraced technology and digital trends, perhaps because of their traditional dependence on human resources. But to stay relevant in a market with fierce competition, they need to embrace innovation.

Vivian Chan, who grew up in a long-standing family that owns and manages a portfolio of offices and hotels in Hong Kong, understands this need too clearly. Not only that – it is also actively involved in attracting innovation to the wider real estate sector.

Vivian Chan, The founding chairman of Hong Kong PropTech Association

A world-class lifelong learner and novice investor, Vivian Chan has been impressed by the rapid technological advances of the past few years. “The pace of change has been so rapid that we need to be on our feet all the time,” she says. “I wanted Hong Kong and the real estate industry in particular to embrace more innovation and fresh prospects.”

This led to the creation last year of the Hong Kong PropTech Association (HKPTA), an independent nonprofit that seeks to create a collaborative ecosystem that brings together real estate technology stakeholders, from developers and technology companies to investors and newcomers. takeoffs.

Proptech’s wide range includes everything that digitizes existing processes, from how a project is planned and built, to a wide range of solutions for buyers and sellers, smart homes, property management, marketing, mortgages and even urban planning.

Chan also spoke of his great potential in combating climate change and promoting sustainability, adding that HKPTA is also driven by the goal of creating an ecosystem that can develop new technologies that can benefit society and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNCCD).

Although she now has what she sees as the “dream team” that heads her new association, Chan recalls that the first months were not easy – in fact, in early 2021, she set up an industry body for enthusiasts. technology, entrepreneurship and driving significant change. in the real estate and environment industry it was a really hard thing.

In those first few months, she received polite rejections when she approached several well-known players in the industry. “Looking back,” admits Chan, “their doubts are clear because of the organization’s short history and lack of understanding of proptech’s potential.”

But despite early refutations, she did not give up. In fact, Chan’s passion eventually impressed some of the industry’s most respected figures, who later joined the HKPTA as board members and advisors. “Without their support,” she said, “we would not have achieved what we have today. It was an amazing experience working with them because they went beyond duty again and again. It shows that they are really committed to the success of the association. “

The HKPTA Board consists of different groups of individuals, each with experience in a different field. All, however, have been involved in the industry for many years, and their experience and knowledge provide valuable information. Among them is Charles Tho, a partner in legal practice at ELLALAN, whose focus is on legislation relating to technology, intellectual property, entertainment, entertainment, blockchain and data privacy.

Rainey Pan, managing director of the association, comes from management consulting, Aquina Ho is the head of digital transformation at Great Eagle, James Kwan is the executive director of Jumpstart, Ivan Ho is the CEO of KaiLong Group in Hong Kong, and Wendy Lo brings his experience as CEO of Park Capital Group.

The association can also involve a group of honorary advisers, including Dr. Winnie Tango, Christina Gav, Dr. Derrick Peng, Andrew Young and several others. A year after the HKPTA was founded, it now consists of five committees, four of which are chaired by a board member. Each committee plays an influential role in its defined area, while all systematically rely on each other.

The rationale for this structure is to streamline the entire starting path, from proof of concept to meeting with potential investors and partners, and exploring opportunities in the Gulf area and beyond. “We are committed to promoting sustainable development in business strategies that ultimately create a greener environment, a more livable city, and better well-being for us and future generations,” says Chan.

To support the goals of decarbonisation, developers are increasingly exploring energy-efficient solutions for green buildings, taking into account the impact of buildings on the health and well-being of their residents.

As for customers, the new variety of technology has improved the customer experience in many ways. There are already many smart home devices that simultaneously offer comfort, convenience and energy efficiency.

“I wanted Hong Kong and the real estate industry in particular to embrace more innovation and fresh prospects.”

Solutions for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are gaining popularity. The property can be displayed in VR, allowing potential buyers to see not only what the interior design looks like, but also what it feels like to live in it. VR solutions can also be used in retail stores, allowing customers to familiarize themselves with different products before purchasing.

The real estate sector is ripe for innovation. As the industry develops there remains a lot of room for creativity and new ideas. From planning, design and construction to facility management and customer path, proptech can improve operational efficiency, sustainability and profitability. However, challenges remain, both for real estate companies to adopt this technology and for technology companies to formulate solutions that address the industry’s painful moments.

“That’s why HKPTA was created,” says Chan, “to raise awareness of the need for digital transformation among corporations, foster creativity and entrepreneurship among youth, and support the proptech launch ecosystem. The goal is to bridge the gap between traditional real estate businesses and innovative technology companies. ”

Vivian Chan, founding founder of the Hong Kong PropTech Association
Vivian Chan, The founding chairman of Hong Kong PropTech Association

Mental health is especially important for entrepreneurs because it helps them focus on their goals and avoid burnout. Chan understands that her own mental well-being helps her stay motivated and focused on her goals, which are necessary for success.

“While I was doing my best to do everything I could, for a day, tomorrow is a whole new day, full of opportunities and meetings. So work hard, play and enjoy every moment we have. Waking up every morning is a gift worth celebrating, ”she says.

It also reveals a lesser known side of its history. Most people know her as an outsider, an entrepreneur. But as a qualified counseling psychologist, she voluntarily provides counseling services to low-income families served by NGOs when she has free time. She knows that many people are going through hard times and wants them to know that they are not alone.

Vivian Chan listens well. She wants people to feel heard and understood. And this is her charm – and her strength.

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