Budapest PropTech Forum 2019

Date: 6th March 2019    Venue: Akvarium Klub


SECTION 1: Is the European property sector ready for a digital transformation?

09:00 - 09:20

Welcome speech - The future of our profession in the built environment

Technological development, climate change and urbanisation will increasingly impact on cities and people’s lives. To design, create and maintain spaces where people (want to) live, work and play require skilled professionals. Which skills will be needed in the future? And what will the role of professionals be in building that future? Sander, who leads the RICS team aiming to inspire trust and confidence in real estate and construction markets, will try to answer these questions in his opening speech.

09:20 - 09:40

Is proptech the new normal? – It’s time to embrace new technologies

James is a prominent global PropTech influencer. He founded Unissu along with co-founder Eddie Holmes. is a global platform which lists over 6000 PropTech businesses from around the world and aims to help property professionals navigate the ongoing digital transformation of the industry.


09:40 - 10:10

What does Artificial Intelligence mean for commercial real estate?

Antony has been a software development and technology strategist in commercial real estate since 1995. Now he consults and works with real estate boards on transformation, technology and innovation. He is ranked high on the list of most influential online commercial real estate people and is coming to Budapest to talk about how Artificial Intelligence is transforming our world and our business. 

10:10 - 10:50

Digital transformation in Europe – Investing in innovation

A roundtable of leading European PropTech gurus and investors. Csongor, based in Paris, is the Deputy Head of International Property Management at BNP Paribas Real Estate. He believes that 80% of what PM companies do will be automated, so carried out either by Artificial Intelligence (AI) or algorithms. The 20% that remains human is still extremely important as human relationships continue to be crucial. Arnie, based in London, leads investments at Round Hill Ventures, a pan-European VC firm investing in companies disrupting the built environment. He is frequently featured on Wired's 100 Most Influential People in Technology and was Forbes 30Under30 in 2016. Dénes represents Hiventures, an investor that aims to support cutting-edge ideas of freshly established startups and innovative businesses in Hungary. Hiventures has already invested in a number of local proptech firms.

Chair: James Dearsley, Consultant and Board Advisor, Unissu

Conversation participants:

10:50-11:20 Coffee break

SECTION 2: New concepts and new projects

11:20 - 11:40

What can the property sector learn from the world of FinTech?

PropTech is what FinTech was 10 years ago, many experts say. Is that really true? How has FinTech become so important and successful within the financial industry and what can the property and PropTech sector learn from a FinTech guru? Can PropTech really become the next FinTech? Mark is Chief Digital, Retail and Strategy Officer at MKB Bank, one of Hungary's leading commercial banks. MKB Bank is the founder of Fintechlab, a leading Budapest-based banking innovation lab and startup investor.

11:40 - 12:00

Transforming the real estate market into digital - The challenges portals are facing

Laura Szabó is an independent business and product consultant for property portals and innovative proptech solutions in the online space. She previously worked as the Chief Product Officer for, the Hungarian market leading property vertical and is now helping European and Asian property portals finding their growth strategy. She will talk about digital transformation and share her experience working on emerging and unregulated markets.

12:00 - 12:35

Designed for people – The future of workplaces

Timea is the workplace expert of Knight Frank Hungary who has extensively worked with unicorn tenants. Giles is the European development director of one of the world’s leading provider of flexible workplaces. Zoltan is an expert on business communication solutions who knows how the collaboration between property developers, IT people and the HR department can lead to the creation of a highly efficient workplace. Valter heads the Hungarian business of Cresa, a tenant-only commercial real estate firm. He advised Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies in the USA and globally, before establishing VLK Real Estate Consulting in Budapest. Together they will discuss what makes an office space attractive in 2019 and what it will take to secure new leases and keep existing tenants happy in the years to come.

Chair: Timea Henter, Associate Director, Office Division, Knight Frank Hungary

Conversation participants:

12:35 - 13:10

Evolution or revolution? – The future of retail

The retail market is undergoing massive changes as e-commerce grows and consumer habits change. With the expertise of Krisztina, who leads the leasing of the only shopping centre under development in Hungary, Miklós, who manages of a huge portfolio of CEE retail assets, János, who provides geomarketing solutions for the Hungarian retail market, Marc, the founder of the leading global retail real estate marketplace and Leon, who sees a huge opportunity in revitalising tired out retail destinations with the introduction of smaller and more innovative brands, this panel will look at the wide range of solutions available to retailers to increase efficiency and improve user experience.

Chair: Krisztina Deutsch MRICS, Head of Leasing, Futureal

Conversation participants:

13:10 - 14:10 Lunch break

SECTION 3: New technologies and their effect on jobs

14:10 - 14:30

Holistic digitalization – Turning a building into a facility for social and business interaction

Marc, who has a background in IT and physics, is the founder of Thing Technologies and father of the Thing-it product which allows configuring, simulating and testing complex configurations of distributed devices for solutions in all segments of the property business. He will show how we can turn buildings into a facility for social and business interaction.

14:30 - 15:00

Designing and managing smart buildings

The way buildings are being designed, constructed and managed is heavily affected by technology. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a hugely useful tool for architects, developers and property managers which greatly increases efficiency. This expert panel will discuss how the use of BIM and other tools leads to smarter and more sustainable buildings.

Conversation participants:

15:00 - 15:15

New development directions and new technologies in district heating / Új fejlesztési irányok es technológiák a távfűtésben

15:15 - 15:45

Will robots replace valuers? - The future of valuation

The automation and digitisation of valuation (and the entire investment process) can pose a threat to valuers and agents. This expert panel will show how the valuation process can incorporate new types of risks and how real estate professionals can tackle innovation in this field.

Conversation participants:

15:45 - 17:00

Start-up pitches

Hungary’s start-ups and providers of proptech solutions will have 8 minutes each to show how their product can take a property business to the next level.


17:00 Closing

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