The rapidly accelerating pace of technology stands to disrupt virtually every industry, and the real estate sector is no exception. Technology is transforming how real estate is being built, used, maintained, monitored, financed, bought, sold and leased. The movement behind this transformation is known as PropTech – where property and technology intersect.

Recognizing this inflection point, Goodwin formally launched its PropTech practice in September 2018, at a time when the movement barely had a name. Today the firm regularly represents traditional real estate companies, technology companies and start-ups looking to capitalize on the growing PropTech movement.

“Goodwin’s PropTech practice offers a unique hybrid of experience by providing forward-thinking services that adapt alongside the needs of our clients,” said Minta Kay, chair of Goodwin’s Real Estate Industry group and co-chair of the firm’s PropTech practice.

“Our real estate clients recognize that technology is fundamentally changing how properties are designed, built, and managed, while our technology clients are at the vanguard of product development that is attractive to real estate owners, investors and developers,” Kay said. “We are excited to be at the forefront of this emerging and vibrant sector.” 

Goodwin’s PropTech group has advised clients such as HqO, Fundrise, Pillar Technologies, Prevu, Moderne Ventures and AvalonBay Communities, among others, on matters including intellectual property, leasing, licensing, formation, mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, service agreements, employment, compensation, tax and privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

Blake Liggio, a partner in Goodwin’s PropTech practice, said traditional real estate companies are embracing and investing in technology for two reasons: “I think FOMO, fear of missing out, is one reason. Real estate companies are looking at technology as a way to grow and enhance their business,” he said.

“Secondly, it’s becoming harder to find value in the cycle, so they are turning to tech to gain a competitive advantage,” Liggio said. “Data and analytics have helped companies better manage existing properties and vacancy rates and identify ideal uses of property and that’s fueling the optimization of bottom line results.”

Goodwin has established itself as a thought leader with its “PropTech Pulse” newsletter, numerous podcast appearances and byline articles in trade publications. The firm has also taken the lead hosting and sponsoring PropTech events such as MIPIM PropTech NYC, NYC Real Estate Tech Week, CREtech New York, Night of PropTech Innovation and PropTech 2020: The Next Decade.

“No other law firm has the breadth of experience and such a deep bench of both Real Estate Industry and Technology Company lawyers to address the rapidly growing PropTech sector,” said Salil Gandhi, co-chair of the firm’s PropTech practice. “Goodwin is uniquely positioned to service both our real estate and technology company clients throughout the entire lifecycle of any PropTech undertaking.”