Incubator? Accelerator? PropertyLab is an innovation programme unlike any other in the sector. Let us explain how it works in a few easy steps.

The primary role of PropertyLab is to help housing organisations turn some of their biggest challenges into opportunities. We don't like to label it as an incubator, because that's only part of the picture.

Whilst incubators help early stage companies, we help established housing providers of all sizes - those with a few hundred units all the way up to those with over 50,000+ units or more in their portfolio.

PropertyLab brings experts from property and Proptech together to develop solutions based on salient sector issues such as resident satisfaction, voids turnarounds, regulatory compliance and more. Our in-house technological and design-thinking expertise helps accelerate the ideation and development of these solutions. At the end of our agile PropertyLab sprints comes a design MVP for technology capable of tackling specific organisational pain-points. Here's our approach broken down:

1) Resources and technology.

The technology innovation programme, as we prefer to call it, provides housing organisations resources, access to industry experts, interactions with entrepreneurs and our technological expertise to improve processes, streamline operations and create new efficiencies.

Our sessions work as sprints, last only 14 weeks, and some mini sprints even under 8 weeks. We believe in creating strategic impact fast, without the fluff of other similar workshops. Ideation is rapid, based on design thinking best practices and includes tools designed for seamless collaboration - both virtual and in person.

2) Engagement and collaboration.

PropertyLab is structured as a series of workshops conducted in person with senior stakeholders from organisations looking to overhaul aspects of their operations. For example, a PropertyLab sprint on resident engagement would require a three-day commitment from directors of customer service in the property sector. We have run these sessions with both the private rented and social rented sector thus far, with support coming for other sectors within the year. Qualitative interviews form the basis of this engagement, with follow ups over the next 7-14 weeks.

Our team requires access to operational data and, in some cases, requires an introduction to up to four people across said organisation, across different business units and levels. It helps form a holistic picture and is essential to developing innovative approaches. This data is anonymised during cross-company collaboration.

PropertyLab is agile and adaptive enough to run entirely in person or virtually using tools like Mural, Otter and Zoom to keep collaboration and qualitative research as seamless as possible, regardless of the medium. In fact, our first sprint was entirely virtual and executed without hiccups.

3) Cross industry expertise.

One of the key reasons our approach works, and has garnered the attention of the most progressive landlords (Aster Group, North Star, Notting Hill Genesis, Peabody, RHP Group, L&Q to name a few) is the cross industry expertise Plentific brings. We owe this to our strong roots in social housing, residential property management and PropTech.

PropertyLab is supported in its efforts by AO Proptech, Europe's largest Proptech VC firm, and by the Disruptive Innovator's Network (DIN). Our partners offer a network through which our sessions and workshops can be supercharged with new perspectives.

We believe the confluence of qualitative research, good technology and collaboration with change-makers - both within and outside of the sector - lays a strong foundation for an innovation programme unlike any other. Provided you meet the criteria, we'd love for you to join. Please register your interest for upcoming Labs here.