This month (Thursday 15th November), we once again teamed up with Spire Ventures and leading real estate finance entrepreneur Faisal Butt to host a round table event. The discussion this time was all about the future of property finance and brought a range of lenders, borrowers, finance intermediaries, and technology experts to the table.

The proactive debate addressed the main issues that could impact the future of the real estate finance industry, including the rise in the volume of debt finance and the impact that technology may play in coming years. One of the main insights taken from the morning was that the debt adviser is going to play an ever-important role in the sector as funding becomes more fragmented and new lending opportunities present themselves.  Attendees also debated the role that advancing technology will play in the future of the property finance sector, and the importance of traditional relationship banking vs. the new-age software algorithm driven approach to bring deals together.

While traditionalists defended the role of relationships in finding borrowers’ the finance they require, proptech challengers highlighted the role of technology to deliver a more efficient experience for borrowers and lenders alike.

The consensus reached was that a hybrid approach that is both technology-enabled and relationship-driven would be the future of the CRE debt sector, but it was estimated that as it stands today the industry is only 10% of the way there and there is a lot of innovation and change still yet to come.

Faisal Butt, of Spire Ventures comments: “As the commercial real estate finance sector becomes more fragmented and complex in the UK and Europe, we believe debt advisers will play an even more significant role here, as they currently do in the US. Our view is that in the future, advisers will be selected for their brainpower, commercial and technical ability, breadth of relationships, and ability to advise on complex situations and structures.  You can’t AI away good old-fashioned commercial instinct.”

The event itself, welcomed attendees from a range of real estate finance backgrounds. This included Oliver Jackson, Head of UK Investment at investment firm Resolution Property, Graham Chilver, Relationship Director of Real Estate at Barclays Corporate and Daniel Norman, CEO and Founder of financial appraisal proptech start-up Appraised, and Rob Jones of debt advisory firm BBS Capital.

Rachel Colgan, MD for Building Relations adds: “It was a fantastic morning of lively discussion with some key industry figures. Events like this really demonstrate the value of getting together to understand the wider issues that affect everyone in the business. It’s all too easy to get stuck behind a computer and as advanced as technology is and will continue to be, nothing beats a good old-fashioned and face to face meeting of minds.”

To view a video of the Future of Property Finance Roundtable go to:

If you are keen to discuss a topic at a roundtable event or be involved with hosting a future event, email