06 Feb How data is driving change in the industry
It is no secret that data is becoming an increasingly powerful force in the global economy. Just look at Facebook’s long-term (and already successful) goal of partnering with bricks-and-mortar stores and finance providers (especially credit card providers) to monitor the offline behaviour of consumers. The social-media giant is already well on its way in marrying this information with the online behaviour of its users to increase its leverage as the world’s most powerful consumer influencer and advertiser.
But whenever there is talk of data it always seems to revolve around the power of advertisers and not those of consumers. Where this is fast changing is within the real estate industry.
Australia’s major portals have identified the power of data for both agents and users alike but none more so than view.com.au, who spent twelve months developing the tools to equip the average homeowner and potential home buyer with the knowledge that has historically been kept in the hands of the industry. Their modus operandi lies in the idea of democratizing data for everyday Australians so that consumer power can lead to stronger market performance.
“We want to be the place where people not only search for property but research the market,” says CEO of view.com.au, Enzo Raimondo.
What the company aims to achieve is not only a levelling of the playing field when it comes to consumer insights and a stronger market but also an increase in the general interest of real estate markets, both large (national, state-wide, and city-wide) and small (neighbourhoods and suburbs).
A long-lasting stereotype of Australia’s culture is one of a family forgetting the burning chops on the BBQ as they get more incensed by a discussion about local property prices. This knowledge of Australians’ love-affair with property talk has shaped View’s business direction.
“We want people to come to View every week, even if you’re not thinking of selling, just to see what’s happening in terms of prices in your street, in your suburb and even your individual property,” says Enzo Raimondo.
What advantages does data now bring average homeowners?
The portal now lists market-relevant information for every address in Australia, based on government-sourced data as well as the company’s own specifically-designed algorithms.
Renters, homeowners, property investors and first-home-buyers are free to generate property price estimates for any address, adjusting attributes (bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces) to reflect any changes they have made to their homes. This price estimate tool is coupled with in-depth demographic data for a local neighbourhood to help those visiting the site keep tabs on specific markets as well as the national market.
What does the liberation of data have in store for the future of Australia’s real estate?
“I think we can expect to see exponential growth in terms of both the accuracy and scale of market-related data everyday Australians will have access to,” says Enzo Raimondo. “The effect this will have on the market shouldn’t be underestimated. Increasing data transparency and providing consumers with the information they need to make better decisions can only strengthen the market and potentially reduce the economic effects and prevalence of downturns.”
For those working within the industry, View is also determined to use its data-based business strategy to create more sales for agents.
“Transparency within the industry is key to creating long-lasting and fruitful relationships between agents and their potential clients. Legislative changes in Victoria last year already demonstrated how much stock is put in improving agent-client relationships. A potential buyer or vendor’s market activity relies on their trust of the industry, which is where data and transparency play such a pivotal role.”