Kylie Davis from Core Logic is fresh back from the USA where she attended the worlds largest real estate conference that focuses on the future of real estate and she tells us where it is all headed and about some of the innovations that are on the way to make it easier and more transparent to transact property.
Kevin: There’s a conference in America that seems to attract 4000 to even 5000 real estate agents and real estate professionals from all around the world. It’s called the Inman Conference. It’s done a couple of times each year, and there’s a lot of great information that comes out of it because it’s like a meeting of the minds – where’s the industry going, what’s going to happen, how will it be shaped in the future?
Kylie Davis from CoreLogic attended that conference. Kylie is the head of property services marketing at CoreLogic, and she joins as our guest to talk about some of the findings coming out of that.
Kylie, thank you very much for your time.
Kylie: Thanks, Kevin. Thanks for having me.
Kevin: Let’s have a look at this, because we’re going to talk about bots – which are robots – and virtual reality and lots of other things. What were some of the major takeaways for you from a consumer point of view as to how you see real estate changing in the future?
Kylie: I think the main takeaway for consumers, for buyers and sellers, is that real estate is going to start to get easier and less stressful. But the tradeoff for that is that you’re going to have to share your data with real estate agents.
What that means is that the algorithms and the artificial intelligence that’s sitting behind a lot of the portals and behind a lot of our apps like Facebook are going to come together and start to help you find the perfect property or identify information that will help you find a great agent.
Then there are going to be places you can go that both help you understand what the process is and make it really clear and understand where you are in the process and what the next step is so that you get a lot more transparency around how the transaction is going.
Kevin: Transparency is the key word, I think. As consumers, we’re already experiencing some of this. There are some groups who are getting information or who have information that we don’t even know they have in terms of who we are so that when we attend an open home, no longer do you have to give your name because it effectively comes straight off your phone.
Kylie: Yes, and I guess the information that comes off your phone then can be tied into other information that the agent might be aware of about you, which can then help them really help you. So, if you write down Donald Duck and a nonsense e-mail, there’s no point complaining about getting rubbish service.
Kevin: Yes, because that’s what it comes down to. It comes down to getting better service and allowing people to have a better understanding of you. But it goes even deeper than just agents getting this information, because if we’re sharing it on social media, social media is picking up on the things that we do, what interests us, and they’re reacting to that as well, Kylie.
Kylie: Yes. I’m a big believer in that the universe is sort of directing me in this way, and I guess one of the insights that I came away from Inman was “Gosh, it’s not the universe at all; it’s actually just big data that’s tracking what I’m doing and then directing content to me based on my preferences.”
What’s going to happen very shortly is when you start to exhibit behavior that identifies you as a buyer or seller on your computer or inside Facebook – and we’re already doing this – then you’ll start to see content around that space. That might be ads for companies that are active in that space, or you might suddenly start to see articles appearing in your feed about how to find the perfect house or “Seven properties with swimming pools.”
Information that is somehow tied a little bit to your search will start to pop up in your feed, and the purpose of that is to make it easy for you to find information that’s useful and to provide information that’s useful that will help you in that journey.
Kevin: One of the other advancements we’ve seen in recent times is virtual reality, and that’s becoming the reality – not virtual anymore; it is a reality – helping us make decisions about properties that we may want to buy.
Kylie: I think one of the biggest complaints that buyers have is that wasted time of seeing a property online or seeing a property in the paper and thinking, “Oh, that looks fantastic. I really want to go and look at that,” and then when they see it in reality going, “The way the bedrooms are set out is horrible, the way it flows into the kitchen. I thought it was bigger, and actually the photos make it look much bigger than it is. It’s actually quite small.”
But virtual reality allows you – from the comfort of your own home – to walk through that house or that property and really examine the features, to feel the flow, to get a sense of how big the rooms are, and to get a feel of the setting of the property – so which way it’s angled, what the street is like outside, if there’s an ocean view or something – to actually see what that looks like, even if the property hasn’t necessarily been built.
It gives you a much better idea as to whether it should be on your selection list to then go and see in reality, or it makes it easier to cross things off.
Kevin: One of the great advantages in virtual reality for agents is that they don’t have to make a decision about what are going to be the points of a property that will interest a buyer, because virtual reality takes care of that.
In other words, an agent making a decision that the city view is the thing that’s going to turn most people on when it probably won’t. But if that’s not something that you enjoy, looking at it in virtual reality, you’ll say, “Well, that doesn’t really turn me on, but I love the size of the kitchen,” as an example.
Kylie: Yes, and I guess agents will still sort of have to pick features to promote, but what it will allow you to do is if you’re interested in the kitchen benchtops or you want to really check out whether the appliances are Miele or Gaggenau, or you really want to examine the marble to see what it looks like, you can go into detail and really examine things quite closely.
And you can choose which things you want to look at. It is like being at an open for inspection and being able to really poke things without having to actually get in the car and go.
Kevin: Yes, we identified earlier in our chats how important transparency is going to be. I was fascinated. You were talking about Transaction Rooms. Tell me how they’re working.
Kylie: Transaction Rooms are a secure place online or in the Cloud where all of the documents pertinent to the sale – which might be the contract, it might be any building and pest inspection reports, it might be anything that you need to make the sale go ahead – are all in one safe, secure place, and the people who need to sign off on that information or sign off on those contracts are invited and allowed to see the parts of the transaction that are pertinent to them.
The outcome of that is that the buyer and the seller – on both sides of the transaction – have a really clear understanding of what stage the transaction is up to, what has to be done next, who has to do it, where the holdups might be. It makes that horrible period of settlement a lot smoother and easier to get sorted.
You don’t have to e-mail people whopping great contracts as PDFs and find out that the e-mail never turned up because the file size was too big. E-mailing things on contracts is always dangerous for security reasons anyway.
If one of the parties is overseas, you can get signatures without having to wait for them to come home or to find a place to go and sign off. Everything can be done regardless of where anyone is.
Kevin: Well, anything that makes buying and selling real estate easier has to be fantastic. Kylie, it’s been great talking to you. Thank you so much. Kylie Davis has been my guest. Kylie is the head of property services marketing and content at CoreLogic.
Thank you, Kylie. Great talking to you. Thanks for your time.
Kylie: Thanks, Kevin. Lovely to speak to you.