How Big Data is Changing the Real Estate Industry in Australia

Real Estate has traditionally been an industry which revolved around person to person connections, networks and pavement pounding hard work. Couple those qualities with an Agent’s’ ability to predict and detect market trends, timing and values – and you’re starting to get a clearer picture of what the Industry has looked like for decades.

But times are changing, and so too is the Real Estate business. Big Data has, and is continuing to radically alter the way in which Agents, buyers, sellers and even Banks think and act when it comes to property.

There are two sides to this unfolding story – first, companies which are at the forefront of promoting services to consumers (and to industry professionals) are heralding a more connected, educated and insightful future. On the other hand, Agents with long histories of success are questioning whether data, and the algorithms that govern them, can replace the human touch.

Analysing the enormous swathes of raw data to identify patterns which would have been previously locked away could turn the Real Estate Industry on its’ head, by offering insights and information where there was none before. So let’s take a look at three key areas where Big Data is already changing the Real Estate Industry in Australia.

Data for the people

The availability of analytic data from a wide range of sources is fuelling new and improved ways of property and investment research, while also giving governments insights into developments and community planning.  Powerful algorithms that turn raw data into useable information are providing new and previously unobtainable metrics to both investors and home-owners, and thus creating a more informed and aware public.

Companies are now also mining Census data, consumer surveys, home listings, sales records, geographical and demographic information in order to serve it to their consumers. These tools and information portals can deliver to consumers a wide range of information about their property’s potential value and help them understand home-value trends within a particular region, which was previously only available to a select few.

Better Understanding of Communities

Big Data isn’t only providing information to consumers and Real Estate professionals, it’s also giving government’s new ways of looking at community developments and planning. By better understanding the communities they govern, local and state authorities are able to create regionally specific plans to meet the needs of a specific area in a way which wasn’t traditionally possible.

By continually accessing large swathes of data, community planners stand to learn what kinds of spaces work best for each region, and build better communities for residents.

Changing the Role of Agents

Empowering consumers through information and education is good for the consumer themselves, but can begin to cast into question some of the basic underpinnings of the real-estate Agent. Traditional models of how Agents operate are changing, and a human agent who knows a community’s ins and outs is no longer the first choice for professionals who’ve made their living by using their brains and instincts about property sales. Agents must be digitally savvy and use Big Data.

Some Agents maintain that some aspects of data-based selling or buying can be problematic, or that large datasets often miss the intricate details and knowledge that a community presence can bring. However, most Agents would agree that Big Data is offering new insights on the market which previously were not available, which can only be a good thing for the consumer.

 

– Into the Future –

 

Just like every other industry, the technological changes of our time are beginning to make traditional business models obsolete. If Agencies don’t move with the times, they will be left behind in the dustbin of history.