I’m live-blogging #AREC16 from the Gold Coast. Here are my top learnings from Daniel Petre: Digital Disruption.
I’m really looking forward to this presentation, given I’m delivering an updated webinar on the topic (specifically: what Principals need to do to respond) for subscribers later this week.
- Generally speaking, humans are pretty stupid and make fairly shit decisions. It’s a nice place to start (and with brain science to back it up!), when discussing the opportunity for digital disruption. People are bad at estimating, not great at forecasting, etc etc. (You don’t have to tell me twice – here I am pontificating on Donald Trump’s December 2015 demise; here on the impact of autonomous vehicles on real estate markets.) Daniel recommends the book Thinking Fast and Slow – that’s a few people who have suggested that to me now.
- The impact of technology on jobs? Some predictions of up to 52% of jobs lost, and (unlike the transition from agriculture to industry) many won’t be replaced. If you’re job is a binary application of rules (ie, look at information, apply the rule, determine A or B as the next step), you’re screwed. Think about Property Management – how much time each week is applying rules? I speak to some Sales Agents who feel their role is so much art, not science, that they can’t be replaced. My thoughts on that take about 20 minutes at a high level, so I won’t bore you here.
- There are some really awesome things on the horizon. As a terrible driver, I (and the people who live near me) can’t wait for autonomous cars; but 3D Printing organs for transplants is pretty cool as well. On the topic of cars, most current predictions ignore how many people use cars for mobile storage – think about all the signs, spare suit etc you keep in your car. Are you really ready to replace that with Uber yet?
- Robotics – can we create a robot real estate agent? I’d love to see more of these examples applied to our industry – there are limitations replacing personal services, like sales and negotiation, and while I think there are fewer limits than many people believe (hope?) I’m not sure exactly where they are. For example, Daniel says within 2 years price estimation will be done better by software than an individual – though he believes we won’t ever be able to replace humans entirely.
- The key to technology disruption is no longer software – it’s learning. Ultimately, as machines get better and better at learning, they will rapidly overtake our levels of capability. For those who fear the ‘singularity’ when machines take over, I have only one suggestion: maybe all those people defacing Wikipedia pages with malicious information are actually our only long term help? The people and roles that will survive will have 3 attributes: Solving High level abstract problems; Being Creative; Working with People.
Daniel wraps up by reminding us to treat our platform partners (think REA Group, Core Logic etc) as Frenemies – sure, they’re helping us enormously … but their tech stack will slowly attack the skills of real estate agents, making it harder to differentiate yourself as they provide some of the services you deliver (eg, Appraisals) for free or as a low cost alternative.
I hope you’re as excited about the topic of disruption as I am – and clearly Daniel Petre is. I would have liked this session to be more industry specific. If that sounds valuable to you, check out the links below – I know they’re the footer of all my AREC16 posts, but subscribe for free and you’ll be sent my talk on disruption in the real estate industry and what you can and need to do about it (when the talk is released next week).
Our next speakers are a group of 3 – Lynette Malcolm, Michelle Winckle and Stefanie Dobro, live blogged here.
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Jacob Aldridge is a co-founder and business coach at Real Estate Grow.
If you’re a real estate Principal looking for fresh ways to help you work on your business, let’s chat. Contact me on either 0427 151 181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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