Starr Partners boss says the industry has reached a tech crossroads

Victoria Haviland

July 1, 2019

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Starr Partner's head warns the property industry is headed towards its "technical intersection"

Real estate group Starr Partners' CEO, Douglas Driscoll has stated that he believes the industry has reached its "technology intersection", meaning that even though innovation has aided in helping agents automate and digitize their processes, it also means that the industry needs to move forward in other ways that balance implementing cutting-edge technologies and while not completely cutting out the human aspect of the whole process. 

“Although PropTech is a key topic of conversation in our industry, many real estate businesses lack the technological know-how to respond to it immediately and proactively,” says Douglas.

“Charles Darwin was right when he said that it is those that are most adaptable to change that will ultimately survive; and that quote is never truer than when looking through the lens at our own industry,” he continues. “In my opinion, we have now reached the intersection of humanity and technology. Even though our everyday lives are deeply entwined with this new wave of innovation, we cannot afford to become overdependent on it, as technology is a great servant, but a bad master.”

As many global companies turn to artificial intelligence and other technologies to transform how they interact with customers, Douglas says the real estate industry must also begin deploying a variety of technology-enabled solutions to strengthen the customer experience. However, he is warning agents to be careful when picking and choosing the PropTech they implement in their business, and to be wary of what is a toy and what is a tool.

“In today’s competitive business environment, we need to come to terms with the fact that we are in a permanent state of transition when it comes to technology – and in any transition, different people adapt at different rates,” says Douglas. “Trying to fathom how exactly technology is changing the way we do business is a constant challenge, and we need to be very diligent when selecting third parties to assist with digital engagement strategies. It can all get a bit overwhelming when we are inundated with a seemingly endless barrage of messages from companies that are trying to convince us that their new product – or ‘toy’ – is the next best thing since sliced bread.”

He adds: “In my opinion, technology should be used as an enabler to compliment – and not replace – what we do. We should not fear disruption, but rather disintermediation. Let’s not forget that moving home is an emotional process, so we still need to be at the front and center of these transactions. For this reason, consumers still need to be able to gravitate towards an agent who they feel they can trust, and who is well attuned to their needs. Essentially, agents need to embrace the highest standards of personalization, choice, speed of delivery and quality in every interaction, while continuing to maintain a personal connection with their customers.”

SOURCE Starr Partners
Edited by V. Haviland

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Victoria Haviland

July 1, 2019

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.