What better way to celebrate Canada Day than by setting your hair on fire over another perceived threat? By the way, setting your hair on fire, while not recommended, is one of the few demonstrations available to Canadians without a permit and, if it goes badly, it’s going to be covered by our fabulous health care system and no doubt, YouTube. Yay Canada!
Here’s the fire starter headline from REM: Will real estate brokers get ‘Ubered’ out of a career? by Robert E. Lee. Not the most original name for a revolutionary but probably not one he could do much about. Mr. Lee suggests the success of Uber (not so much in Montreal but c’est la vie!) is a red flag for our industry, that gatherers of BIG DATA will soon create platforms where buyer and seller will meet to finally accomplish what has been threatened for decades – disintermediation.
At a recent Re/Max meeting of owners and managers, Adam Lerner reminded the group that computers can “see”, “hear” and “write” as well as humans. Adam is the founder of Solvable and assisted the Journey of Discovery team at BCREA to contemplate the future of British Columbia real estate. Not only can computers do things as well as or better than humans – THEY CAN DO IT FASTER! All they need is data.
Freelancer.com. Haven’t heard of it? Well, it’s where you and I may be working tomorrow. Sixty per cent of the world is not connected to the Internet. Forty per cent of online learners are from developing countries. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you’re doing or what you want to do because you can learn it or have it provided online. How else did I learn napkin folding?
What’s behind Mr. Lee, the fire starter? A franchise called RealtyPoint. What do they promise? To do everything for you – except the messy bit about selling.
Still calling it the “new” economy? Sorry, it’s the “present” economy but some of us have myopia. We haven’t grasped the forest has been clear-cut and we’re working among a rapidly changing opportunity for work. At a recent panel discussion in the Comox Valley – not exactly Silicon Valley – we heard presentations from a local inventor who is creating 3D models of undersea oyster farms. His team consists of an electrical engineer in New Zealand and a manufacturer in Ireland. His assembly and testing is done in Victoria, all for a site on a remote bay on Quadra Island, monitored from his home in Cumberland. Google Map those co-ordinates.
On the same panel was an engineer for a logging equipment manufacturer in Campbell River who does design/build with 3D modelling, imports steel and builds multi-million dollar, computer-operated grapple yarders worth $1.5 million per copy. He sells and maintains them for logging companies in B.C. and also to Oregon and New Zealand. Now he’s having a crack at Chile.
The third person on the panel writes a computer language for video games that is revolutionizing the industry from that hub of high tech – Port Alberni. His challenge is finding a community with housing to accommodate what might be a team of 100. After you house us, we’ll worry about the working space we need.
Their common problem is transportation – not of people but of lumpy objects.
My real estate board introduced new technology to the members in late May. Remember this name or Google it right now – Trenlii. It may be the most progressive step forward in a practical real estate tool since Top Producer.
Here’s what Trenlii will do:
- Embed charts into your website created to your specifications – personal activity or market in general – updated automatically.
- Post statistical facts created automatically for Twitter and Facebook networking.
- Review listing data on competitive listings on a map format that also allows street views.
- Advise clients in chart form on the price they might expect to obtain based on when they bought their house.
- Create an interactive map of competitive listings and email it to your client at times you select.
- In major urban areas, pick any crime by type and see occurrences in any neighbourhood.
The premise of Trenlii is to interpret the data the client doesn’t have from public sources (but would kill for!) and allow the Realtor to initiate different discussions about the marketplace. It makes us credible interpreters of the information the Internet has given the consumer. What experienced Realtors intuitively know, Trenlii provides in a third-party expert presentation.
Trenlii feasts on BIG DATA. Here’s the good news – we have the data.
Here’s the bad news. My favourite forecast is closer to the truth than ever before.
From Warren Bennis, the leadership pioneer who died one year ago, “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”
Do the best you can.