Property Connect Part 1: Disruption!

It’s a word which comes up! We spoke with Darren Patterson, CEO and Executive Director of Property Connect about the disruption he is seeing in our market place and to learn a little more about Property Connect.

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Real Estate Dynamics

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Leesa: Welcome to another edition of Rent Roll Insights, I’m Leesa Sinn and joining me today for this three-part series is Darren Patterson, CEO and Executive Director of Property Connect. Welcome Darren thank you for coming along.

Darren: Thanks Leesa.

Leesa: Darren, can you share with us a little bit about Property Connect? Who are they, what do they do?

Darren: We are an ASX listed business we originally started operations in the US and was founded by Aussie son of a property developer in Australia, so I had deep property experience. Our first product that came to market was Live Offer Rental which was about providing transparency for renters, for landlords and also enabling a transparent workflow for the property managers. We’ve since launched LiveOffer Auctions and then moving into the lending space as well.

Leesa: Excellent. Now what I’d really like to talk to you about and you know the word disruption in our marketplace you know that’s been talked about quite a lot and so can you tell us a little bit about what you’re seeing and what does that mean for Property Connect.

Darren: Yes, so I came back to Australia four years ago. I set up BrickX which was a fractionalised property trading platform three years ago now and then I sort of got involved with Property Connect originally just as a director and with the tech team. So, I spent 20 years overseas. I’ve got a venture capital fund, so I invest heavily in the property tech space. I think there are many elements.

You could start with the top one which is, there’ll be no real estate agents in the future. There’re elements of that I agree with and element’s I don’t agree with. Real estate is very much a people-oriented process. So, the sales, the property management that will never go away, but technology will automate and take costs out of the back end and streamline workflows and practices and also just change the way, you know, things like trust accounting work and bonds and just automate that really. Then there’s the other piece which I think is the premium type services like your Airbnb, LiveOffer to a certain degree if there’s a yield increase, but also your traditional agency type models whether it’s sales or property management, price compression in that area and then there’s your fixed cost stuff is like different on property management side or Purple Bricks on the sales side.

Leesa: Excellent and I like what you said around you know the people element will never go away and that’s why I think it’s so important that people understand that and help them get prepared for that future.

Darren: Yes, I think technology is going to empower that more. I see a lot of apps and platforms now where if we think about and Domain that is a 1980s Yahoo model, I used to work for Yahoo in Europe. It’s a click bait as I call it, display advertising, it drives off to a real-estate agent. They own a fairly large piece of the value chain in Australia, so agents are sort of left out of that. I think we’re moving to a world which is more Facebook orientated and that’s kind of what we’re doing with the LiveOffer platform. You’ll have renters that become landlords– sorry they’ll become property owners and become landlords later as they go into investment. There’s a whole lifecycle that you need to follow with these individuals and that’s the customer journey. So, I think ultimately you’ll sell a product to somebody or you’ll rent a product to somebody then you’ll sell them landlord insurance and a mortgage, trade services so having better communication in what is effectively a three sided marketplace, landlords, property managers or buyers, vendors etcetera is really important.

Leesa: I really appreciate you sharing those insights and I really look forward to learning a lot more around particularly like the LiveOffer platform and also more about what you’re doing. So, make sure you tune in for our next episode of Rent Roll Insights. Thank You Darren for coming along and thank you so much for joining us we’ll see you again soon.


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