Kylie Davis
Principal, Marketing

At CoreLogic, Kylie is the “chief sense-maker” responsible for cutting through the jargon of complicated data analysis, understanding the stories property data can tell and helping the real estate industry better understand its customers and itself.

Kylie joined CoreLogic in 2014 after nearly four years as Network Editor of Real Estate at News Corp Australia where she was network editor of real estate. There she created and led the national desk of 52 real estate reporters across 120 titles training them in delivering data journalism, video and digital deliveries.

Kylie has a 25 year career in media as a senior editor and entrepreneur across News Corp and Fairfax, and at 25 was the founder and publisher of hyper-local newspaper The Village Voice.

Kylie has an MBA from the University of New South Wales and is the author of The Future of Real Estate and Perceptions of Real Estate Agents series.

media@corelogic.com.au

Articles authored by Kylie Davis:

Could Robots Rescue Real Estate Franchises?

The franchise model is being disrupted by technology that’s making it easier than ever for individual agents to run their own show more flexibly and efficiently. But could bots – backed by AI, automation and big data – come to the rescue and help the big real estate brands deliver new value to agents? 

To explore this idea, let’s look at a typical day in the life of an agent in 2020 who works at a franchise (we’ll call it Robot Real Estate) that uses bots to delivers a wide range of automation. The strategy behind the AI support is for the franchise to empower their agents to deliver highly personalised service that puts human relationships at the heart of the data, which in turn creates unprecedented loyalty both from their agents, and the buyers and sellers they service.

Meet Tanya. She’s been an agent at Robot Real Estate for the past 10 years. About three years ago, she was considering leaving Robot Real Estate – she felt the fees were too high and locked her into technology that was out of date and clunky to use. It was a lot of money to pay for a desk and a lead database that was usually out of date. 

But then Robot Real Estate introduced an end to end bot-driven infrastructure for agents. And while it took a little getting used to, Tanya now loves it. Because it takes care of all the back-end tasks that used to keep her busy, and allows her to spend her day focused on what she’s passionate about – helping people on their journeys of buying and selling property.

Here's what Tanya’s day looks like:

Wakeup: When Tanya exercises each morning (she’s a 5am Club gal!) her Robot Real Estate assistant (an automated assistant that she fondly calls REVA) reads out her schedule for the day and outlines a list of tasks that she has preset for her bot team. At her request, REVA also reads out profile information of the people she’s going to meet that day so she’s fully informed and pumped for the day.
Breakfast:  Tanya has her first client meeting with Jane a buyer. By the end of the breakfast, REVA has sent the buyer a list of suitable properties and inspection times based on their conversation and some background video information on the areas that Jane said she was interested in. 

The bot has tagged the client as originating from the relationship with Tanya and assigned Jane to Tanya in their database. This means that even if another agent finds Jane a home, Tanya will receive a payment to recognise the fact that she introduced her to the agency. 

The bot has also set a calendar entry for Tanya to make a follow up call a few days later. By that time, the automation at the back end will have identified if Jane has clicked on any of the properties in the information that was sent, and recognised how long she has spent on each property and if she shared any of the properties with friends or family, or returned to one or two of them. 

This information will both inform the conversation that Tanya will have with Jane when she follows up and allows the bots to refine future property selections that are sent to her. 

Tanya also encourages Jane to become “identity-authorised”. This will allow Jane to visit any property at the time of her choosing – not just wait for opens. It can also be – if Jane gives permission – linked to her credit approval rating which will give Jane the advantage of pre-approval for loans and a much quicker turn around on her finances when she decides to make an offer on a home. 

Again, regardless of who sells Jane a home, Tanya’s introduction of Jane to the identity authorisation and credit approval process means Tanya will receive a trailing commission payment when Jane transacts.

Early Mornings: In these days of automated contact, Tanya is a big proponent of the personal touch. She uses the first hour or so of every morning to make phone calls to prospects and clients and people she’s sold to recently to see how they’re settling in. She finds people are usually happy to talk first thing or on their commute. 

After each call she dictates outcomes to her REVA who annotates the client data and schedules or carries out follow up actions such as sending property reports, investment analysis, and lookbooks or contracts. She loves the Robot Real Estate Concierge Service that allows her to order thoughtful gifts for her buyers and sellers and send them to their home or office via drone in just an hour or so.

Mid Mornings: On mornings when there is no Robot Real Estate sales meeting, Tanya likes to spend her time creating videos about her local community, helpful information for buyers or sellers, or a roundup on properties that she loves. 
Of course, the Robot Real Estate bots can now automatically create both report-styled or video content about her local market, but Tanya is a bit old school. She likes the personal touch, will sometimes interview people in her community and has fun being on camera. 

When the videos are shot, she alerts her REVA to the new content, and the bot automatically schedules it to social media and targets it to an appropriate audience based on the latest insights from her social media pages. REVA will also tag anyone she interviewed. 

REVA also inserts content into her email newsletters to keep her click through rates high. In addition, Tanya uses this time to direct the Virtual Reality video of properties she’s selling because she cares about the details. 

It’s also the time in her day when she reviews the sales collateral the bots have created for her sales listings – those bots are truly amazing in how they assemble the ads, online listings and reports, but Tanya has an experienced eye and she likes to think that it’s her attention to the personal details that makes the difference. It’s also a great way for her to familiarise herself with her listings and it boosts the quality of her data within the Robot Real Estate system which in turn improves her micropayment commissions.

Lunchtime: Tanya has an Open Home. Of course, they’re not as necessary now with so many people being accredited to inspect the property at a time that suits them securely, and with the availability of VR. 

But Tanya likes the ceremony of an Open being held at least a few times during the sales period – it signals to the neighbourhood that a property is on the market which can often lead to surprise offers. You never know where a passive buyer might be. And it’s a great way to meet the neighbours, who in turn can become valuable sales leads to Tanya. 

Everyone who does enter the property is automatically identified through their mobile phone and added to the Robot Real Estate database – that’s because Tanya is so good at making people feel at ease and learning about them. Even if they’re unlikely to buy or sell for many years, Tanya’s initial discovery is at the root of their relationship with Robot Real Estate and allows their experience with Robot Real Estate and Tanya to be truly personalised.

Afternoon: Tanya has a meeting with a potential vendor, Rebecca. Rebecca has a lovely home but wants to upgrade and there’s a few small repairs that if done, would help the home get a better price. 

During her visit, Tanya shoots both video and photos of each room, paying particular attention to areas that she thinks might need some work to bring up to sales presentation stage. Her REVA captures these and attaches them to the address record, and with Rebecca’s permission, sends them to Robot Real Estate’s Presentation Concierge system, which requests quotes from the appropriate trades and services. 

By the end of the visit, Tanya is able to provide Rebecca with a detailed quote on the work that would need to be done to the property, the time it would take, and a schedule for the sale, including an accurate estimate of the price Rebecca can expect with Tanya’s clever marketing approach. 

Rebecca’s other alternative is that Robot Real Estate buy the property outright and provide her with the funds in just 48 hours. Such an approach means a sale price that is below what was quoted, but some clients like the speed and certainty of the approach, especially if they have personal circumstances that mean they have to move by a deadline.

End work: Tanya ends her day with another round of phone calls to clients, finalising negotiations and giving contracts the once-over just to ensure she’s across the details. A couple of days a week, she has evening appointments scheduled with vendors. Tanya’s REVA gives her an update on all the reports and contacts that have been sent and actioned across the day and allows her to set any new tasks. 

Sometimes she does this by reading the report, sometimes if she’s busy or in the car, she’ll ask REVA to read it out and she’ll instruct the bot verbally. 

She loves the AI assisted support that she’s offered by Robot Real Estate – it’s really changed her life by removing so much of the busy, repetitive work that used to stress her out. It allows her to focus on the human connections that are the most important part of her job at a price point and uptake level that she would never have been able to afford, or get her brain around on her own. 

Robot Real Estate supports its sales teams and its AI strategy with regular training offsites and sales rallies. These provide Tanya and the Robot Real Estate team with the opportunity to learn new skills, re-energise their sales focus, and hear about new trends and the systems the franchise is trialling. 

There are also always personalised intensive training times in the schedule, when Tanya is taught to become proficient in the new skills needed. Her training is tracked and is tied to her commission levels. 

While the additional money that comes from doing the training is nice, Tanya feels that the value really comes from segmenting the time this way as it is extremely effective. It’s made her feel more secure about trying new things and gives her time to practice and become familiar with new systems. This makes her more confident about using the coaching tools in the system which step her through whenever she is out on the road and needs a quick refresher. 

Since introducing the AI, Robot Real Estate’s profits have soared, buoyed by reduced running costs, increased agent retention and significantly improved customer loyalty and brand value awareness that has really driven their sales and revenue. 

It’s also opened up new revenue streams to the franchise, which has now significantly increased its referrals revenue from mortgage brokers, financial institutions, insurance and credit score companies. 

The new approach by Robot Real Estate has removed the stressful “busy-ness” from the life of Tanya and their other agents. This lets them get more done in less time, while at the same time providing a significantly higher level of personalised service to buyers and sellers that has won awards.

Agents have reported feeling significantly less stress and love that the REVA support and back end systems allow them to genuinely switch off and focus on family time when they are home, while feeling secure that the details are being taken care of.

Could this be the future? What do you think?

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8 Tips To Mastering HomePrezzo

HomePrezzo is an automated content platform that turns property data and statistics into engaging videos and infographics for sharing on your website, in emails or on social media. It is the perfect way to build up your online and digital audience and nurture leads and new business. 
Like any new platform however, there are tips and tricks to getting the most impact. Here is our guide to mastering HomePrezzo. 

1.    Match colours to your brand

When you first sign in to HomePrezzo you’ll be asked to create your settings. If you belong to a franchise, your basic colour palette is likely to be pre-loaded within HomePrezzo, so select it to ensure you don’t have to constantly select colours each time you create a video. If you are an independent agency, you can request that your colours are setup for you by the HomePrezzo team. Just email with your RGB mixes. 

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips 1

2.    Go for stronger colours

The exciting, graphic filled HomePrezzo videos are perfect for grabbing attention and keeping viewers interested but knowing which colours to choose for which elements can really help your videos ‘pop’. To be safe, you can always choose a white background, but to get the biggest wow, choose a solid, attractive background colour.  Be sure to pick a bright contrasting colour for your “pop colour” and make sure the “text colour” is legible on your background. This will really help bring your video to life. White is a great choice for text if your background is darker.

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips_2

3.    Be mindful of your logo  

The great thing about choosing a bold colour is that it stands out. The downside is that if your logo has a white, or opaque background, it will look odd on the video. There are two ways to avoid this. The first is to make sure you save your logo with a transparent background. The second – if you can’t make your logo transparent – is to go with a white background (and make the text and pop colours bold). Ideally, your logo should be 200 pixels wide x 100 pixels tall. And always save your logo as a JPEG file (never PNG, or it may distort).

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips 3

4.    Font

Tempting though it may be to defy your marketing team and throw brand guidelines out the window, we recommend sticking to fonts that are clean, simple and reflective of your brand. They should also be really easy to read. Metric is always a great default if you are having trouble choosing. 

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips 4

5.    Double check statistics

While the data doesn’t lie, sometimes it’s not always available.

In markets where sales are low, there may not be enough data to populate all the animations. You can see this in the data summaries before the videos are created. Look out for any N/As. If there are too many, you may need to move on to another suburb. Or alternatively, create a Suburb Infographic where you can change the storyline to make sure it covers an angle that has data. 

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips 5

6.    Are your sales telling the right story?  

In some markets, not disclosing sale prices is common. In a video that seeks to provide insights into how your market is performing, undisclosed sales can be annoying and unhelpful. You can see if there are any by clicking off the auto select for recent sales and editing the properties that appear. If you do this, you should also check the photos on the recent sales to ensure they match your newly selected properties. 
 

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips 6

7.    Don’t forget contact details

To get the most out of your video, make sure your contact details are correct at the end of the video. You can correct these permanently in the settings. 

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips 7

8.    Finalise your video

There is one last step to creating a video that you must not be tempted to miss – and that’s finalising your video. It takes a little time, so you can make a cup of tea while it’s happening, or even go on to create more content and HomePrezzo will email you once its done. But if you find that your video isn’t sharing properly or appearing as you expect, it usually means it hasn’t been finalised, so go back and make sure you’ve done this important step. 

CoreLogic Homeprezzo Tips 8
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Changing Home Ownership And The Shared Equity Economy

Rising house prices, student debts and changed expectations from the Millennial generation are changing expectations and the traditional model of home ownership.

The INMAN Connect 2018 conference brought together four new startups in the home ownership space that are rewriting traditional models and creating what’s now being known as the shared equity economy. 

“Share equity is as term of new companies and models that are challenging what has always been considered a truth – that you either own or you rent,” said Fabrizio Tiso from Irene Retirement.  

Traditional models are based on the idea that a couple – usually married or in a relationship - purchase a property under a shared title, putting up a deposit of 20% and paying down the mortgage with a financial institution until the property is owned outright.
  
But new shared equity models introduce many variations, allowing for smaller – or no – deposits, co-ownership amongst friends, and even options where the goal is to own or trade a proportion of the property with a third party, such as builder or specialised investment institution. 

“The 30 year mortgage as an instrument of home ownership was developed out of the Great Depression,” said Sahil Gupta from Patch Homes. “In most industries, people have the choice of using debt or equity based on the cost of capital. But in housing, this has not been an option until now.”

Here’s a summary of some of the new models now available:

1.    Pre-sell your home to fund retirement

Irene Retirement is a new take on the old reverse mortgage concept but based on equity. It  allows elderly homeowners to sell their home, yet continue to live in it or receive income from rent. Retirees sell their home to Irene, get cash upfront and never pay property taxes, homeowners insurance, or big-ticket maintenance costs again. 

2.    Just own a bit

Let’s say a house costs $100,000. (Hah!!) You have a great job and can pay a mortgage (let’s face it, it’s cheaper than rent), but you’re struggling to pull together the deposit. Unison HomeOwnership solves this problem by providing you with half the down payment ($10,000 in our example), but this money is not a loan, it is an investment with the outcome being that Unison own one tenth of the property. When the time comes to sell and you achieve a price of $120,000, you pocket $108,000 and Unison receive $12,000 for their share. Equally, if the price goes down, Unison wear their share of the loss. 

3.    Converting equity to cash

In a similar vein to Unison, Patch Homes are a finance company that shares a proportion of the property’s ownership and shares in the future appreciation or depreciation of your home’s value. Imagine you own a home (or are paying it off) and want to renovate the kitchen. Rather than increasing your loan amount – and monthly repayments – Patch gives you the option of ‘selling off’ a proportion of your homes equity with Patch recouping their money when you decide to sell. 

4.    Rent til you buy

You’re a well paid Millennial with a student loan who can afford to rent but can’t scrape together a deposit for a home. With Divvy, you find the home you want to buy, lease it from Divvy and every monthly rental payment builds up your home equity. Divvy claim that if you rent for three years through them, you get a 10% deposit. 
 


Kylie Davis is the Head of Content at CoreLogic. She was a speaker at INMAN Connect 2018 in San Francisco on Robots and Automation. 

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4 Companies Disrupting Property Management

Property management is feeling the effects of disruption – both technical and generational - with a host of new tech businesses reimagining rental and investment experiences.

The INMAN Connect 2018 conference in San Francisco featured a host of startups that are changing business models, making renting more flexible for tenants, providing transparency around a greater range of investment opportunities and removing a lot of the friction, pain and cost from the traditional processes of property management. 

The demand for this, they claim, is coming from millennials, who have high expectations on standards of living, but value experiences over security, and want flexible leases, great locations and easy ways to book and confirm.  

The drivers are big data pushing into tech enabled platforms that give property managers oversight into every element of the property, collate and respond to information in real time and deconstruct the transaction with security. 

Here’s a quick overview of the top contenders:

1.    Running inspections with a robot


The days of setting up a 15-minute inspection window for every potential tenant interested in a property are over with the robot from Zenplace. Zenplace is a property management disrupter that uses technology to find tenants and manage rentals more quickly and affordably than traditional agency models. Their latest offer, the ZenBot, is located within each of their properties to rent. Interested parties can then make an appointment to inspect any time, a unique code is sent to their phone to unlock the door and the robot greets them and shows them around. At the other end is an agent who identifies features, and answers questions and if the tenant wants to proceed, they can fill in paperwork immediately on the screen. Zenplace claims the efficiency of not having agents on the road to open properties allows them to do 10 times the number of inspections and attract a better quality of tenant. But if you’ve got stairs, you’ll need two robots. 

2.    Introducing corporate housing


Landlords want good tenants and long term leases. Tenants want shorter leases in good properties and great locations that feel like home. Companies want to be able to attract great talent and get them settled into new roles in new locations quickly and easily. To date, furnished apartments have been the only – rather soulless and expensive - option. Enter Zeus Property Management.

Zeus signs master leases with landlords of 2 years or longer. They design, furnish and maintain the property for corporate tenants who can place employees into properties in good neighbourhoods quickly and easily with more flexibility. For landlords, the benefits are proactive maintenance, low fees, guaranteed rent and great quality tenants. Tenants get to live in great properties for times that suit their work assignments and without the hassle of leases that lock them in and corporates can swap staff in and out.

3.    Deconstructing shared living


Shared houses have historically had a dodgy reputation – a group of near strangers living under one roof, and often one lease, with second hand furniture and dubious standards of hygiene and arguments over the bills. But that was before the Millennials took over the world with their expectations of ease, comfort, flexibility and constant access to wifi. Common offers shared housing for the new generation. Private furnished bedrooms within beautiful shared suites one all-inclusive rate covering your rent, cleaning and essentials and flexible leases. And of course, it wouldn’t be a tech play if your co-tenants weren’t screened for compatibility using big data. Common is currently available in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington and Seattle but expanding quickly.

4.    Investing in holiday homes


Many is the family who have told themselves that their ideal holiday home is “really a great investment” at purchase time, only to find the constant overheads, maintenance and sporadic rent turn the dream into a nightmare. 

But Vacasa is a property management concept that specialises in vacation homes – a supported property management version of AirBnB if you will. It screens travellers, manages guests, promotes bookings, and manages property maintenance to a high standard, driven by a technology platform that adjusts rates in real time using data from local events, seasonal patterns and market demand. Vacasa claims landlords earn 34% more rent on average in their first year. 

In addition, Vacasa works with local agents in each area to help their buyers understand the holiday rental potential of a property by providing the data and insights to support the decision. 

So the next time you fall in love with a cottage by the sea, Vacasa can help you understand exactly how many days it’s likely to be rented, peak times, rates and returns you should expect, as well as advice on renovations or improvements that will affect rents so you can remove any guess work from understanding its investment potential.  


Kylie Davis is the Head of Content at CoreLogic. She was a speaker at INMAN Connect 2018 in San Francisco on Robots and Automation. 

 

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