The Future of Real Estate? Ask the Top Innovator of the Year (2015)
Michael Macolino is a recognizable name within the real estate industry, though not to be confused with his cousin, Damian Macolino (Principal at Ray White West Torrens).
Michael is known for his work within the real estate industry rolling out the popular CRM system “Agent Box”.
But what you may not know him for is his successful Accounting Tech startup Accodex Partners, recognized as one of KPMG’s top startup companies, and awarded them with a 10 day trip to the US to learn more about industry disruption and expanding your business into the US. (They were also recognized as “Innovator of the Year” at the world’s most boring industry awards ceremony, the Australian Accounting Awards).
We spoke with Michael about what the future holds for real estate, having seen what is happening overseas with startups/disruptors changing the face of entire industries.
“Agents should be focusing on emerging technology, and not just replacing old tech with “like-for-like” systems, for example upgrading from one CRM system to another, but technology that will support alternative business models and scale without additional human resources.”
Michael points out that this revolutionary tech will probably come from a startup company, and won’t be rolled out at high-speed, but rather, it will “test a market niche”, possibly only offering itself to a select few companies to begin with, before raising capital and pushing into the mass market.
So what does the next big disruptor look like?
“Peer-to-Peer technology, similar to the likes of Uber or AirBNB, is the most likely candidate for Real Estate Industry disruption. Uber’s co-founder has actually unvailed his latest project, “Haus“, which is aimed at the US real estate market.”
But even the most popular startup technology still faces challenges, despite massive take up from the public and industry. The first hurdle is legislation, the second, is competition (or hostile take-over bids) from the “old school” competition.
“Legislation does not typically keep up with technology, and that has traditionally been the first major roadblock for disruptors. But once that is dealt with, they then become prime acquisition targets for larger, established companies.
This is where the founder needs to make the decision to “stay & fight” or “sell out”, but the stay & fight option takes two things;
- Capital behind you
We are increasingly seeing the emergence of “innovation incubators” within large corporations, this is where they will often try to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening out there in R+D, and sometimes, try to compete with startups, but with an unfair advantage of time in the market and cash to burn in case it doesn’t work out.”
And as for agents when this new tech makes it through these challenges?
“Agents don’t need to worry too much, because there is always the human factor in everything. But the job may no longer be the selling of real estate, but perhaps just advisory, negotiation or even just providing appraisals to property owners who will look to leverage technology platforms to facilitate the transactions process at a substantially reduce cost”
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