By most estimations, data has surpassed oil as the world's most valuable resource.
That’s because, when ethically and consensually sourced, purposefully used and carefully protected, data helps companies better understand their customers.
Those insights serve as the basis for increased transparency, greater confidence in decision making and enhanced customer experiences.
Domain’s Purpose is to inspire confidence in life's property decisions, and data is a powerful resource we use to do that.
We recognise the role of supporting a wider range of customers with timely, rich and accurate data to give more people confidence in their property decisions.
By extending our role beyond agents and consumers, to enterprises and governments we can hope for a property ecosystem that has the insight and tools to respond to the changing environment around us, making decisions and policies based on the current time, not antiquated data insights and systems, which seeks to benefit all Australians in their property journey.
How, though, is data linked to our desire to play a greater role in the property journey?
What data do we utilise?
And how does it benefit consumers and investors, both directly and indirectly?
Purchasing or selling a property is perhaps the most significant, daunting process many of us will ever undertake.
Data, though, drives greater trust and transparency, enabling consumers to make decisions with more confidence and clarity.
Domain has privileged access to data.
Through our platform, we have over 50 years of comprehensive historic and forecast property and behaviour data, with over 450 engagement signals measuring and monitoring the activity of millions of Domain users.
That data is being used to provide consumers and investors with more insight and transparency.
For example, rather than simply searching active listings, seekers can access data analysing recently sold results and price estimates via Domain’s home price guide pages; both of which provide greater context and comparison to aid their search.
Then there’s historic data, too, which enables users to create an even more comprehensive picture.
Historical data provides insights, like the history of a particular property, information on the local area, and comparisons against other properties for benchmarking.
Ultimately, it enables consumers and investors to become smarter, savvier, and more insights-driven in their search.
And when we overlay our data with complementary data sets, it provides an entirely new dimension and level of insight for consumers.
For example, this is what enables a potential homebuyer to see school catchment zones, development applications near a prospective property, energy ratings, comparable sales in the area, risk of flood or bushfire, pest reports and more.
As a consumer, you can see some of this on our Domain pages, but also through our property research product Pricefinder.
These are important considerations in any transaction, but too often consumers and investors struggle to access these essential insights.
Ultimately, it’s all with the aim of making consumers better informed about the biggest transaction of their lifetime.
Data not only make the property market more transparent for consumers but helps us guide our other customers - governments, banks and agents, too.
We’re creating products and services for them, so they can offer better experiences that meet your needs and demands as consumers and investors.
For example, data enables us to support governments in their policy and decision-making on land and housing.
Challenges in this area have been due, in part, to reliance on outdated and generalised data.
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However, we are changing that through real-time, historic and future propensity data.
Just as we receive tailored shopping items, movies and music based on consumption habits, we can use aggregated, anonymised search data to inform governments and developers on what properties to build and where, how to value land and set tax policies, how migration trends impact supply and demand and much more.
In New South Wales, for example, our data shows there is high demand and low supply of land lots of 3-400 sq metres in the central and outer Sydney suburban areas.
In reality, land lots of 5-700 sq metres are being developed.
With this insight, we can help governments and developers create the types of properties that are actually demanded by the market.
Then there are statutory land and capital improved valuations, which in large portions of Australia are still based on outdated methodologies and data.
Statutory valuations underpin the collection of billions in property taxes and rates.
Victoria, Western Australia and Adelaide City Council have adopted Domain’s VM Online platform to automate and manage property valuations, covering almost half of all land holding across Australia.
These jurisdictions are now placed to work with policymakers and local authorities to determine and implement policies for their constituents to improve housing policy accessibility and affordability.
Then there are lenders.
Mortgage costs are increasing for millions of households, but too often lenders make no effort to improve their offer until a customer is on the brink of switching.
Our data-driven solutions ensure that banks and other lenders have the right information to offer more proactive solutions tailored to the individual so that ultimately consumers get better service and the most competitive offering.
Property matters disproportionately to Australia and Australians.
Relatively speaking, it is worth around three times more to our economy than to the economies of the US and the UK, and socially homeownership is incredibly important and desired.
However, to become the industry Australians demand and deserve, there needs to be greater trust, transparency and confidence - across the ecosystem.
That’s where data comes in.
Both directly - in the way it provides great transparency and insight during the search for a property - and indirectly - through the solutions and efficiency it is creating for policymakers, developers, banks and real estate agents - data is the foundation on which we can enhance customer experience, and drive greater confidence in the property journey.
Guest Author: This article was written by Yunyeong Kim, Executive General Manager at Domain Insights.