Kylie Davis: (00:01)
Welcome to the PropTech Podcast. It's Kylie Davis, here and I'm delighted to be your host as we explore the brave new world where technology and real estate collide. I passionately believe we need to create and grow a sense of community between the innovators and real estate agents. And sharing our stories is a great way to do that. The aim of each episode is to introduce listeners to a proptech innovator who is pushing the boundaries of what's possible. And to explore the issues and challenges raised by the tech and how they can create amazing property experiences. And my guest in this episode is Matthew Webster from WebIT and ListOnce. Now WebIT is a first generation proptech, it started about 20 years ago.
Kylie Davis: (00:44)
And one of its first contributions to real estate tech in Australia was a portal website for agents which went on to become realestateview.com.au, which is now owned by REIV. And WebIT to continue to consult on the IT needs of larger groups to this day. Now, their most popular product today is ListOnce which builds the data architecture that links real estate agents, CRM's, websites and the myriad of apps and technologies that agents now use. And bring them all together so that agencies can do more with their data. So here to tell us all about it is Matthew Webster. Welcome to the PropTech Podcast.
Matthew Webster: (01:22)
Thanks very much Kylie, for having me.
Kylie Davis: (01:24)
No, it's great. And look, what we do on the PropTech Podcast is we always start with an elevator pitch and I'm dying to hear yours, so bust it out.
Matthew Webster: (01:35)
Thanks, Kylie. Well, ListOnce and WebIT which was formerly Webtech, has been around for a long time. 20 years last year. And I'll mention that a little bit later in the podcast about how we came about. But basically ListOnce, the software helps agents streamline their data and listings management. I can sum it up as simple as that, it's called ListOnce product which the IP is old now and trademarked and it's basically made up of two bundled solutions. The first part being website powering via API's, which is basically an off the shelf property search engine. A bunch of modules which can be installed for want of a better word in any website, no matter the size, or the design or how many integrations and which developer?
Matthew Webster: (02:35)
That's an off the shelf property search engine. And the second part being all the integrations and multi loading. So now about well over 150 integrations with all the CRMs and web to print and automated marketing providers and so forth. That's the core of ListOnce and then there's some other modules like the data warehouse module called Load and Report Once, et cetera. That's the software side of our business.
Kylie Davis: (03:05)
Okay. So you have been in the industry for quite a long time, you're one of the original, I guess the first generation of developers in the proptech space. How did ListOnce start? What gave you the original idea? Because data and listings are just absolutely core to everything that real estate agents do.
Matthew Webster: (03:25)
It is core. It's sometimes not the sexiest area, but it's so important to get right. And I guess we're very proud of the reputation we've built up in terms of stability and reliability and getting that part of the proptech puzzle right. And we're very much technical specialists in data and integrations, we're not so much on the digital marketing side, and we've got a website development team as well. But an interesting story as to how we started. Look, I've only been with the business for eight years, I've joined my brother David, about seven or eight years ago. But the business has been around since 1999, so over 20 years, which is a long time in technology in property.
Matthew Webster: (04:17)
And the starting story is that back in the late 90s, David, my brother the founder, he's a PhD in electrical engineering, was and still has his PhD, obviously. And was at UTS, at the time, University of Technology Sydney, was one of the youngest ever lecturers there, so a really no bright cookie. Certainly the nerd of the family unlike me, the real techie and he observed what REI had done in the previous couple of years, so this was mid to late 90s. I think REI launched in '95, or '96, from memory. And between lecturing at UTS, he decided to just build a high traffic capacity property portal and do what REI had done, and he called it Housecall.
Matthew Webster: (05:09)
And now being an academic, he wasn't particularly commercially minded. So he then offered to give that complete portal software platform to some of the real estate institute's. He didn't ask for anything in return, he just wasn't that way inclined, was just a scientist, academic engineer. And he thought, "Well, I've proven I can build that, I'll just give it to someone who can maybe use it." At the time the institute's weren't much interested, probably just didn't understand it. But then 12 months later, one of the CEOs of I think it was the South Australian Institute, called him up and said, "Hey, I've just been in a conference in the US and realise the potential of this."
Kylie Davis: (05:58)
This internet thing, it could fly.
Matthew Webster: (06:00)
This could work, you're onto something here. And obviously, they also had recognised what REI had been doing. So from there a commercial arrangement was struck up with the Real Estate Institute of South Australia. Then that went to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria and took what's now, realestateview, the property portal across there and that was born in 2000, 2001. David left academia and established Webtech at the time, which became WebIT. And of course realestateview, still operate strongly today for almost 20 years and still brought some of our core software in the back end realestateview. So it's an interesting story.
Matthew Webster: (06:52)
And obviously from there, David sold the whole property portal platform to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria in 2011. Then the business was a bit of a shell and had to be reinvented. So in '11, '12 is when ListOnce was invented and it was pretty progressive at the time. And it was born of the need for the website powering the search engine API's and the single data entry, multi loading, and of course web development and those sort of things. That's the story of how WebIT and ListOnce came about 20 years ago.
Kylie Davis: (07:34)
I love these stories about the recent history of our industry because it helps you understand why things are like what they are now I guess. Where we've come from and the innovation that has fueled different pockets of development across the country in real estate tech. So thanks for sharing that. So what I really want to understand though, what is the problem that ListOnce solves?
Matthew Webster: (08:00)
Well, it's around data management and data movement, of course. So every agency needs to build their proptech stack, we call that a Proptech Hub. And once an agency or a group... We tend to work with some medium to larger size groups, understand the architecture of data movement and data aggregation. And how that all fits in with your digital marketing plan and so forth and the website. Then you begin to understand the importance of the utilisation of data, the movement of data, the storage, the aggregation, secure storage of data. That's the main benefit were providing, problem we're solving, it's around data and listings management.
Kylie Davis: (08:58)
Yeah. So most agents have... Whether they like it or recognise it or not this huge pool of data underneath their business. And it can be really well organised instead of pulling in the right... Or working to be driving your business and fueling your growth. Or it can be sloshing around just turned on very much in the background, if you haven't got it organised I'm assuming.
Matthew Webster: (09:26)
Exactly right Kylie. A lot of agencies are still in that position where there's disparate data sets sitting around and it just needs to be pulled together. And with I guess, the proliferation of proptech, suppliers and products, it becomes even more important that someone can help them put the whole puzzle together. And the architecture of their digital operations and particularly the data movement and management and make all those different providers talk to each other. That typically happens with API's, which is just an interface between programmes and so forth and products. And that's where our expertise lies in those integrations and API's.
Kylie Davis: (10:13)
So effectively what you guys do is that you help agents make sense of the data that they've got, and then you're going to help them get it organised and able to connect and utilise other products out there with that data?
Matthew Webster: (10:29)
Absolutely. And we've always been about collaboration since day one, so we're delighted to work with all the different providers and make the model hum if you like, for an agency group. Because there're some terrific products and services out there, but they do need to be all connected properly and it does need to be pushing and pulling in data to make that happen.
Kylie Davis: (10:55)
Okay. So there is a lot of complexity out there in the industry isn't there? Like when I was having a look through your website there's... And we talk as a proptech industry of things like, well everyone knows what a CRM is, but then there's API's and XML and SaaS and all these awful acronyms. I hate acronyms. What does it all actually mean?
Matthew Webster: (11:22)
Well, we try and make it much simpler for clients and explain all those terms and how the architecture work. And I'm going to say that the clients these days, that is particularly medium and large groups are quite savvy with their proptech, as you would know. I contributed to a good little white paper recently, with our friends at Agentbox and they had broken down the real estate transaction... This was mainly on the sales side to about 10 stages from memory, and then they just basically identified a bunch of tried and tested suppliers in each of those areas.
Matthew Webster: (12:01)
So, I think we're getting better at mapping and providing the architecture of how it all hangs together for agencies. Then they understand the terminology and the acronyms and that can have a really effective PropTech Hub, as we call it, our job is to reduce complexity. Our job is to explain some of these principles and help them build a really effective tech stack. And personally we're completely CRM agnostic, and very proud of that positioning. So we like to think we bring a lot of objectivity to the table.
Kylie Davis: (12:40)
I'm on the South Coast at the moment in our house and we have a water tank and we have an awful lot of roof space and an awful lot of downpipes. And the way I like to think of it is that data inside a real estate agency is a little bit like rain hitting the roof. It's coming from everywhere, you don't know what angle it's going to come from. But as long as you've got that architecture in place to drive all of that data towards the tank, so that you can then reuse the water or you reuse the resource that's going into it. If it's just landing on the roof and it's going on the garden and you can't capture it, it's not useful to you. You really need it to be driven towards one central source. So is that a really silly but [crosstalk 00:13:27]-
Matthew Webster: (13:27)
That is a simple and a great analogy. Where's your data coming from? How are you going to aggregate it and then what are you going to use it for? It's as simple as that and it's become so much better and easier to do these days. Now, a lot of the CRMs are very open with their API's and so forth so we can not only pull data out but push data back in, and how that integrates with the website or websites. And all the other great providers out there, whether it be AI or automated marketing and so forth. So, we integrate with all different groups and providers. And that's become a lot more doable in recent years.
Kylie Davis: (14:06)
Tell me about your CRM panel, that you run for agency groups? And what does that let agents and their offices do?
Matthew Webster: (14:24)
Well look, we don't run the CRM panel as such, we just help facilitate it. And I guess I'll put a shout out here to one of our clients, Doug Hutchinson from the [inaudible 00:14:38], who really I think pioneered this model about eight years ago. And he's helped us to roadmap it and it's basically come from a place where there's such a choice of CRMs and property management software providers now, as I'm sure you'd agree. So many good solutions and good options out there and choice is good. Within the larger and multi Office groups and franchise groups, and so forth, a lot of the principals and offices want to use the CRM that they want to use. And not be dictated as to what CRM they should be using.
Matthew Webster: (15:21)
And it's probably an ideal world with one CRM platform across 100 offices, but it might not fit the needs and wants of the officers and principals and key agents. This model provides... And thirdly, it's about aggregated data. This model with a panel of CRMs is the best of all worlds where you might have two, three or four CRMs on your panel. And that's a procured panel, so set up by head office. But the middleware, the ListOnce will load, which is ListOnce agency data hub. Software sits next to or above the CRMs, and aggregates a lot of the data from the various CRMs and provides that to head office.
Matthew Webster: (16:18)
So head office gets what they need, whilst the officers are using the CRM that they want. And that's explained it in a very simple way, but I guess that's the key benefit of that term CRM agnostic, CRM panel model. We've been building that with numerous agency groups to be honest, and I remember a little story a couple of years ago. One of the big groups we've been working with for many years, the CEO, he was adamant that he didn't want to use multiple CRMs and wouldn't ever do that? And now a couple years on, they've got four. And it was probably not by choice but by the ever changing nature of the industry and the wants, desires of officers and franchisees to be as effective as they possibly can be.
Kylie Davis: (17:29)
We're living in such an interesting age, aren't we? Where, we've just... I think we're coming out of and a lot of the tension and stress we're feeling is because we're coming out of this very up and down. Do it this way authoritative mode of working towards a much more collaborative... Command and controlled way of working towards a much more collaborative and cooperative, which is a lot more chaotic. But in fact, you can if you put good infrastructure in place sitting behind it, it doesn't really matter how people work. Because you're capturing all the information that you need to capture and pulling it and then feeding it back.
Matthew Webster: (18:12)
Spot on and the opportunities are boundless. It's going from a global master, closed environment to open source and that's brilliant. And collaboration just drives the innovation and the quality and all of those sort of things. So it's fantastic to see because even five years ago Kylie, it wasn't like that.
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Kylie Davis: (19:45)
Look, I'm going to ask you a little bit of a question without notice Matt. So let me know how you go with it, because we are talking about data and there has been this whole conversation and we're going to talk about REIP in a minute. But there has been this whole ongoing conversation in the real estate industry, well who owns their data? What's your thoughts on that? Who owns data in real estate?
Matthew Webster: (20:09)
Well, the consumer owns their own data always.
Kylie Davis: (20:10)
Matthew Webster: (20:17)
Always. But the agencies have checks and balances in place as to how they can and use data and that's very important. And people that move around data have clear boundaries and principles in place and rules and regulations and so forth in line with government requirements. So it's a very important area that data ownership, want of a better word and you've got to stick to the rules. And we've seen some groups and we've worked with some groups that haven't and have been a bit lapse with that, and that's not good enough to us.
Kylie Davis: (20:27)
Does ListOnce help with the management and the security and the rights of that data?
Matthew Webster: (20:30)
Yeah, well we've obviously got now, terms and conditions for the data policies and principles and particularly data security. That's a really critical area, so then technical experts were all about elements of speed and QA and security and reliability and all that sort of thing. So definitely that's a very important piece for ListOnce, which is trademark software. It's been around a long time, we've got to protect our interests and the interests of our customers and clients.
Kylie Davis: (21:38)
Yep. Fantastic. So what's the business model behind ListOnce? Is it subscription or is it [inaudible 00:21:43] or what's the model?
Matthew Webster: (21:46)
Yeah, it's pretty simple. We've got basically three broad divisions, the software as a service, which ListOnce and more recently RADH which as I said, stands for response agency data hub. That's all the data API's and integrations. That's the SaaS, and there's about six or 700 offices on that software. We've got the website and portal development division, we tend to focus on bigger high traffic, multi office websites. We've actually got a big modular back end platform model, which we can adapt for any front end design, which works well and keeps the costs down for big groups. We've also got eight active high traffic portals at the moment in Australia and around the world, because we've got a joint venture with a group called Digital Classifieds Group.
Matthew Webster: (22:44)
So we've got portals in Cambodia and Mongolia and Nepal and all sorts of places where our foundation software is powering that. So even though we've only got around six to 700 officers on the ListOnce software, there's about that 5000 or more actually, about 5,500 officers using all the software. The portal software and ListOnce software, so a huge amount of data. That's a good question you asked previously about those data principles and policies and privacy and so forth. Because we've got so much data running through our software across the portals and ListOnce. Then the third area being, I guess I'd call it consumer facing products.
Matthew Webster: (23:31)
And this is pretty exciting for us because we've been so focused on agent and agency products for so many years. But more recently, we've moved into more consumer facing products still obviously, provided through the agents. Who provided on to their customers for products like Ad Tracker and Report Once and My Property Pass which is a digital wallet product. So hoping that's the way of the future for us as well. And where we're actually [inaudible 00:24:02] Kylie, a couple of years ago that from an independent consultant or two consultants. And then also from our mutual friend Ash, [inaudible 00:24:11] actually when we're having a big long chat to him, David and I. We're told by a few people that we were spread too thin in terms of how many products we had.
Matthew Webster: (24:21)
And it's easy to fall into that trap when you've been around for a while, to do things [inaudible 00:24:27] different people and groups. So we're only a small team of 1,520 staff but we were spread a bit thin, so we've tried to streamline the business and pullback we've a bit on too much [inaudible 00:24:41].
Kylie Davis: (24:43)
Look, Ash is the king of focus, so shout out to Ash, who I'm working with a lot at the moment, so full disclosure. How have you guys... There's two questions that come out of this that I'm dying to ask you. I really want us to talk about how you've found COVID, although we're all exhausted by talking about it. But how have you found agents and their adoption of technology during this phase? Do you think it's helped or hindered our tech adoption? Or coming back to core principles of, "Okay, what do we need to do to get through this and actually really build that infrastructure?"
Matthew Webster: (25:26)
I think it was strong anyway. But it has accelerated the appreciation of technology. And all the good agency groups in the last five years anyway have appreciated how important proptech and technology is. It's not as if a light bulb just came on because COVID did, but certainly the greater appreciation is there and looking for different ways to do things. I've been pretty impressed with a lot of our clients and how they've handled things in difficult circumstances. Because most of them have seen their businesses be affected by anywhere between 10 and 20%, up to 50% on the number of listings and so forth. That's really, really significant.
Matthew Webster: (26:14)
Personally, we've tried to really help out our clients and customers really, adding products and features free of charge. We put a fee freeze on our software, we've been frozen but we've haven't had an increase for a year or eight months anyway, we've just extended that for another 12 months. And we've got an across the board Webdam discount. So we've just tried to help with those initiatives which hopefully help in a small way with their profitability and cost savings. That's really important. I guess any advice to less established Propcare businesses because we're so fortunate we've got such a large and diverse customer base.
Matthew Webster: (27:08)
But you've just got to ask what can you do for your customers and clients right now? What are the technical and commercial problems can you potentially assist them with? You need to show them that you genuinely understand and care about their business, you're not just there to sell them another proptech feature or products. You've got to add more value and benefit and now's the time.
Kylie Davis: (27:32)
And I've been impressed with how much innovation we've seen from the sector and product developments coming out and the generosity and empathy that the tech industry has had for customers. I think there has been a huge focus on save the relationships and work with customers and for everyone to get through it all.
Matthew Webster: (27:57)
Yeah, I'm totally agree.
Kylie Davis: (27:58)
Now I want to really... WebIT has been a big supporter of the Real Estate Industry Partners or REIP. And before you mentioned about how you have been doing some consumer facing work. For listeners who don't know what REIP is, tell us a little bit about that and what stage it's at? Because, I've always found this a fascinating part of the rest of tech industry.
Matthew Webster: (28:27)
Okay, we'll look at REIP or Real Estate Industry Partners, has been born out of the Squiiz portal, which you might remember.
Kylie Davis: (28:37)
Matthew Webster: (28:39)
Which we stepped in and rebuilt in 2015, '16. The first version of the portal didn't go so well. And admittedly, it's not a hugely successful consumer facing portal. But what's happened is the group that runs that it's a completely industry owned group, has now pivoted, and really pushed forward with a much broader industry leadership type initiative. So industry led, industry owned, all around leadership for the Australian real estate industry. And they're focusing on a couple of several main areas being advocacy with the state governments working with the institute's mind you, which is really important. Again, it's a good collaboration model.
Matthew Webster: (29:39)
National marketing, stronger promotion of the benefit and value of good agents in the industry that they call that Industry Voice. Office profitability, how can we make offices more sustainable? Innovation, including proptech and industry data, and that's where we're coming and helping on that side and professional standards. And it's about working with what other groups and the institute's and agents are doing really well. But just plugging the gaps in terms of industry leadership, it's all about sustainability of the industry. And we're really proud to be working with REIP, because they're doing great things in a transparent way.
Matthew Webster: (30:26)
It's being headed up by Mike Green, from Harcourts International and Dan white from Ray White Group, and there's a board of directors there, Peter Handscomb, Tony Brazier, Angus Ryan, et cetera. And they're all working really openly and in consultation with what we're calling the industry leaders, about two or 300 people that have been identified. To just try and work out what the industry needs to do from a leadership perspective to ensure that it's a sustainable and innovative industry?
Kylie Davis: (31:03)
Well, it's great to see such big hitters laying down their arms and actually breaking bread together to talk about the future of the industry. I think that's a fabulous initiative just in itself. The emphasis is no longer on an alternative portal, or that's something that's just happening in the background?
Matthew Webster: (31:24)
It's happening in the background Kylie, the listing's portal's still operating and it's a very strong portal. It's got a lot of agency offices registered around about 6,000. It's got a lot of active listings, recently did a joint venture partnership with On The House. It's almost like a bundled type property portal initiative, all free. Unlimited listings, sales and rental listings unlimited, so there's a bit of a plan for squeezing On The House. But I guess that portal concept might pivot a bit And you know yourself that it's so critical to look at all the different mediums and channels, social media marketing, search engine marketing, automated marketing, et cetera.
Matthew Webster: (32:13)
Portals are still extremely important and are a very important piece of the puzzle but there're so many other parts to the puzzle as well to put together. So I wouldn't be surprised if REIP that listing's portal platform to be something a little bit broader and probably more innovative around data.
Kylie Davis: (32:39)
Okay. Because I guess the question that was often asked when Squiiz first came out is, "Do consumers need another place to go to find... Is there any point or purpose in trying to compete with realestate.com and Domain when they are so far ahead of the pack in terms of consumer traffic." That's always been the chewy thing that's hard to compete with, isn't it?
Matthew Webster: (33:06)
I don't think they were particularly trying to, and there's a lot of portals out there and good portals and free portals. And that's terrific, and if it keeps the competitive forces at bay sort of thing, but we've got a clear, standout winner and second place at the moment with the listings portals. But there's so many other innovative things being done around portals and marketing of listings and so forth.
Kylie Davis: (33:43)
And that is the thing isn't it? Sometimes you actually... There's no point of just turning up your toes and giving up the ghost on it and saying, "Oh, well, REI and Domain own that space. So there's nothing we can do, we just have to go with it." By even just trying to challenge them and to understand the tech space that they're working in. And I and I think for the REIP board of directors and part of their tech learning journey was around that. Learning about what works? What doesn't work? And the power of aggregating all of those listing data? Maybe that turns into something completely different that the realestate.com and Domain, we're never going to do.
Matthew Webster: (34:25)
Well that's right, the aggregation of data again which is our sweet spot, that's such a powerful concept. And this needs to... Whichever way it goes and it's not my place to say, or I guess I think [inaudible 00:34:40] will probably have more to say about this in the next few months. That it needs to represent the entire industry, that's all stakeholders, all the independent officers, not just the groups and that's where I've been really impressed with REIP. They've pivoted, they've listened, they've consulted at its representing the small agent up to the biggest groups, and how can we put some of the defence innovation back in the hands of the industry.
Matthew Webster: (35:12)
Because it's been pulled out of the industry on numerous occasions, and it keeps happening. And the industry keeps losing I guess it's power is the wrong word, but it's its competitive advantages by giving away what they have and what they can actually develop themselves. So it's going to be an interesting journey and I'm sure there'll be some speed bumps along the way, but it's great to be part of it. We've tried to support the industry for 20 years and so delighted to try and continue that.
Kylie Davis: (35:49)
Yeah. I think it's a great initiative that everyone's getting stuck in.
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Kylie Davis: (37:01)
Let's talk just for a second about advertising trends, because we're moving almost very quickly away from print advertising altogether and into that digital space. How has that affected ListOnce or WebIT?
Matthew Webster: (37:17)
That's a great question, given the rise of social and content which you know you're particularly so good at and an SEM and automated marketing and so forth. But it hasn't affected us a great deal, because we're pushing and pulling data everywhere anyway in listings. And we've got a great respect for all the different marketing channels and mediums. There're some fantastic products and providers out there, and we simply need to collaborate and integrate with the best of them for the benefit of the agents and the industry. Again, it's about us helping to build that proptech stack with all different providers or Proptech Hub. So, it hasn't affected us... It's only been positive for us Kylie.
Kylie Davis: (38:07)
Fantastic. Okay. What do you think Matt the next five years holds for real estate generally?
Matthew Webster: (38:15)
That's a big question, isn't it?
Kylie Davis: (38:16)
I know, how long have you got?
Matthew Webster: (38:20)
I don't feel qualified to answer it but anyway, some of our clients would be much better qualified to answer that. I've got some really smart people we work with. And we've been blessed, we've been given some terrific ideas and concepts from some of our clients. As I mentioned, Doug Hutchinson earlier and Jamie Allen and Nelson Alexander and Peter Hanson [inaudible 00:38:41] and so forth. They're just clever people that come up with good ideas and we try and then run with them.
Kylie Davis: (38:47)
Yep. They're the clients you want.
Matthew Webster: (38:50)
Absolutely. You've got to work shoulder to shoulder with the clients and really listen and then work out how we solve some problems. But I guess it's a much more savvy and professional industry now. Technology has enabled a lot of that, professional standards have lifted, the industry has attracted a lot of talented specialists. There're multi dimensional executives who are demanding change, and that's really coming of age I think. I guess judging by what some of our more innovative national group clients and prestige group clients are doing, I'd probably nominate a couple of trends. The listeners probably know that already but, medium and large agency groups are becoming much broader property services companies. They're not just focusing on the real estate transaction.
Matthew Webster: (39:47)
And that's been happening for a while now. But in recent years, the depth and breadth of those associated services, those properties services has grown hugely. And I think that's a great thing that a local agent or agency can offer so many property related products and services. Therefore, they become more than an agent and are evolving into really a trusted and expert property consultant via a centralised model. And I guess that comes back to also that customer one view that we're all trying to achieve and looking after that customer or contact for all their property needs and right across their lifespan, in fact.
Matthew Webster: (40:36)
That's a concept that REIP is talking about as well, that our agents becoming trusted and respected property advisors, as well as being very efficient with the real estate transaction itself. I hope that makes sense in terms of property services more broadly, and that opens a whole bunch of opportunities for proptech, obviously.
Kylie Davis: (40:59)
Yeah. And companies or businesses that are offering those services have much bigger, deeper, wider technology needs, I guess to keep all of that running. And all the different parts of the transactions talking to each other and pulling it all together.
Matthew Webster: (41:20)
Exactly. It's webbing led by the clients as well, who were introducing all these amazing products and services across the property services spectrum. And then we're needing to link them all up Kylie, and integrate them and make that data talk and provide a terrific UX or user experience for consumers out of all that. And that's a challenge but it's a great challenge to have. The second area I was just going to mention was the better use of obviously data and technology, which is our area. And aggregating that data for better business operations and planning.
Matthew Webster: (42:01)
We've seen this democratisation of real estate data, and general business data for that matter. And it's really transforming the industry, it's so much easier these days to aggregate data and then move it around. And share it as needed and analyse it for the benefit of all levels of your organisation, for the agents offices [inaudible 00:42:23].
Kylie Davis: (42:26)
I know that we often have conversations where we say, "I'm not sure how I feel about having my data aggregated, or what the benefits or the pros and cons? Is it really worthwhile? Is it safe?" And all of that stuff. But as you know, we were talking about it before, I'm coming out of a period of time where I've been dealing with the health industry, where everything is in paper and on a form. And, I would love it, if the health industry could just adopt 10% of the technology that real estate has around data to aggregate it.
Kylie Davis: (43:06)
Because when you go back to that old way of doing things where hospitals require you to fax information to specialists and won't talk to you on the telephone, or won't set an appointment. Or require a 64 page form to be filled in, which is similar to the other 75 page form, but they both have to go to different places. It's so painful and it's so inefficient and it's so stressful that it's quite hard to have to keep tapping someone, "We are in 2020, right?"
Matthew Webster: (43:45)
Well, we were just talking about where we at, this week we have both gone through the health system in different ways and I've gone, extremely inefficient as well. And people talk about that we're doing a lot of catch-up in the real estate industry in terms of technology in proptech. I think we're doing pretty well, and we've only just scratched the surface but there're some terrific innovative stuff being done and process efficiencies and so forth. So, now we just need to keep going, keep collaborating, integrating, talking. And as I keep saying to everybody that, "The rising tide will lift nearly all boats."
Kylie Davis: (44:28)
And so what does the future hold for ListOnce and WebIT?
Matthew Webster: (44:34)
Well as I said, we've been focusing really heavily on agent and agency facing services and products for many years now. And will continue to do so and really refine that, and that's around our technical expertise, that's our sweet spot. But, the move towards more consumer facing products, that's an exciting one. So we'll do more in that space where we're launching a product called Report Once soon, which is very much for the vendor and landlord, as well as the agent.
Kylie Davis: (45:08)
And what does that do?
Matthew Webster: (45:10)
Well, it's basically again aggregating data and giving them a dashboard to view their listing, marketing performance.
Kylie Davis: (45:18)
Matthew Webster: (45:19)
So pulling data from multiple sources and giving a snapshot, one click Report Once, So a very handy tool for everybody. That's another example I guess, of innovation for efficiency and benefits to the end user, the end consumer. And they're exciting products to roadmap with clients, and that's what we've been doing recently. It's a very fast moving area, but there's lots of opportunities and bring on that next exciting chapter I guess.
Kylie Davis: (46:00)
Yeah, and it would be lovely when we can all get together again and actually see each other and have a wine or have a beer. And discuss all these things as all the problems of the world should be solved over large glass of wine.
Matthew Webster: (46:24)
A problem shared is a problem halved but-
Kylie Davis: (46:24)
Oh, I thought it was a problem doubled?
Matthew Webster: (46:24)
Well we only just got together with your association, didn't we earlier in the year and then COVID made that a little more challenging. But I wanted to say also Kylie, thank you to you on behalf of the industry and getting that going, the Proptech Association of Australia, it's a really terrific initiative.
Kylie Davis: (46:40)
Matthew Webster: (46:41)
And I know you've done a huge amount of work, so thanks for all your work to date on that and anything that we can all do to help you, a lot of us will. I was looking at the website last night and the five goals on there are terrific. I think they really are compelling, and I think if anybody hasn't had a look at that, have a look at the five goals of the association.
Kylie Davis: (47:02)
Proptech Association.com.au, [crosstalk 00:47:06] shout out. Thanks, man.
Matthew Webster: (47:08)
Yeah, absolutely. So, well done and thanks.
Kylie Davis: (47:10)
Thank you. And look, while we're on gratuitous, some plugs, we do have an event coming up Tuesday next week where we're looking at the direct to landlord disruptors. Interesting, if you're a property manager come and have a look and see us speakers who aren't trying to cut you out of the transaction. Let's have a look at what they've got to say and where their heads are at because I think it's a really interesting space as so much is going on in there. But thank you Matt, that was lovely and completely unnecessary. But thank you. It has been absolutely lovely to have you on the Proptech Podcasts. Thank you so much for your time.
Matthew Webster: (47:52)
No, my pleasure.
Kylie Davis: (47:53)
We better get back to our days.
Matthew Webster: (47:55)
Yeah, my pleasure Kylie. Thanks for having us.
Kylie Davis: (47:57)
No worries. Thank you.
Matthew Webster: (47:58)
Kylie Davis: (47:59)
That was Matt Webster from ListOnce and WebIT. And Matt must be one of the loveliest people in proptech. The conversation that we had as part of this interview was one of those ones that chewed me up for the whole day. Now, I find ListOnce a fascinating business, there is absolutely no doubt that with so much diverse technology and solutions now being developed. There is an absolute need for the less sexy but extremely important technology that is effectively the plumbing that's bringing everything together. And it's our ability as an industry to visualise how well all of these different platforms can connect to create amazing real estate services that we know our clients want. I love that there is a business out there in proptech that can help agencies bring their vision of service together with good quality background tech, and to make it a reality.
Kylie Davis: (48:49)
Now, if you've enjoyed this episode of the Proptech Podcasts, I would love you to tell all your friends drop me a line on LinkedIn or via email Kylie@realcontent.guru or on my Facebook page. You can follow this podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor and Apple iTunes and we are coming up to 4,000 downloads. I'd like to thank my audio support Charlie Hollins and the very fabulous Jill Escudero. Our sponsors, Mitch Wines proud to be the official wine of Australia's proptech. Direct Connect, making moving connections easy and HomePrezzo ActivePipe, turning your data into amazing marketing content. And amazing email marketing, which has never been more important. So thanks everyone, until next week stay safe and keep on propteching.
Content marketing strategist, researcher, journalist and presenter specialising in the real estate industry. I'm passionate about proptech, digital disruption and all things property, big data, leadership and entrepreneurial ideas, have an MBA and specialise in social and digital media content creation and automation.