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. And 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. Especially in these strange and unusual times that we live in, of ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns and even the Black Lives Matter protests. And my guest in this episode is Nikki Greenberg, who runs the Real Estate of the Future consultancy in New York and is head of Women in PropTech globally.
Now Nikki is an Australian by adoption and has expertise in advising big end of town developers on how to embrace technology and innovation. And in this interview, we talk about why there has never been a more important time to talk about innovation, and what life has been like in New York during the pandemic and during the Black Lives Matters protests, during which we recorded this interview.
Now this is an interesting discussion about the unique skills that developers and the real estate industry have to visualise and plan for the future through our ability to manage big projects and build living environments from scratch. And Nikki's challenge to the industry in these unprecedented times is to tap into the energy of the elements of the international cities that we love to bring innovation to our built environments.
So Nikki Greenberg welcome to The PropTech Podcast.
Nikki Greenberg (01:47):
Thank you Kylie. I love hearing an Australian accent. It makes me feel a little bit at home.
Kylie Davis (01:52):
Yeah, well you're a kiwi in New York, aren't you?
Nikki Greenberg (01:55):
No, no, no, no. I'm a South African Australian in New York.
Kylie Davis (02:01):
Oh okay, I apologise.
Nikki Greenberg (02:01):
So I confuse everybody. They're like, "What's going on here? What is that?"
Kylie Davis (02:08):
So look, I'm really dying to dive into find out that story behind how that happened. But what's your elevator pitch for the Real Estate of the Future?
Nikki Greenberg (02:18):
I mean quite simply it's that the real industry's probably about 50 years behind where it needs to be. So what I do with Real Estate of the Future is that I help real estate industry understand proptech and innovation. And I help proptech startups understand real estate so that's the mystique behind it.
Kylie Davis (02:37):
And that is one the tightest elevator pitches I've heard for a really long time so...
Nikki Greenberg (02:44):
So I will, we'll delve into it in more detail. It will unravel.
Kylie Davis (02:47):
Yeah, cool. So tell me a little bit about your background. Like how did you get into the proptech space?
Nikki Greenberg (02:53):
Right, so yes as I touched upon a bit already I sound from Australian. Now I went to university in Sydney. I studied architecture and then I went to business school at UNSW.
Kylie Davis (03:05):
Nikki Greenberg (03:06):
And worked for quite some time in real estate development. Working with Payce, working with Greenland, working for the architect Koichi Takada for a lot of you know, worked with the Buchan Group in shopping centre design. And then I moved over to New York about, it's coming up about two and a half years ago. And it's really coming here, I was exposed to the proptech scene. And I was quite excited about it because you know it really is the future of the industry. Every single industry is going more, and more, and more towards digital. And you know we're seeing an acceleration of that at the moment.
So when I started my role here with a luxury real estate brokerage called Halstead and I just told them straight-up I said, "Look, if we're doing marketing for luxury new developments, you know these 15, 20 million dollar apartments, et cetera, in the heart of Manhattan, we really need to be having a point of difference." And I made it my role to get involved in the proptech space. And go out and proactively find out about who's out there, what are they doing? And then working with the developers to start implementing some of this technology that I believe very sincerely just is, you know, it's like the air that we breathe. It's the way that we work. That it just needed to, started to be implemented in more of a real way into properties.
And to be that person guiding them on that journey is something that I've found to be very inspiring. On both a side of speaking to these proptechs doing amazing things and having this "we are changing the world" perspective. And on the side of the real estate developers who were getting excited about doing something that's quite new and innovative and thinking outside the box about their developments that they're very excited about. And you know for them also thinking about what is their lasting legacy? And what is it that we need to be thinking about as we're designing, constructing, and building something that people are going to live in, or work in, or play, or pray in well into the future during these very exciting times in terms of technological advancements.
So that was kind of the journey and then I started up the networking group Women in PropTech, it would have been about a year ago now, which was a great way for me to network with some more brilliant people in the industry. And get to talk to more people and about the stuff that I'm very interested in. And speaking at major conferences around the world and that really is what led me to start up my consultancy, Real Estate of the Future, in that I get to, on a daily basis now, talk about the stuff that I love. And talk about ways that the real estate industry can be innovative for any developer or owner/operator. To be able to sit with them and look at their portfolio or their plans and go, "Okay, well you know, you're doing great stuff, but have you thought about this? Or how about that? And this is how you can work with us."
And it's something that inspires me every day. And there's never been a more important time than now while we're sitting in, what are we in now June 2020? It's, well a lot of us are sort of land locked, you know locked down due to COVID-19. It's never been a more timing prime for us to be talking about technology and innovation and seeing so many more people and companies adopting it.
Nikki Greenberg (06:52):
Yeah, absolutely, and you know it's funny because I always used to say, "I'm going to translate it into Australian over here." I always used to say that if you can buy something at Best Buy, aka Harvey Norman, and when we're creating new development we really should be putting that same technology in. I mean the number of people that now have fancy home office set-ups, who has Apple EarPods that they didn't before, or you know using Siri at, having Amazon's Alexa as a best friend to keep you company every day. You know, I think a lot of people have been tinkering at home and you know having a smarter tech set-up too.
Kylie Davis (07:35):
I love it. I think is it's because not only a city of villagers in like the normal geographic sense, but it's also like a city almost of vertical villagers with all of the big property. You know, the residential towers and the office towers and then all of the small business at the bottom which are like the heart and soul of all of those villagers. What are you seeing in New York at the moment? Or what are the developers that you're working with looking to introduce into buildings that are in the proptech space? What's the stuff that's turning them on?
Nikki Greenberg (08:11):
And look, I love that you love New York and it's a special space especially here for anybody that's in proptech, it's the perfect conditions because there's so much tech talent. It's a city that's open to innovation. You know, the real estate industry is really the heart and soul of Manhattan. And there's a lot VC and a lot of private equity in the city.
Kylie Davis (08:11):
Nikki Greenberg (08:35):
So and also its chaotic. So if you consult for New York, you consult a lot of conditions.
Kylie Davis (08:41):
Nikki Greenberg (08:42):
So you know, and I love it to say about it being a city of villages, and having this sort of street life and this heart and soul. And I think that there's a couple of things that in the conversations that I have that keep popping up. You know at the moment because of COVID-19 the hot topic really is about how we're going to go back to work? And how are people going to feel safe? And I know that everyone's talking about this at the moment and you're probably all sick of hearing about it. But I just have to kind of reiterate you know some of the main points.
And you know in a month's time the main point will probably be a little bit different. So I see these tall office towers, it's really hard for them because the density, the recycled air. People having to go up in a lift. You know this fear factor behind what if somebody's unwell. So we're hearing a lot about temperature checks, about having people at elevators being able to control the number of people coming in and pressing buttons. About growing cleaning regimes. You know that's kind of the base level. A big constant at the moment is tenants not paying rent. And a lot of shops aren't paying rent at the moment. If you're a gym and you haven't had a customer in the past three months, how are you going to pay rent?
So you know, same with some of the coworking spaces, there's also a bit of concern around that. So there's a lot of general concern at the moment because there's a lot of unknowns. But to that I say, "When there's a problem, technology can bring a solution." So I think there's a real opportunity for, I mean for the innovators out there to go, "Okay, there's a clear-cut problem, let's find a clear-cut solution." And those solutions are going to be new innovations because this is uncharted territory. But I think it's yeah, vacancies are a big concern, safety is a big concern. You know just anything around financing of developments because there's just not the money coming in in the same kind of a way. So that's the challenge for your audience, solve for those and you'll be doing very well.
Kylie Davis (10:59):
Yeah, we certainly will. And now, let's hear a word from our sponsors.
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What is it like being a New York resident during these kind of extraordinary times? First COVID and lockdown and now the protests, like what's that been like?
Nikki Greenberg (12:24):
I mean look, it's been strange times indeed. And if you came to New York right at this moment you wouldn't even recognise it. You know the city, so I live downtown, I live in the West Village which has a lot of Australians here too. It has a few Aussie cafes. So it's not uncommon to hear an Aussie accent in the neighbourhood but it's a real like vibrant kind of place ordinarily so.
But now when you walk down the street, I mean because the weather's warmed up at least there's a few more people about. But now when you walk down the streets it's you know, everyone's wearing a face mask, there's hardly a person in sight, all the shops are now boarded up before they were closed which was depressing in itself. All these like cute little local shops, and cafes, and bars, but now they're boarded up because of the concerns around the looting that was happening recently. You know, which was very unfortunate.
Today, what's today? Today is Tuesday so actually yesterday, which was the eighth of June, we started phase one reopening which meant that construction, manufacturing, and some manufacturing could go back. And some stores could start having curbside pickup, but there's just nobody around. A lot of the residents have left, some permanently, some temporarily. The streets are so quiet. There's, walk along the main avenues, it's completely dead. You know, there's that side of things. It's very unrecognisable. And then on top of that, of course we have the Black Lives Matter protests so you know once a day we get this very energetic buzz happening, and the protesters come along. It's quite a lovely thing with New York because it's just a place that has so much heart and so much soul and the protesters are coming by the tens of thousands. You know, they've come day, after day, after day.
And I'll say that something that might be quite surprising to people, in my part of the city, is that I'd say probably, maybe 85, 90 percent of the protesters are white. And it's a realisation that you know Black Lives Matter is a movement that matters to everybody in this city. And people are taking on this cause as their own. So there's this beautiful spirit where people are cheering them on and taking a knee. And cars are honking, not because they are upset of the traffic being blocked, but because they're absolutely delighted to see these protests coming through and the real change. And I think this is just ultimately what's very special about New York is that it is a place with so much heart. So many incredibly smart people, and so many innovative people, that ultimately despite this tumultuous time that we're going through at the moment, t's the heart. It's the creativity. It's the intelligence. It's the drive. It's the investors. It's the real estate industry that's tangible assets. That this is what's going to bring a lot of innovation, like this new life and era.
There's a little bit of excitement as the weather's warming up. Everyone's like, "Well, what's coming next because New York doesn't take things lying down?" So it's not they're like, "Oh poor us, our city's like falling apart." It's going to be like, "All right, like what's next?" This has been like the greatest creativity happens when there's something to like rebel against, or to revolt against. So we'll see. I think we're going to see some of the most innovative and crazy things coming out of this era. And especially coming from New York which is, you know, probably been more impacted than many places in the world by COVID and now by the protests.
Kylie Davis (16:25):
Yeah. So I really hope killer hornets aren't the next thing that comes.
Nikki Greenberg (16:25):
Oh my god.
Kylie Davis (16:32):
Or a Godzilla or something like that. But so-
Nikki Greenberg (16:37):
I think it might be a missile from North Korea or somewhere else because some upsetting crazy guy, you know, I won't say his name.
Kylie Davis (16:44):
Yeah, so what has the real estate industry learned from all of these recent events?
Nikki Greenberg (16:49):
Yeah, like I think when you talk to proptech people here they'll all tell you they've never been busier.
Kylie Davis (16:55):
Nikki Greenberg (16:56):
And I'm sure you're finding it here too, one of the greatest challenges for these great technologies is actually adoption. And getting beyond the mentality of, "If it ain't broke don't fix it. Or do you really need it?" And now there's an acknowledgment, they're all, "Actually no, we do want a way to communicate with our tenants. We do need a way that there's touch-less entry. We do need to get to do temperature checks. Or to monitor who's coming and going from the building. Or to have consent forms signed in a very simple and touch-less way."
So for many in the proptech industry, they're super excited. For some they're nervous because they may have had investments that haven't quite hit the mark at the moment because, Wall Street's been quite tumultuous. But generally speaking there's like an air of positivity and there's also a lot of people also coming up with new and innovative ideas. But what's the scene been like in Australia at the moment? What's the sentiment?
Kylie Davis (18:00):
Well the same sort of thing. Like the biggest reason that agents give you for not adopting technology is that they didn't have the time, and so there was this period of about four to six weeks where suddenly everyone had a lot of time to work out what they needed to understand better. So we saw a race to virtual showings because we were allowed to continue to transact but just you weren't allowed to do open homes. And you weren't allowed to do our inspections and so virtual showings went absolutely crazy. Video walk-throughs and the whole kind of digitization of the residential transactions so negotiation platforms, virtual auctions, because as you know auctions are so popular over here. And they obviously couldn't be held, they were stopped over night kind of thing. But the industry adopted remarkably quickly by basically saying, "Well if we can't do that, what can we do? Right, let's do that."
Nikki Greenberg (19:02):
Kylie Davis (19:02):
So transactions continued the whole way through albeit in a reduced capacity.
Nikki Greenberg (19:09):
Yeah, yeah. Well I mean my mother lives in Bellevue Hill and she sold her apartment, maybe, about a month ago.
Kylie Davis (19:15):
Nikki Greenberg (19:16):
And you know, so she was absolutely delighted about it.
Kylie Davis (19:21):
Nikki Greenberg (19:23):
And I think the savvy realtors, they know. You can overcome it, adopt the tools, drone photography, you name it. It's all possible. I'm interested to see the longer lasting impacts for the industry. I actually produced a series of webinars for the National Association of Realtors which is the largest body of realtors. I think they may have two million members in the US. As soon as COVID started, you know the lockdown started, I actually started putting together these webinars for them. Because I'm like well I've worked at a brokerage before and I'm like, "I understand how these people do business and it's such a people's business."
I just wanted to equipped them with an easy guide to show them you are using your skills as a brilliant, personable sales person. Which is enabled and helped by the technology and you can do so many more viewings when you use the technology. This is the best use of your time is this technology and once you get started on it this is going to revolutionise the way that you work. And then it's, they'll be excited for what's the next step of tools that you're going to use now that you've mastered putting together a virtual tour on an iPhone, or you know 3D tour, you know and all the rest.
Kylie Davis (20:50):
Yeah. And I mean the other thing we saw is a whole lot of people doubling down on their CRMs and sort of basically saying, "You know I've had this piece of tech for a while now and I only really understand how to do about 10 percent of what it does." So really getting stuck into a lot of conversations with CRM businesses talking about the volume of webinars, and just training, and demos, and things that they were doing to get agents to understand everything else that they could do. So great that you raised NAR because lots of Australian proptechs are working with NAR and the Reach programme. There's a couple quite high profile proptechs as part of that programme. But what do you think Australia and the US could be doing in terms of shared experience? I'm reluctant to say that Australia can only learn from the US because I think that the US can learn some stuff from us as well but like, so let's pull that apart.
Nikki Greenberg (21:52):
Yeah. No, no, no, 100 percent. And you know the wonderful thing about being here and talking to people in the real estate industry is that Australia's reputation that we have internationally for everything rings true here. Is that people know that Australians are hard workers, have integrity, and are known for quality. And the perception here which I actually can't comment because it's in a strange way I've been out of Australia for too long a time, just in terms of technology adoption. The perception in New York is that Australia is light-years ahead of the adoption of proptech for commercial real estate and commercial properties, which I love hearing.
I know that Australian real estate developers are top-notch, absolutely top-notch. In what they deliver and in the consistency, you know Stockland, Mirvac, Lendlease, they're brilliant brands, and they are always, always, always best in class. So there's a lot of setting the standard, you know the gold standard that Australia's very good as an industry. In terms of the reciprocal nature of what can Australia from the US or from New York. As I said in a strange way, I've been out of Australia for too long, but this is the advice that I give to everyone within the real estate industry that is considering proptech adoption, and innovation, and especially during this time is that we need to look and this is where the Reach programme is pretty good as well is that we need to look 10 years ahead.
We need to not just look one step ahead, especially now while a lot of the industry is adopting new technologies and new changes as a result of the changes coming because of COVID-19. Because essentially the measures that they adopt today and going to become our long-term legacy. What you adopt today tends to stick around so you know it's important to have a mindset about where are you heading and where do you want to go? The real estate industry has been very good at thinking long-term. My background, as I mentioned before, is working as an architect and I started out in master plan developments with Lendlease. And then I went on to actually I worked on, when I was with Koichi Takada, I worked on East Village. You know, shopping centres and residential developments in Zetland which for anyone in Sydney you'd know it very well.
Kylie Davis (24:48):
Nikki Greenberg (24:49):
You know the thing is as real estate developers we're very good at going, "Okay here's some land, now let's put a plan together." Let's actually put a vision together and understand we'll put in our design today but it's only going to be approved in say 18 months time. Construction's only going to be complete in maybe two to three years time. But this is a development that needs to last people for the next 10, 20, 30, 50 years because you don't want it falling apart. So the real estate industry's very good at thinking ahead.
Kylie Davis (24:49):
Nikki Greenberg (25:23):
You know the city's very good at thinking about, "Okay well we might put a tramline in so let's plan for it." Let's actually have a setback for a potential tram that's coming through, and that's something that happened at East Village. There's a certain line where you couldn't plant any trees outside. You know on the street in front, even though it would've been lovely to have had some trees there because like, well, this is a potential tram stop.
So the industry's very good at thinking ahead. But what it hasn't necessarily embraced is understanding that, "Okay, well we live in a digital age now." So how are we now going to actually design this digital infrastructure in one way but also the capacity to have a integrated digital experience within our buildings. And within the way that place's function, how we market places. There's a lot of learning too we can take from other industries such as advertising and e-commerce, which I can talk about more in detail as well. But I think what we need to be doing is just kind of realising that the real estate industry needs to catch up to e-commerce. Because as we've seen with newspapers, those that don't fade out and those that embrace the digital reality, those are the ones that prosper.
Kylie Davis (26:39):
Look I'd love to hear what you think we should be learning from advertising and e-commerce?
Nikki Greenberg (26:46):
Yeah, so look, as I said, so I think there's a few things that we can learn. And some of this is going to sound a little bit abstract but I'll also use a couple of examples. Now this is something I've been thinking about and talking about for a while, and I think something that also becomes quite relevant now as we talk about going back to work. When we go on an e-commerce site, for example, or if we're say buying a plane ticket, you can get the base model and then you can get upgrades. So you can go, "Okay I've got my cheap ticket to Brisbane, and actually I want to get an upgrade to business class, and I want to be able to get this kind of a meal, and I want to get and a little kit so that I can brush my teeth, and so on, and so forth." So you can get all these add-ons.
And this also happens in fashion where you can get a pair of jeans then you can get your monogram embroidered on it. And you know you can shop for size and things, but we're not seeing this yet in real estate. You know, we're not seeing this personalised experience yet, but this is what people like. People want to be able to customise and personalise, and I know in the background real estate developers are going, "Yeah because there's a cost involved every time you modify."
Kylie Davis (28:02):
Nikki Greenberg (28:02):
Yeah but you know, it's like, I think there's a mentality of going, "Okay, well the places, and we're seeing this now, the places that we live in aren't necessarily just places that we live in." You know, the places that we live in are also places that we work, that we play, that we do well quite literally do everything. A lot of people are going to keep working out from home. A lot of people are going to keep working from home. These are kind of here to stay. So how can we actually accommodate these add-ons, or the ways that people like to use their own space? How can we modify if it's modular, whatever it may be? So I think you know personalization, customization is one thing that I think we do need to become more savvy at.
You know why would you, whatever it may be, or you know work-place we can use as sort of a kind of example. Why would you provide a base that not actually follow to with the customer to create something that is relevant to them and to their needs. In a very tailored way. Not everything has to be physical, a lot of it can also be experiential. In a marketing sense, I sit on an advisory board for a technology called Blingby. And what Blingby is is that it takes videos and it makes them interactive, so it becomes almost like a miniature website. So if you're watching a video-tour for example, you can find out you know you can find out what brand the tap is. Or you can find out and contact the sales agent directly without having to go, "Oh, like you know what is that?" You can start actually start learning at informations that you can direct the story and keep the lead there along with sophisticated data.
And you know so Blingby's a technology that's working with some of the big TV networks, and some of the big fashion brands, for fashion brand publishers, and you know a few other organisations. I've been a big champion of them in property for some time since I first saw their technology. It's looking at as I said at the moment the industry's thinking, "Okay, how can we get by? How can we just do the bare minimum to get back to work? Or just start putting our toes in the water to become familiar with some type of technology."
But I think quite quickly, not only is there going to be a fatigue when everybody's doing the exact same thing all the time in the exact same way. But I think there's a recognition now as you're seeing how quickly some of the sale's agents have adopted to doing video tours and adopted technology and expanding the use of their CRM I think what we're going to see is there's going to be like this next way of going, "Okay, I've got the basics. My customers are loving this. My team is loving it, and embracing, and thriving. What's like the next layer of technology that we can bring in?" And I think it's going to be the second wave that's going to be the most exciting thing for our industry.
Kylie Davis (31:01):
So what does that second wave look like? Like what do you think the next five years holds?
Nikki Greenberg (31:08):
Look I'm an eternal optimist. I think the next five years, I think, we're going to see a lot of, I think the standard staff is going to become a mandatory. Whether it's an app to talk to your tenants, T-less access, doing everything on your mobile is going to become the norm. Another same way as when we go shopping and, when we check out, everything's going to be on our mobile. Also in terms of marketing everything's going to go to more sophisticated social media platforms. Unfortunately I think you know print advertising's going to go down even more. Whereas influencer marketing, you know big data, geo fencing, et cetera is going to become a lot more popular.
I do believe that we're going to do so much more virtually in terms of showings, in terms of the way that people work. Even in terms of right down to engineering teams about you know how they're doing surveys, and how you're having in-person versus virtual meetings. So I think there's going to become a lot more of a discussion and synergizing of the digital experience and a physical experience. And I believe that in the next 10 years, which takes us to 2030, and I love talking about the statistic, because you know in 2030, 75 percent of the workforce is going to consist of millennials and generation zed. They're digitally natured and they're expecting a digital experience. So I think as we start getting towards this recognition that there is 75 percent of the workforce is expecting a pure digital experience. There's going to be, you know I think, well it's my hope at least that the real estate industry's going to be ready for it. Because we've been gearing up and working towards it, and understanding it and benefiting from all the technology that we're looking at right now.
Kylie Davis (33:14):
Yeah, well at the recent inland conference, virtual conference, Gary Keller talked about how the physical was becoming digital and the digital was becoming physical. And I think that's probably a great way to look at some of this stuff and how it's going to be developing too.
Nikki Greenberg (33:29):
I love it. I love that whole concept.
Kylie Davis (33:33):
Yeah, it was one of the great outcomes from the conference for me. You know when you have those aha moments.
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So Nikki look I'm really conscious of your time and I really want to, before you go, to have a quick talk to you about Women in PropTech? So you've set up Women in PropTech and I guess at the moment diversity and all sorts of things are very much on the agenda. But what was the impetus for Women in PropTech and what are you guys working on now?
Nikki Greenberg (35:07):
Yeah, no absolutely. So I started up Women in PropTech about a year ago because what was happening is that whenever I was going to proptech events in New York I kept running into the two same women and we were like, "Well where are all the rest?"
Kylie Davis (35:19):
What do you mean?
Nikki Greenberg (35:23):
Well that's it. I mean it's the whole real estate industry, like every other industry, is going digital. So I started up because basically I wanted to meet other people that were like me. And then it became a journey of saying, "Okay, well hold on a sec, let's get more women into the industry because this is the way that things are headed." So in setting it up it's been an absolutely wonderful experience because what I've realised is that there are some absolute rock stars across the world doing brilliant things. And in setting up the organisation was quite important to understand what are the gaps within the industry? What's not being served? Because quite honestly the world doesn't necessarily need to have another woman-in group, you know there doesn't necessarily need to be another, "Oh we are Proptech Whatever." Unless you're actually offering something that is unique and tangible.
For us we realised that real education is something that was lacking. There's a lot of absolutely brilliant events in the US especially that I can talk to. But the depth of the topic is very surfaced. Because you know they'll have one day they'll try to cover everything across the board to bring all their people in the room, which I can appreciate. And then there's a strong commercial component to that, but for us when we've been running our events in New York. It's really taking on one topic at a time and saying, "Okay, well let's look at this in depth." You know, let's look at it from a myriad of angles and really get a sense of one issue from a lot of different perspectives so that you can understand. The last event we had was the tech-enabled brokerage. We had people from proptech, people from commercial real estate, we had investors. We had people from all different walks of lives. And different generations talking to the topics and some absolute rock stars, so that by the time that people left they understood the issues and had been completely inspired.
Now having said that, for us we were always born as a global organisation. We're quite fortunate that at the start of the year we had set up a digital platform for our members to connect. So when COVID hit we're like, "Okay well great. We've already created this. Let's start rolling it out." So we've been able to take our organisation from being quite heavily focused on in-person events to being purely digital, because we already had that network of you know women all around the world. And brilliant men also, we always encourage guys to attend and participate at our events. But we're able now to have our members from all around the world to communicate and interact with each other.
So we are born digital. We have a few different things that we're working on at the moment. We're about to roll out a PropTech Insides series which is basically we have curators from around the world who will each curate a zoom. I know zoom's a little bit of a dirty word. But they'll each curate a zoom around the location, with locational insights. And we'll also have subject matter experts you know for example we have Trista Miller from Sidewalk Labs. She's curating a topic around modular construction, because she's actually been charged with setting up modular factory in Switzerland for the company. An incredibly intelligent woman.
So this is something that's available to everyone to attend. You can always go to the Women in PropTech website to see the calendar and sign up. There's also a lot of value for members. To become a member then you get access to the virtual community to connect with other people. You know some freebies, and all the bells and whistles, also more opportunities to be showcased and speaking opportunities and that kind of thing.
So yeah, there's a lot happening. No, we're very sincere about our mission which is about showcasing amazing people doing amazing things, and educating the board of proptech investments and real estate community. And really ultimately it's about quality because I'm very passionate about proptech, I'm very passionate about real estate. I love it. And I love the legacy that we can bring when we do something right and when you do something that's wonderful. So many people benefit from it. And that's the kind of thing that's the kind of passion and love that I've brought into creating Women in PropTech and everyone else involved is exactly the same.
Kylie Davis (40:23):
So where do you see it going over the next five years?
Nikki Greenberg (40:27):
The next five years, well look, you know we need to keep going. We need to keep expanding our reach. We do want to be able to bring more women who are in real estate, to bring them to be interested in proptech in technology as part of the conversation. That's a priority for us. And we do that through both showing the absolute rock stars that are around, and showing the industry the absolute rock stars that around. And really we just see an expansion of our digital footprints in terms of the quality programming and our membership base. To be incredibly powerful and beneficial for creating meaningful connections, you know partners, collaborators, investors and so on. So we see this as a global ecosystem that's just going to grow from strength to strength. And you know we're off to a rolling start.
Kylie Davis (41:24):
Fantastic so I'll put the link to the show notes to Women in Technology so if anyone's interested they can link up with you there. Just to finish up Nikki because I'm conscious of the time, if there's one thing that real estate professionals should be doing right now to be future ready what would that be? And how is proptechs supporting that?
Nikki Greenberg (41:48):
I think the one thing at the moment is that we need to realise that we have to move away from pen and paper. And we need to be moving everything over to video and to natural gestures. So as I mentioned before keep your eye on emerging technologies, embrace them, play around with them. Understand that, you know be a first user, pilot something, don't be afraid of it. That's a big thing, understanding that we're moving to video. And yeah, I think the proptechs that I see supporting this, as I mentioned before, I think Blingby is absolutely brilliant This is something that's just going to be commonly used.
There are some exciting things that are happening in AI as well which is exciting. You know robotics, again thinking about drones, and delivery robots isn't such a far off thing. I just encourage everyone that's listening to this, and I'm sure everyone that listens to your podcast they're of a very innovative mindset, and so I'd just encourage them to give it a go. And be open to trying something that's new and enjoy the journey. I think whatever you do, don't just go with the easiest, low-hanging fruit. Because there's so much more if you just kind of climb the tree a little bit. You know, you'll be okay, you'll get there.
Kylie Davis (43:20):
Yeah. That's great advice. Look Nikki there is so much more we could talk about. I can't wait until I'm back in New York at some time in the future and we can catch up for a glass of wine.
Nikki Greenberg (43:32):
Oh gosh, I'm looking forward to that.
Kylie Davis (43:34):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Look thank you so much for being on the show.
Nikki Greenberg (43:38):
No, thank you so much. Yeah, absolute delight. So thank you, thank you again. And I hope everybody in Australia's doing well, and yeah just keep up the good word that you're doing getting the message out about proptech.
Kylie Davis (43:53):
Thanks so much. So that was Nikki Greenberg CEO of the Future of Real Estate and head of Women in PropTech, and I found Nikki's insights into what real estate needs to learn from current events really fascinating. I love how she articulates the role of developers to aspire higher in creating our built environments. Now when I first asked Nikki to do the interview I thought we were going to talk about Women in PropTech, but Nikki's view was that Women in PropTech is really a group of women who all work in proptech, and who network to support each other. And she didn't want to turn off any of my male listeners by talking only about that. Her argument was that the questions I posed to her about equality in technology should actually be answered by the men themselves because that would be a more valuable exercise than having women discuss it over and again. And I'm not sure if I completely agree with that, but fellows if you're game for it, I've included the questions in the show notes and I'd love to hear your answers. So drop me a line.
Now if you've enjoyed this episode of The PropTech Podcast I'd love you to tell your friends, and drop me an email, say hello on LinkedIn, or on my Facebook page. You can follow the podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, and Apple iTunes. So I'd like to thank my audio support Charlie Hummins, and the fabulous Jill Escadaro, and our sponsor Smidge Wines, proud to be the official wine of Australia proptech. My new sponsor Direct Connect making moving connections easy and HomePrezzo turning your data into amazing marketing content which is now part of [inaudible 00:45:25]. 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.