The second day of the 2019 SVN Annual Conference started with an in-depth panel discussion about industry disruption trends. The panel, moderated by SVN COO Diane Danielson, featured Clara Brenner, Managing Partner, Urban Innovation Fund, Michael DeGiorgio, CEO Founder, CREXi, and Vishu Ramanthan, CEO, Buildout. Trends that were discussed included the prevalence of big data, urban technology, virtual reality, crowdfunding, and artificial intelligence
Technology as a disrupter
On the topic of how technology in general is affecting the industry, Michael DeGiorgio said technology is going to bring higher efficiency to the industry but will not replace brokers. Clara Brenner sees that technology is changing expectations from consumers about service, and now they want to have 24/7 access to everything. And for Vishu Ramathan, the biggest impact from tech on CRE is the use of virtual reality.
Don’t hang on to your big data
On the subject of big data, Vishu Ramathan said that more data is being shared, and being used for more interesting insights. He underlined the idea that having data is not the same as understanding of the industry. He said brokers have to stop holding on to their data and start collaborating.
AI instead of brokers?
Regarding the fear that artificial intelligence will replace brokers, the panelists all agreed that AI will only help not harm brokers. With the use of algorithms and predictive analytics, brokers will be able to find the right buyers and make the right hires, making those brokers better at their jobs.
Diversity and inclusion
To close the session, Vishu Ramathan spoke about the importance of culture, and specifically of increasing inclusion and diversity. He defined inclusion and diversity like this:
Diversity is asking people to the party and inclusion is asking them to dance.