The latest in Teranet’s ongoing series of Market Insight Forums was held on October 6 and was particularly well attended and insightful. Led and moderated by Teranet CIO Fariba Rawhani, the event included a panel of industry experts who delivered insights and their thoughts about innovation in the real estate industry.
One of these panelists was George Carras, founder and CEO of R-LABS Canada. George discussed the exciting new partnership between R-LABS and Teranet, the introduction of RIOS, a new innovative data and workflow technology platform that will improve efficiencies in the development industry and housing market, beginning with business-to-business and business-to-government solutions. When asked about his thoughts regarding the outcome of the recent federal election, George said that “every party had a housing platform” which he saw as a good sign.
Teranet’s president and CEO Elgin Farewell also joined the panel. He discussed the conditions that affect housing availability, noting that supply is influenced by broader economic issues. Regarding recent federal government housing initiatives, Elgin said that the emphasis on “access and affordability” was positive and should also include a focus on increasing the supply of housing stock. Elgin also spoke about the importance and necessity of quality data and information in the real estate process saying, “informed customers are always a good thing.” Elgin also noted Teranet’s technical expertise in this area. “Digitizing information is in our company’s DNA,” he said.
Forum attendees also heard from Tim Hudak, CEO of Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Canada’s largest provincial real estate industry association. Tim identified three specific challenges of importance to Ontario real estate professionals: 1) Supply issues; 2) Better customer service/professional standards and; 3) Better and increased use of technology. Tim noted that “the most important” levels of government in terms of ability to increase housing supply are provincial and municipal and that expecting too much from the federal government would not generate the targeted focus we require with diverse economies and needs.
Also speaking was Carlos Grass, co-founder of Stratus Data Systems which brings feature rich web-based MLS systems to market. Carlos mentioned that “the housing crisis is a global problem” and predicted that by 2025, “the housing deficit will hit 1.6 billion people.” Carlos also addressed the role that blockchain technology is playing – in the advancement of the end-to-end real estate process today. “We need new thinking to solve the housing crisis,” he concluded.
We thank the speakers and participants for a most fascinating and intriguing dialogue.
If you missed the session and would like to hear from George, Elgin, Tim and Carlos, you can watch the full Market Insight Forum recording here.