Dear faithful readers and property fans, we here at PropSocial try our best to keep abreast of trends and issues in the property market, for the benefit of our audiences. After all, the world is changing around us, so it’s best to move with it or risk being left behind.

One avenue towards this goal is regular coverage of industry events, such as Property Conference (PCON) 2019, recently organised by homegrown financial platform Wealth Wolves Sdn Bhd and events firm BIGe Sdn Bhd, with Star Property, PropSocial and Homefinder Malaysia media partners.

Themed 4th Industrial Revolution: The Impact on the Property Market, the two-day conference was organised from 23 Feb to 24 Feb at Quill Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. PCON 2019 addressed issues surrounding emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), drones and building information modeling (BIM), in short exploring the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on real estate industry.

The times they are a-changing

PCON 2019 covered explored how technology is transforming real estate and property.

“We had around 600 interested attendees who registered online, with a turnout of around 500 participants from various industries,” said PCON 2019 organising chairman and Wealth Wolves executive director Leong Seng Tat.

“These included real estate negotiators and agents, developers, purchasers and investors, industry stakeholders and professionals such as architects, mortgage brokers, valuers, bankers, and interior designers.”

The event included a star-studded lineup of influential speakers and renowned industry experts such as Alpha REIT Managers Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ George Stewart Labrooy, LePro System Bhd Director Elizabeth Siew, and REI Group of Companies CEO Daniele Gambero.

It is currently a buyers’ market, due to the softening of the property sector overall, according to Labrooy.

PCON 2019 began with an overview of the property market, with Labrooy touching on the housing affordability issue, which continues to be a hurdle for many Malaysian property seekers. In his Malaysia Property Market: Moving Forward presentation, he shared that the overhang for the residential sector in Q32018 was recorded at 43,219 units worth RM29.47 bil.

To address this overhang, 180 developers will offer 22,000 units worth a total of RM22.5 bil at an expo planned for 1 March to 3 March, 2019, as noted by Daniele Gambero in his Property Cycles and Capital Gain: The Timing & Demand Factors talk.

According to the Housing and Local Government Ministry, about a quarter of the properties on offer will be priced at RM300,000 or less, with these purchases exempted from stamp duty fees.

Tomorrow’s technologies today

Digital technologies are gradually changing infrastructure and construction in Malaysia.

From the general outlook, the event zoomed into micro perspectives addressing the impact of disruptive technologies on the domestic market. In his How Blockchain is Going to Revolutionise the Property Market presentation, FIRST president Aaron Ting addressed the common misconception that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are interchangeable.

In effect, cryptocurrencies are just one application of digital ledger technology (DLT), which is why the term DLT is preferred nowadays to avoid confusion. DLT is a distributed ledger technology, with benefits including operational simplification, regulatory efficiency (real time) and fraud minimisation.

By applying DLT, developers and other industry stakeholders can leverage on real-time information for real estate investment trusts (REITs) or security token offerings (STOs), while enhancing data integrity, security and accessibility.

Leong noted that disruptive technologies such as DLT are of particular relevance to real estate agents, as their roles may be replaced by portals and humanoid robots. He added that the conference aims to become a signature annual event highlighting the challenges facing the property industry, so that stakeholders can best position themselves as it evolves. 

Other PCON 2019 speakers included Asia PropTech founder Leo Lo, Mahzan Sulaiman founder Mahathir Mahzan, Wealth Dragons PLC CEO Vincent Wong, founder Premendran Pathmanathan, Roof Talk co-founder Lois Ng, ATCEN Education Group CEO Ernie Chen and Portman Education Group head of marketing Gym Chan.

Our friendly PropSocial team was also on hand at PCON 2019!

Surrounding activities that took place throughout the conference included an MOU signing ceremony for the establishment of Asia PropTech’s Malaysia Chapter, signifying a commitment between Asia PropTech, LePro System and Wealth Wolves to delve into the effects of disruptive property technology (proptech) on local shores.

The 4th Industrial Revolution is transforming property, real estate and construction all around us. While it may take another five to 10 years before Malaysia fully realises this change, it is only a matter of time before we find new ways of building, buying, selling, and even renting houses and homes.

(By Felicia Soon, 28 February 2019)

What changes are you seeing from disruptive technologies around you? Let us know below.