Archilyse is Asking: How is the Real Estate Industry Standing up to
Interview with Markus Stadler, Co-Founder & COO of PriceHubble
Markus Stadler is Co-Founder and COO of PriceHubble, a company specialised in the valuation of residential properties and the use of market and location information for decision-making processes. In this interview, he talks about how he and his company could already identify market shifting tendencies in the real estate industry caused by the Corona outbreak. He also shares with us how he and PriceHubble are dealing with the current situation and what they already learned from it.
In the “Standing up to Sars-Cov-2” interview series, we feature personalities from the real estate industry. We want to promote the exchange and encourage all real estate players to stay strong during this challenging time.
1. In what ways were and are you – as a company – most affected by the Sars-Cov-2 outbreak (e.g. decline in orders, termination of operations, etc.)?
PriceHubble offers digital solutions for the real estate industry and specialises in the valuation of residential properties (purchase and rental prices) and the use of market and location information for decision-making processes.
After the Sars-Cov-2 outbreak, we noticed that the need for information on property-related issues (such as value retention, how the market is developing, etc.) has increased. For this reason, we see a growing demand of our B2B customers for web-based PriceHubble products, but also a risen demand for analyses that contribute security and fact-based information to the public discourse. This trend applies to all our locations (Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria and Japan).
From our point of view, the cancellation of all (physical) events and fairs is not optimal, as we appreciate these events to introduce our product to new customers. We are currently testing digital formats and gaining experience with it.
2. What measures (technical, organizational, customer-specific) have been taken in your company? What tips can you give others based on your experience?
We all work smoothly from the home office. We have always operated digitally and in a decentralised way, so the processes are well established.
It is important, for example, to have good written documentation about decisions and work progress (e.g. in product development and sales). We informed our customers in all countries at an early stage that PriceHubble is also fully active in these times.
3. What was your approach, e.g. did you think in different scenarios? Which sources of information or methodological approaches did you choose?
Depending on the location, we comply with the country-specific requirements – in particular when lifting the lockdown measures, we proceed with caution and choose a step-by-step approach to reduce the 100% share of the home office work. However, we will certainly not proceed overhastily here. It is certainly an advantage that we can act flexibly per se.
4. Where do you see the greatest challenges or threats in the current situation? How do you deal with them?
On a personal level, such a situation is, of course, a stressful one for every employee and it raises many questions. We respond in a very open and transparent manner by means of a variety of communication measures. This has also led to exciting innovations in team communication, such as cross-national coffee chats; Thus, the exchange across teams has tended to intensify and improve.
5. Your company is specialized in providing analyses of the real estate market. With the latest data, you can already forecast early market shifting tendencies, right?
Our analytical methods and our access to current real estate market data enabled us to define and analyse market indicators shortly after the lockdown. For example, we constantly check how the number of property offers and their prices are developing. One month after the lockdown, there is a significant decline in rental and sales offers on online platforms.
Uncertainty and more difficult marketing situations are likely to be the reasons for this. Solutions such as those offered by PriceHubble, which can be used digitally, can be particularly helpful for e.g. estate agents in this situation. Prices are still stable, but we expect a noticeable effect.
6. Let’s travel into the past before the crisis – what tips would you give yourself from today’s perspective?
I would continue to rely on our own strengths and products – a great team makes a lot possible. Whether times of crisis or other dynamics: Success begins with the employees and this attitude is reflected in market-relevant solutions.
7. Let’s travel into the future and think of April 2021 – What will have changed permanently as a result of this crisis?
First of all, we hope that in a year’s time a certain (or new) normality will prevail again. We have a very dynamic product development process that allows us to quickly respond to and implement any changing requirements. We will continue to grow in this task as a company.
In our view, those who successfully overcome a crisis as a team develop an even stronger sense of togetherness – we are building on this dynamic.
9. How are you currently preparing for the time after Corona? Are there any measures that you are already taking?
Despite the crisis, we are on a growth path and are planning accordingly in scenarios. In the best-case scenario, we will conquer additional markets and recruit the best talents in the area of machine learning and data science, and constantly refine our products. Because: After the crisis is before the crisis.