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Making Sense Of The Data Deluge

The real estate industry is producing massive amounts of data, but more focus needs to be put on both the quality of that information and how it is being interpreted.

Chris Farhi

“With our property markets becoming increasing segmentalised and complex, it’s never been more important to have not only good quality data, but also robust interpretation of that information,” says Chris Farhi who has recently been appointed head of insights, data and consulting for Bayleys Realty Group.

“Over the past few years there has been a big trend towards automated data models for things like mass valuations, facilitated by advances in computing. Those models have their place, but they also have limitations so it’s also important to understand what’s happening behind the numbers.”

Bayleys’ managing director Mike Bayley says a major component of Chris Farhi’s role will be to enhance the quality and usefulness of market information provided internally to agents and externally to clients.

“Bayleys has a unique position in the real estate industry in that it has significant market share across all three main sectors: residential, commercial and rural. This means we are gathering substantial volumes of transactional data and information across the whole market on a daily basis. Chris’ role will be to leverage this more effectively – particularly for the benefit of our clients in terms of providing forward looking market insights which will position them at the front of emerging or changing trends.

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“He will be working closely with our international affiliate Knight Frank which undertakes high quality analysis of what is happening globally across different market sectors. Real estate is a very dynamic industry and a number of substantial changes have occurred internationally over the last 18 months as a result of COVID-19. Some of these changes are already playing out here and it is important that our clients are well informed about their significance when making real estate investment decisions.”

Mike Bayley says the other important part of Chris Farhi’s role will be to grow Bayleys’ consulting services, particularly on the commercial property side of the business where he has a well-established track record working alongside both corporate and local and central government clients to optimise the real estate side of their operations.

Farhi was previously director of strategic advisory for Colliers and prior to that was a senior consultant for Wareham Cameron & Co (now PWC Real Estate), after initially working in the development sector for McConnell Property and then in property finance for Westpac.

He won both the Young Achiever of the Year and Supreme Excellence awards at the Property Council of New Zealand’s 2018 Auckland People Awards.

“I am very excited about working across the Bayleys network to pull together our collective understanding of the market,” he says. “The company has on-the-ground experts with many years of experience across all types of property nationwide so is in an unrivalled position to be able to share information about what is happening in the market.”

Sharing knowledge has been a big part of Farhi’s professional life and he has also been a part-time property lecturer at the University of Auckland Business School since 2013, after graduating from there with degrees in engineering and property, both with first class honours. He also has a Master of Philosophy in real estate finance from the University of Cambridge.

Farhi says there’s been much more focus within the real estate industry, particularly from its larger players, on providing career pathways for graduates over the past decade or so and this is resulting in an increasingly talented and diverse range of young people coming into the profession.

“They are technologically savvy, smart, and have a real passion for property. They are adding a lot of new energy and enthusiasm to the industry.”

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