PROPTECH PANEL: Property Investing Proptech

Navigating the Future of Property Investing with Proptech Innovations

In our recent Proptech Panel, we delved into how technology is revolutionising the property investment landscape, led by Kylie Davis, president of the Proptech Association.

Our panelists include Alex Fedoseev from HtAG, Ajay Ayyar from, and Richie Ragel from Milk Chocolate® Property

The session illuminated how data and tech innovations are shaping smarter investment strategies.

Here are the three key takeaways that are transforming property investments:

  1.  Data-Driven Decisions: We emphasized the critical role of data in guiding property investment, with firms like HTAG Analytics using market data to identify high-growth areas.
  2. Proptech Innovations: We discussed the latest advancements in proptech, including predictive models and automated tools that streamline investment processes and boost efficiency.
  3. Market Trends Focus: The panel highlighted the impact of economic events like the Brisbane Olympics on property markets, underscoring the importance of keeping abreast of economic and social trends in real estate.

A big thank you to our event sponsor Stone & Chalk for making this enlightening discussion possible.





Kylie Davis: Welcome everyone. It’s Kylie Davis here, president of the Proptech Association, and it’s great to see so many people jumping on the call for our proptech panel on property investing for 2024.


Kylie Davis: Now I am here  Katungal people, part of the Yuin Nation on the far south coast of NSW, down near Baga. I’m actually here at my mom’s place at the moment.


Kylie Davis: My mom has a house down on the South coast. It is almost like a community centre. People are always dropping in. So I apologise if there’s any noise in the background as people turn up.


Kylie Davis: But in the spirit of reconciliation the Proptech Association of Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians of the country throughout Australia, and their connections to land, sea, the air above us, and community. We pay our respects to elders, past and present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all first nations, people joining us on the call today.


Kylie Davis: and I’d also like to thank the fabulous support of Stone and Chalk who make our panels possible.


Kylie Davis: and for those of you who don’t know stone and chalk was founded as a not for profit in Sydney in 2015 to help Fintech startups, commercialise and grow, and from 40 startups back in 2015 it now has hundreds of startups in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, covering all areas of emerging technology, including, of course, our favourite proptech.


Kylie Davis: So let’s kick off. Property is Australia’s biggest asset class, valued at over 12 trillion dollars, and it’s our favourite way to invest, and we are unlike any other country in the world because of our love affair with property, and it’s responsible for supplying rental homes for just over 30% of the population.


Kylie Davis: And it’s also an area that has long been serviced by proptech designed to help investors understand the market make more confident decisions about where to buy and how much return they can expect. So in this proptech panel, what we’re going to do is explore the extent of proptech out there for investors.


Kylie Davis: What new problems it’s now starting to solve, what we’re seeing in the data a bit and what the future is for property investing, and my panel of experts is Alex Fedoseev from HtAG, Ajay Ayyar From Property and Richie Ragel from Milk Chocolate. So welcome, gentlemen.


Kylie Davis: Okay.


Richie Ragel: Thank you. 


Kylie Davis: Great to have you all on the call. Alex, let’s start with you now. Your text is called HtAG.


Kylie Davis: Give us a shorter overview on what that stands for, how long you’ve been going, and what you do. 


Alex Fedoseev: Sure. So it’s HtAG analytics. H. Tech stands for Highland average growth, and there is a bit of a story behind how we came up with the name. But let me just start by explaining what we do and what we’re all about.


Alex Fedoseev: We launched in 2018 we’re a fully bootstrapped company. And at the start it was just myself and Michael Founder Matt.


Alex Fedoseev: who? We were both property investors back then and right now, obviously, we had their own framework where we really valued data when we made our decisions. When it came to investing in property back in the day, in 2018, when the launch and we thought, Hey, we, we’re using all this data. Why not make it publicly available on a portal and then see what happens.


Alex Fedoseev: So here we are, you know, 6 years later. That initial framework that we had evolved drastically over. You know, the period that we’ve been around. And the way we’ve achieved that is that we actually built the community around in the back of the platform. So we’ve been working very closely with buys, agents and brokers who obviously rely on data to help their clients.


Alex Fedoseev: And through that journey although we had the initial framework in place. We also got a lot of feature requests, you know, industry, best practice inputs from our professional subscribers that we used to uplift the platform and offer additional data points and features. So we’re at a point now where we have about 50 metrics that can help you make better property investment decisions.


Alex Fedoseev: And it’s not just about providing data. It’s also about essentially tying in location research with your individual property investments strategies.  


Alex Fedoseev: This is where we are a little bit different from other data providers. There is that matching aspect that we advocate. And we have a solution. For we are working on making it more seamless less, you know, heavy lifting from our uses where we match you to a potential property or a set of properties based on the parameters that you defined.



Alex Fedoseev: And yeah, That’s what we do. We’re constantly evolving. And I hope now is a good time to explain why higher than average growth, so high and average growth, really comes down to a couple of things when you do market research. And


Alex Fedoseev: We all know that it’s really really hard to predict how markets are going to behave because property is really property markets are irrational. So you have to take that account when you look at locations for your investments. But what you can do, although you can’t predict property markets, you could increase the probability of success. And that’s where the high average growth notion comes from. We look at the country average.


Alex Fedoseev: and we have developed a couple of metrics that help you increase the probability of you performing above the country average when you decide and where to invest, and what, as a type of investing.


Kylie Davis: Okay. So look, I’m assuming that some of that is going to be your secret source. But there is a lot of property data out there, and you mentioned that there were some 50 kinds of key metrics that HtAG identifies. But how? How is your data different?


Alex Fedoseev: So there are a couple of ways in which it’s different. So first of all, yes, there are metrics. But imagine being an investor, or even a real estate professional and trying to analyse markets based on 50 metrics. Right? That’s you essentially gonna need a degree in data science to be able to form that you know. Well, so what we’ve done, we provide that level of data to anyone who’s interested because we wanna be as transparent as possible.


Alex Fedoseev: But what we’ve done, we’ve taken all the data and we’ve developed a predictive model called Rcs, which stands for relative composition score. And it essentially automates that research aspect for you. So there is a the 3 metrics that are produced from, you know, over collection of


Alex Fedoseev: 50 other metrics. Then you can then use it to match locations, to your strategy, to your investment goals, and so on. And that simplifies the research. You know, there’s 15,000 suburbs in Australia. Imagine having to kinda look at every sub and understand whether it matches your goals and your investment appetite, we short circuit that so you only ever need to look at about 20.


Kylie Davis: Right? Okay? And so when?


Kylie Davis: And so when you were talking before about being able to look at the data and understand its propensity well, and match it to your strategy. Do you help your property investors identify a strategy, or or how do you?


Kylie Davis: How do you manage that?


Alex Fedoseev: So yes or no, in a way, because it’s a bit of a chicken and egg question. Where does this tragic begin with them, you know, location research begins. But the going in assumption before you jump on the platform, you do need to at least understand what your budget is.


Kylie Davis: Yeah.


Alex Fedoseev: Strategies. And how risk averse you are because all of that is gonna essentially dictate which markets you’re gonna match with and again going back to our main principle. It’s not just about providing the data. It’s matching you to the markets that apply to you and not to everyone else.We kind of actually coined the term around that whole spot for me is not a whole spot for you, just because everyone’s got different. Different, you know the natural situation, different strategies, different goals.


Kylie Davis: Yeah. Well, by the time it’s identified as a hotspot, it’s not hot anymore. Right?


Alex Fedoseev: Completely different story. Yeah, I know we can talk about that as well.


Kylie Davis: So how does so in your HtAG view, how does an investor achieve higher than average growth?


Alex Fedoseev: So we help you essentially identify markets that will help you meet your goals. That’s how you achieve that higher than average growth. Obviously.and through by doing that. There’s a lot of analysis that has happened behind the scenes when we analyse markets and we match it to a strategy. And you know that higher than average growth is almost a side effect of the depth of the analysis that we perform. That essentially, you can. Anyone can leverage to support the decision making. That’s it.


Kylie Davis: So how many, how many investors have used your system like you’ve been going for 6 years like, what are some of the success stories.


Alex Fedoseev: Interesting. Interestingly, we have a big adoption among real estate professionals.


Kylie Davis: Hi guys.


Alex Fedoseev: They need the data on a regular basis. First of all, to help the clients who are profit investors. So it’s a B2B platform but we also support B2C clients. So anyone can sign up. It doesn’t mean that you have to be a biassed agent, for example, to sign up.


Alex Fedoseev: But yeah, the success stories are primarily within, you know, the domain of biases, agents and brokers helping investor clients achieve the goals and short circuiting that research aspect that saves a lot of time. So they don’t need to spend days and hours researching markets. Our platform does the heavy lifting for them? I can give you a couple of examples of really popular data points that enable various strategies with our clients and some investor clients.


Alex Fedoseev: One great example is where they can identify instant equity growth through bedroom disparity in the market. So, for example if sub X has a typical price for 2 bedroom house at $500,000 in a 3 bedroom house is priced at, you know, $700,000 that instant equity up to $2,000 that you can realise by just adding a bedroom, and that that data is readily available for you in the platform. So you can. You can look at it and identify those markets that are great options, for you know this strategy.


Alex Fedoseev: Another great strategy that a lot of our clients employ is the traditional buy and hold. You know. So we all know property investment is not a get rich quick scheme that you need to have patience, and it takes a bit of time to realise those gains. So some of our clients who start using the platform, you know, 6. So 5 years ago are kind of seeing the result of that appearing, you know, in terms of how their portfolio has performed now. And, by the way, our predictive model also favours that same long-term buying whole strategy As well. so yeah.


Kylie Davis: Okay? And so look, I, I love that. You guys have a predictive model. So I’m gonna ask you to predict, what do you see, is the future of property investing, and how you got and how’s Ht, or higher than average growth preparing for it? Yeah, there are a couple of interesting themes in the industry that are beginning to kind of merge. One is. We’ve been getting a lot of We provide data, not just subscriptions. So we’ve got other startups and products that approach us to collect data when they do a lot of the time they have this ideal state solution in mind where they built everything up that connects everyone to everyone.


Alex Fedoseev: And I definitely think that just because we’re seeing that trend popping up many requests that come to us, I definitely think that that’s probably where the industry is going to evolve going forward. And that means there’s essentially a lot of automation that can occur where right now, you know, various bodies help investors do various things. For example, mortgage mortgage workers help, you know, securing home ownization. So market research and securing a property, a lot of that can be automated doesn’t mean that those actors can be completely removed from the picture. But the automation and matching of, you know, probably invested to the right, not just the right property, but also to the right act to help them in certain aspects that is definitely going to be the direction where the industry involves going forward. And we’re just a piece of that puzzle. Yeah.


Alex Fedoseev: You know, we provide market research and location research. At this stage. We also work on a feature that is also gonna enable a bit of a matching like tinder, like an experience for users where they match the property based on their parameters. When that is done. That could be a piece of the puzzle in that logic, a system that, you know appears.We’ll see how many years from now. I think it’s gonna take at least 5, probably probably a little bit more, because there’s some challenges there.


Kylie Davis: Yeah. Okay, cool look. I apologise. If you can hear a small dog in the background losing his mind, someone’s just turned up to visit.So yeah, Alex, so you also seeing that your data is being used because you’re in the buyers agent space, are you seeing a lot of your data being used for the first time. Buyer market as well.


Alex Fedoseev: Yes. So there is an interesting strategy that pops up more often than others, and it’s rent vesting. And they are typically home buyers who are renting right now, but they want obviously to upgrade the larger readiness. And that’s where they kinda trying to I guess, predict the market a little bit, but also make sure that they’re in a in a much better position, you know, when they’re ready to to upsize to a bigger residence, and then only younger families that are, you know, expecting kids or you know there’s a couple other use of time there. 

So what they use our platform for is essentially trying to find the best of 2 worlds. They want to invest in property that they will then move into a couple of years from now, and their strategy is a little bit more nuanced because they don’t just want the growth. They also want to live in a different and favourable suburb, with good education, with schools, and so on. So there’s a couple of metrics that we overlay on top of another that enable them to. You know better, owning to those markets that apply to that, to that particular strategy.



Kylie Davis: Awesome. Thank you so much. Hey? Ajay, let’s talk to you about Property Director. Now. How did the Property Director start? What inspired you? You’ve got a background in property investing right?


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, that’s right. So I started Property Director to back in 2017 2 other business partners. They’re also property investors. So we were just looking for a system where we could effectively track our portfolio using some kind of online portfolio system. We did. We did find a few out there. But what we found was lacking. There was either that kind of too, basic or high level, or there were a little bit hard to use.


Ajay Ayyar: not really providing the division. The way we want to visualise that portfolio, to look at things like the equity and rental over a period of time. So given that technology background. We thought in the back of my mind, you know. You know, it’d be worthwhile to maybe create something like this. We’re pretty confident we can build something. Given our knowledge and subject matter expertise that’s properly invested. And we all come from pretty strong tech backgrounds. So that’s how it started. But then, in conjunction with that, what we were thinking is to extend that to include all the sorts of digital tools that any investor would need, like research reports or forecasting tools.


Ajay Ayyar: things like that. And to do it in a sophisticated but easy to use way. So that’s kind of where it started. And since then. So we initially started bookkeeping or just just tracking and visualising your portfolio. But then we thought, we W. What we want to do is to have a lack of a one stop sort of dedicated platform for real estate investors with the sort of sophisticated and easy to use tools. That they would need. Yeah.


Kylie Davis: And so what are those tools that you’re providing with Property Director?


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, if you break it down into a few different areas. Firstly, there’s the, you know, like I said the bookkeeping. So just adding, you know, ability to add your property properties to your portfolio, the ability to basically track transactions, you know, at a low level or high level. So it’s all in one place.


Ajay Ayyar: an ability to up-attach all of these statements to visualise basically your equity and rental income and rental you, and basically the position or financial position really easily. And your Lvr, all that sort of standard information and also the ability to look at it before, at a bird’s eye level, or at a low, level irrespective of whether you’ve got one property or 5 properties or 50 properties. So we’ve got people who are premium investors who have over 50 properties, and they find that tool really easy to use.


Ajay Ayyar: but not just that to sort of have the ability for investors to also forecast the portfolio based on all the information that they’ve inputed to look at. Okay? So right now, my equity is, I don’t know a million dollars, and I’ve got 5 properties. What will my portfolio look like in 10 years from now, if I was to just hold my investment. And what would that kind of look like? According to some historical factors? So what we’ve got as part of our tool is the forecasting capability where we look at historical data, at a suburb in a property type level. To then let the investment be okay, if I just hold onto my investment, but continues to grow as it is.


Ajay Ayyar: where will it kind of be with the ability to put in different variables the other tools that we’ve got a basically research report. So all the sort of what I would call bread and butter, sort of reports and insights that an investor should look at like capital growth. Data going back. You know. You know, 40 years. Detailed demographics. So you know, basically the top, you know. I guess the suburb profile includes the population. The breakdown of, you know.


Ajay Ayyar: free standing houses versus units versus townhouses. In a suburb and also some more sort of innovative topics where we do what we really do well in property director, and we always get compliments on the way we visualise the data. So basically, we’ve got a suburb map, for example, which basically visualises every suburb in Australia. And if you just click. A particular suburb gives you the rental, yield the population to help investors narrow down certain suburbs that they would want to invest in. So, in addition to that, we’ve also got a strong focus on


Ajay Ayyar: extending our forecasting capabilities to allow investors to play out different scenarios. So really, you could break it down into 3 key areas, I guess. Call it bookkeeping. And I guess property investment tracking forecasting scenario forecasting capabilities. And thirdly, the research reports are pretty much like a one stop shop of all the key essential tools that would need.


Kylie Davis: Okay. And so with them. And you mentioned before that your tool, that property directly is used by both single investors and then multi investors, multiple property investors. What’s the breakdown? How? How? Other! I’m assuming the majority. If they’ve got a portfolio. Multiple in investors.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, absolutely. So what’s good about it is we do see sort of different types of investors. So we’ve got people who literally don’t even have an investment property. They come purely as subscribers to look at all that research tools. And then or they might have one property, just a Pbo, and they just wanna use our research tools. But typically I would say, probably 5 to 6 investment properties would be sort of a sort of a median or average number


Ajay Ayyar: But having said that, and we’ve got people, you know, who’ve got, I’ve got people who’ve got over 50 investment properties who use the platform? So they use it for all the bookkeeping and everything like that. But they’re still active investors. So they’ve got unit blocks and things like that. So it’s good, great to have that kind of range of people there. So it’s irrespective. I think we’ve got that sort of combination of features and tools that caters for those different markets. But I’d say probably 5 or 6 is sort of that sort of typical number that we tend to see.


Kylie Davis: Hmm! And as long as bigger investors are, they are more likely to be businesses or mom and dad investors.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, there, there are some mom and dad investors. And it’s amazing that they’ve able to. You know, a mass, this sort of scale of investment. Some people sort of trust but they still, it’s pretty much just individuals. I think there’s one business who does it but when I’ve kind of tailored it for their purposes. And there’s other people basically through generations. You know, they basically been involved in property investing


Ajay Ayyar: their families are involved. And they’ve got unit blocks. So they’ve got like multiple unit blocks where they use the platform as well, so it’s great to have those kinds of people come in and take advantage of the platform. So yeah, we do see that sort of variation. But we stay in regular touch with these sorts of investors. They give us feedback, and they constantly help us improve and refine our platform. One of the unique things about us is we like to have that sort of relationship, being invested ourselves and keep that sort of personalised thing going with them as well.


Kylie Davis: Okay, awesome. And just so that I’m clear. your platform It’s and when you’re talking about bookkeeping and things like that. That’s very separate to property management right? That can still be done by a property manager or real estate agent group.


Ajay Ayyar: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So we’re kind of agnostic of you know, whether someone wants to self manage their property or whether they go to a property manager. But typically most, if not all, of people subscribe. They use it. They use property, manage property managers. And basically, we’ve got just a transaction line within our tool, where you can just apply a property management fee on top of the rent. And that’s just all calculated automatically. So yeah, it’s sort of agnostic. So that’s up to you. If you’re an investor and you want to use a property manager, or you want to manage yourself. That’s totally fine. We cater for any type of investor.


Kylie Davis: Okay, so you’re using data mainly, that’s coming from price Finder and Sqm, and what was it about those 2 data sets that made you choose them, and what insights have you got that are unique.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, sure. So I guess for us, it really just starts with what data we want. You know, just that’s the requirement. We’ve got a certain vision for a feature we want to build. Such comes down to the data we want. Second August. How established they are in the market gives us reliable data. You know that they are well known and thirdly, things like history, how far they go back. We’ve just recently purchased rental yield data which is gonna come out on our platform. We’re gonna integrate that into a forecasting pool as well to provide, not just capital growth forecast, but also cash, flow, and rental you’d forecast. So that’s one thing. The other thing, I guess, is just the approach to engagement. 

To make sure we’ve got things lined up in where we’ve got a good, secure, long term relationship. You know that we get along and they understand our business. We understand theirs. Ability to just easily, easily, easily work with them. They’ve got a simple, easy to understand model. We like to work like that. And also opportunities to partner. So one of those the data partners that we’ve got, we’ve actually provided our services to them. although we buy data from them. They use some of our innovative capabilities there as well. So we actually consult. We’ve got like A B2B part of the business as well. So I think those sort of things, and how you get along and just have that mutual sort of relationship. Is also quite important.


Kylie Davis: Awesome. And you, look you mentioned before. Aj, that you have that forecasting part of your tool. How accurate has your forecast been? Can you give us any examples?


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah. So I mean at the end of the day, no one, I mean, if you’re being real about it, no one really knows in the future, right? But what we try to do is we try to As part of our forecasting, we try to use data that we understand and basically consistent data that you can kind of rely on if you look historically. So, our forecasting algorithm is relatively straightforward. So we take price finding historical data going back 40 years at a suburb and a property level.


Ajay Ayyar: And we say, alright, how much does it have? For example, houses depend on growth on an annual basis over the last 40 years. I mean, it’s sort of a robust period, as far as there would have been some, you know, booms and bust, there would have been different properties, sort of cycles over that period. So let’s say, if it’s growing at 5.5, and I’m just making this up. It’s 5.5%. We apply that same forecast for the next 10 years at a property level. 

So whether it’s Penrith or you know, if it’s Penrith, it could be for houses, but it’s all broken down by units houses, and also a vacancy. Right? So it all grows at different rates. So if you forecast your portfolio so as an example, I’ve got one investor who’s got 34 investment properties and without giving too much away. But yes, the 34 properties and his current equities are about 16 million.


Ajay Ayyar: So when he forecast his properties at, you know, going forward 10 years, it’ll if it continues to grow at that same rate, then it’ll be worth. He’ll have 50 million dollars worth of activity again. That’s based on the assumption that it will continue to grow. Some of those suburbs will grow more. Some of them won’t grow as much. So in general, I think investors are impressed with the fact that you know we put on the table what data we’re dealing with, and we don’t go to the level of trying to estimate how much the property is worth. 

Right. Now, I think you know, there’s some tools that do it, based on square metres and things like that, but it can vary considerably. But what we’re doing as well to add to that is, we’re working on some pretty sophisticated scenario analysis tools at the moment

00:28:31.650 –> 00:28:58.010

Ajay Ayyar: where we actually allow investors to play out multiple scenarios based on, you know, the historical capital growth interest rate changes, etc. So that’s the focus going to be key focuses of the business. Going forward. And also we’ll be looking to identify as part of future development, like high growth potential suburbs, you know, based on upcoming infrastructure, transport links, good schools, and so on. But we wanna make sure that we get our ducks in a row and have a solid algorithm before we go ahead and do it too fast.


Kylie Davis: Yeah, okay, fantastic. And so last year you were winners of one of the prop tech awards. Congratulations. Did that change anything for you if it helped build awareness or.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, definitely, I think what it’s done is to extend our reach. It’s sort of established as more. Not just like people didn’t know about it before, but it’s brought interest from some other businesses, some some well known property companies, venture capitalists, and so on. We still maintain equity in the business at the moment. But we definitely, you know, open to, you know, working with the right sort of partner to build up the business. And it’s just yet increased our media profile, you know. Cross social increases the engagement. It’s had a good, really positive impact on our subscription numbers. And we just know sort of Australia wide. And you know, it’s good to have that respect out there. And as far as what we do.


Kylie Davis: Yeah. And so what are you seeing? The pro is the future for property investing.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, look, I think As far as tech is concerned, and sort of tools that we do. And I think investors are getting a bit more savvy as far as being yeah. Being aware of sort of data and what you know, the key data points. You know things like, I guess, days on marketing discount and rates, and so on. So I think people will pay more attention to data.


Ajay Ayyar: to help sort of guide their decisions in where they want to invest. And I think they’ll start taking advantage of tools like Property Director to help sort of guide their investment decisions. So I think there’d be more. I don’t know. They’d be more literate as far as the data is concerned. And and and you know you know, before they go ahead and make a decision, they’ll use these kinds of tools. And I think and in terms of what we want to do it properly directed to help sort of fulfil that need is we wanna try to be


Ajay Ayyar: like a once one stop place where the investor wants to actually pinpoint and shortly suburbs they currently do with properly directed, take to the next stage to actually integrate listings from places like domain or real estate, so that they can actually say alright, based on 4 suburbs. I’ve got this budget. And I wanna, you know, have a look at these listings, so actually move from there to take action. So I think you’ll see those kinds of tools that’s something that we’re really focusing on doing this year. He’s working on those kind of tools to really cater for the whole cycle. And then once the investor buys the property, they can go back and research and pretty much repeat the cycle.



Kylie Davis: Yeah, fantastic. Well, thank you so much. Ritchie, let’s move to you now. You’re from Milk Chocolate and the new Milk Bar. But neither of those names really shout property investing. So tell us about how they came about.


Richie Ragel: Sure thing. I suppose, Kylie, probably the most common question that we get but we do things differently. Milk Chocolate. So when we first launched, we knew we wanted to create a service and tech company that was a little more unconventional, so naturally needed a name that reflected our ethos.


Richie Ragel: We viewed a combination of 2 words as a mix of licence necessities, milk, or, in our case, housing and fun chocolates at that time it allowed us just to differentiate ourselves in a save other real estate and construction businesses and turn away, I suppose, from the convention of using found a surnames or spin on property centric terminology. Especially when we started the business. We’re travelling overseas a lot and marketing ourselves to Australia next packs. So we needed something to set us apart. So the name goes a long way in supporting our core philosophy, our branding and our personalities.


Richie Ragel: We are a little bit cheeky means people remember us and talk about us. And so even if they’re questioning our naming choice. At least there’s a it’s creating conversation, which was the intent and purpose behind it.


Richie Ragel: And then drawing upon this milk bar was Aly named after the nostalgic causy milk bars. So you know, they go to the spot for essentials. It encapsulates the essence of convenience and community. It’s a place where users can gather all their essential tools and resources under the one roof. So in this instance, such as your your property, game plan, suburb recommendations, tracking your property transactions and ongoing portfolio management


Richie Ragel: and the Milk Bar creates an experience that echoes the warmth and familiarity of those beloved Milk Bar corners. So it’s about more than just property. It’s about building connections and making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.


Kylie Davis: Okay. But explain to me, what does Milk Chocolate do for property investors? And then how is it and what does milk bar do? And how are they? How are they different?


Richie Ragel: Yeah, I suppose the elevated features. We provide a comprehensive solution for buyers in the Australian property market. So whether the investors or owner occupies. So out bespoke software. In this instance, the milk bar combined without data, driven insights and expertise from our team. So including economists, valuers, property investment advisors, data scientists essentially help our users to plan by building and managing properties more effectively. 

So instead of navigating various services separately, our platform integrates everything into one, simplifying the property experience and empowering users with a cohesive solution. So


Richie Ragel: when we talk about the difference between milk, chocolate and milk bar milk chocolate is essentially our services business so that is the one that specialises in planning, buying, building, and managing properties that provides that complete and unique offering designed to simplify that property journey as I touched on. It includes, you know, industry legends across data.


Richie Ragel: real estate and construction, with experience and track record of investment advice, facilitating purchases, obviously in construction and management of properties. But in swim lanes, since 2019, we have been building that proprietary software tool that we call the Milk bus that has been crafted using our teams amazing insights over the years to digitise that whole property journey. The milk barriers stand alone. 

Products built off the superpowers that we call gained through running Milk Chocolate, AI and mobile optimise the piece of software that guides us through the entire journey. From game plan, suburban asset recommendations to the full purchase of that property, including exchange and settlement all the way through to active portfolio and property management. 

So what we say is that milk chocolate will actually leverage the milk bar to provide a seamless property journey for consumers, and vice versa. Milk Bar will leverage the insights provided by the milk chocolate subject matter. Experts to help us refine and enhance and validate the technology to ensure it continues to improve and develop into the future. We’re not just transferring the way consumers navigate property. 

We’re shaping the future of those experiences which is really important to us, and I suppose the way that we sell it is that we say milk chocolate powered by the milk bar is empowering all these with that integrated solution for more of a seamless property journey.


Kylie Davis: Okay, so what I really love about The way that you guys are doing it is that you’ve sort of got this vision that recognizes that every property owner is an investor, right? That whether even if it’s your forever home that everybody wants to maximise their asset and you’ve sort of honed that vision, I guess, through the expat expat market, because they’re often looking for and being prepared to pay for help in the past a bit more.


Kylie Davis: But how do you turn something as complicated as that vision into a prop tech platform? I know you’re saying that you’ve been utilising all of the experience of the different people in your team. But It is like that. That feels like a very big job.


Richie Ragel: It is a very big job. I’m really interested.


Kylie Davis: How long you’ve been working on it for.


Richie Ragel: So. So I suppose Michael, Michael and I, my business partner. We’ve been buying property for ourselves since 2,006 and commercially as a business since 2016. So we’ve been at it for a long time. But I suppose back to your question. We essentially do it in a very manual process at the moment. So the benefit of running a services business with a tech team under the one roof allows us.


Richie Ragel: It allows our subject matter experts to inform the intricacies and the pain points across that full journey. And so, you know we’ve got buys, agents and construction project managers and data scientists all talking together working with our Ux designers, machine learning engineers and software engineers to help us build milk well, because you can’t build it without actually understanding the pain point and the problem, and that’s been happening since 2019. So we are bringing them to market this year. 

We’re currently piloting users on the product this year. So that’s 5 years. That it’s taken to get to this particular point in time. And it’s as you touched on. It is a seriously large problem that we’re solving. And it’s one that’s otherwise very difficult to solve without essentially just getting your hands dirty. 

As Michael and I have, for you know, nearly 2 decades as subject matter experts and really understanding all of those pain points. And the interest is across that whole journey to determine how you actually go off and build a product. So it’s certainly not an idea that’s born overnight. It’s been. It’s carefully engineered, and we’re excited to bring it to the market shortly.

00:38:13.000 –> 00:38:17.008

Kylie Davis: Awesome. And so are you basically doing that? the Holy Grail of, I guess investment fundamentals. But property management as well like, is it the full gamut of.

00:38:27.640 –> 00:38:28.260

Richie Ragel: Yeah, it’s like.


Kylie Davis: And, unlike sort of Ajay. Is doing just the back end of the portfolio management. But you would still use a property manager. Alex is off also, sort of providing the data, and then you would always also use traditional services. You guys are kind of replacing all of that, or like just an alternative to that.


Richie Ragel: Yeah, I suppose it’s just the way that the business is being built if we offer, you know, those services starting from planning strategy all the way through to purchasing construction and property management. So the idea is that a user can engage with the business and the technology.


Richie Ragel: If you’re an investor or a family home buyer to essentially help you execute across that whole journey. And that’s, I suppose, is one of the key differences that we’re trying to bring to this base. And you know we encompass researching, planning, buying, building and and management.


Richie Ragel: I’m using our subject matter expert. So we pair the real estate fundamentals with data science to ensure. You know, our clients can achieve the strongest possible outcomes. But still with that human touch.


Kylie Davis: Yeah, okay? And so, how? How different are the fundamentals? Are they different at all between buying a property that’s going to be a good investment when you’re when you’ve got your investor head on compared to when you’ve got your forever home, Pat, on.


Richie Ragel: No, absolutely for us it remains exactly the same. So of course, there’s this key. Differences. Especially with emotional attachment with a family home buy versus an investor? Ha! And the assets. That the family home buyer is looking at is gonna be more specific to a location to their specific needs and drivers.


Richie Ragel: But outside of that we apply the same real estate fundamentals to other strategy and and the assets we identify always have what we call the rocky pile repeal. So we look for what we call a Milk Chocolate property. So this means that it’s a few distinct hallmarks that truly make it a property worth purchasing, and so


Richie Ragel: these attributes ideally contribute to the increasing of value, but underpinning the long term value of that particular property or portfolio of the long term, which is, which is essentially what we set out to do. So properties are long game. So we need to make sure we’re taking those. You know, those key fundamentals. So


Richie Ragel: As a business we use 4 pillars which identify new chocolate, property location, options, character and quality are the 4 that we use and these across investment properties or family home purchases. And so when we’re talking about location. Obviously, that means region and suburb assessment. So we use we use licence data and proprietary scoring tools to assist their investors and pairing them with the right suburban location based on their strategy requirements, but also with our family home buyers using those data points and proprietary scoring tools to pair their lifestyle drivers


Richie Ragel: with the specific suburbs that are gonna suit those drivers. But then, taking that down to, you know, looking at it from an asset specific point of view. So you’re focusing on the orientation of the home, our side of the street. Is it a flat, regular type block? What’s the zoning residential streets ideally, in close proximity to local entities and transport. They still, they’re the same fundamentals across both of those when you’re looking. 

Optionality will still love to purchase properties for our clients. It’s an investment or a family home, and we’d still love to be purchasing those homes that come with those particular options so irrespective. If they’re gonna take advantage of those options now in the future, we still wanna make sure that there’s options that come with those purchases because it gives them the ability to execute on that in the future. Which is not only gonna add value to the home, but also, you know, provide them with options. 

If they’re looking to sell that home in the future and the home. If it has more options, it opens up the size of your buying pool if you’re looking to sell that home. So if you have a home that has the ability to cosmetically improve to actually extend at a granny flat or subdivide. Ultimately, if we go to sell that asset, you’re gonna open up that buyer, pull a buy. 

Sorry to a greater audience, which is obviously gonna provide a stronger result. If you’re looking to sell the home we focus on character. So, for instance, if you buy in West Melbourne, you know Edwardians, Victorians, California bungalows? They’re the types of homes that we’re going to be focusing on. We most likely would never purchase the low set free home in those particular markets, because it’s not what’s generally driving people to those particular homes. And you know, character provides that emotional attachment to a home. 

So the more attractive to a family home buyer. They are the ones that are gonna buy with their hearts and knock their heads. So the investment fundamentals are making sure that you are still purchasing a home that presents with character. Because ultimately, if you’d like to sell that home in the future, you want to attract as many buyers as possible and ideally invoke buyers as well.


Richie Ragel: And then just finally qualifies the same assessment that we place if it’s an investment or family home doing building pest inspections, electrical and basic plumb inspections. We do that irrespective of the home, and that’s their mandatory you know. Then our teams on the ground, who are viewing the homes we’re looking at, you know.


Richie Ragel: tracking the brickwork versus vertical lines. What’s the difference? Understand? If it’s a home handyman? Renovation? Is it a good quality home, handyman? Renovation generally. Not someone would have connected, etc. All those sorts of things. That’s it still remains. The fundamentals still remain the same.


Kylie Davis: Awesome. And so you guys, milk chocolate was recently accepted into the reach accelerator. Tell us a little bit about that, and what that’s opened up for you.


Richie Ragel: Yeah, so we’re really excited about this. So applied last year. And we’re accepted earlier. Late last year and early this year. So I suppose, for those that don’t know rich Australia and New Zealand is a growth accelerator. So it’s created by second century ventures and early Stage Technology Fund, backed by the National Association of Realtors.


Richie Ragel: For us it provides just a diverse advisory panel that we hadn’t experienced before and and just gives us unlimited access to world class mentors. As an example, we just actually had a video call prior to this and that was with the senior director strategic partnerships for docusign as example. So That’s the answer that we’re getting. We did a product. 

Demo got some great insights, gonna have further conversations. It helps us make more confident decisions and execute tech adoption really smoothly and just access to a global network of executives and investors through those partnerships. It just opens up more doors for us. In terms of global expansion. And obviously, really importantly, investment as well.


Kylie Davis: So what’s the biggest, you know? Can the way that Australians invest in property? Do you think that will translate into Australian markets like, are you a proptec that has global export potential?


Kylie Davis: I know you’ve been importing cause you’ve been bringing external overseas investors into Australia. But yeah, how does it go the other way?


Richie Ragel: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s always something that you know, when we first set out on this journey it’s always been part of the long term roadmap, and for us absolutely the principles of property investment are transferable across international borders. And while the fundamental process of buying a home really remains consistent. This obviously the nuances especially in due diligence workflow assess asset assessments. It can vary based on geographical landscape.


Richie Ragel: But despite those differences by behaviours and requirements remain consistent. So success is still gonna be, you know, hinged on aligning investors, goals, and needs with suitable properties in suitable locations. So technology and the way that we’ve built our technology, it’s only just gonna enhance that process which is gonna just make it more efficient and seamless, but we absolutely believe that it is transferable into overseas markets. For sure.


Kylie Davis: Okay? And so what are some of the biggest lessons that you and Michael have learned since you started Milk Chocolate.


Richie Ragel: I don’t know if we’ve got enough time. But yeah.


Kylie Davis: The top 2.


Richie Ragel: Yeah.


Kylie Davis: Top one or 2.


Richie Ragel: There’s been plenty I suppose where we sort of grown is understanding failure. So We used to sort of if you got a knock back, or if there was a failure in some respect to the business, we really sort of dropped their heads, and I miked around for days on end. But we now just you know, it’s water for ducks back, and it’s seen as a valuable learning opportunity rather than a setback. So that’s one of the key ones for us. 

And really, for me, personally, just establishing good habits and maintaining discipline and consistent progress and processes. I’m very much, quite robotic in that respect, and I do feel that has improved over time. 

But historically, I used to sort of wine, you know, between those processes and being consistent. And I did say that effect in terms of the workplace as well. So just sort of being really aware that you do need to maintain good habits and discipline, and really be consistent.


Kylie Davis: Yeah. And what do you? What is the Milk Chocolate view of the future? Of property investing? What do you say happening.


Richie Ragel: Yeah, I suppose we might be a bit biassed here. But we are definitely just in the future. We see all aspects of the property journey to be consolidated into one unified process. So you know, a really seamless, digitised journey where individuals or in in institutional investors can either self serve or engage with a single integrated platform to execute on their strategy, and whatever that might be, and that can be for family home or for an investment strategy including, you know, the ability to create bespoke strategies that suit your specific needs and requirements and goals receiving location recommendations, facilitating the purchase and ongoing property and portfolio management where you know where technology really does inform your decisions based on your ever changing needs. 

So the world’s artificial intelligence is generally knowing your next step before you do and that’s what we see as being quite powerful in the future for property investors or home buyers. Home buyers. Sorry, it is understanding. You know, using technology, understand exactly what your next move needs to be based on your lifestyle drivers, or how your circumstances have changed to help you sort of orientate to where you want to get to.


Kylie Davis: Fantastic. So look! Thanks so much, Richie. Let’s open up some questions to the panel as a whole. What the with? There’s been a lot of rhetoric in the media about. You know the greedy landlord narrative, and and and this sort of the theft of you know the generational wealth. What’s your take on it? And does that narrative impact on prop, check on the proptech that you guys are working on.



Richie Ragel: Who wants to be first?



Kylie Davis: That’s a token.


Kylie Davis: Ajay, you’re working in. Oh, sorry Alex.


Alex Fedoseev: I was just gonna say, yeah, I don’t think so. We can see that reflected in, you know. for example, subscription base. So you know any sentiment we get from our uses, the property investors. and you know, real estate professionals.So yeah, we don’t. We don’t see that at all. But yeah, I I think that there’s a bit of that negative sentiment there.


Kylie Davis: Yeah, probably invested. Actually. Aj, what about you? Cause you’ve got a lot of multiple. You know, that’s a small proportion of the market.  


Ajay Ayyar: Anyone who’s got more than I think. What probably the guys on this panel given you’re familiar with property investing numbers is, I think, only less than 1% of all of Australia, I mean out of the, I think 2 million or so property investors in Australia have got 6 or more properties, but I mean for us that’s pretty much the market, you know. So if there’s more of those kind of whatever greedy landlords that’s good for us. So yeah, I don’t really.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah. Didn’t really see an impact or anything like that. I guess the people who subscribe. There’s also a lot of young. Not a lot. But there are. What’s really interesting is that we’ve got a section when people register with us, you know, it’s optional to put in the age group. So there’s people who are like, just, you know, early twenties who are getting in and looking at data and things like that. So the new generation, I mean, I guess. They seem to be pretty data focused. The guys who are registered there that I don’t even know if they’ve got their own investment property yet, but looks like they’re doing a lot of research. And we’ve got a lot of buys agents who come on and have a look as well. So yeah, I don’t really see a major impact there. Yeah, as far as business. Wise.



Kylie Davis: Okay? And what about the whole self? Manage super funds? Are you saying any? Has that increased the interest in property investing. Now it’s possible for a self-made super to buy property. I suppose, from our point of view today. Not significant, significantly. But we are now starting to see more clients come to us with the ability to hey? I wanna buy my personal name, but I’ve also got a self managed super fund. That I wanna purchase the property. And I think definitely further, education is is required to inform guys about the interest is


Richie Ragel: and requirements of buying a property and yourself manage the fund, because it’s it’s it’s quite complicated. And lending conditions are very different to purchasing a new personal name. And I just don’t think that is evident enough. We. These particular clients are coming to us generally from financial planners. So it’s generally, or their accountant who are helping them set up these facilities. For that. They are coming to us educated. But I definitely do. It’s trickling through. But it’s certainly not sort of.


Kylie Davis: Hasn’t been a.


Richie Ragel: Yeah.


Kylie Davis: Wave, no.


Richie Ragel: Really not no.


Ajay Ayyar: I think from our perspective. Yeah, just on the soup-funding investment property through super. So yeah, we’ve got, you know, questions from some of our subscribers saying, Do you have tools? Or you know the ability to, you know, basically see how you know, you know, you buy an investment property using super or basically play out different scenarios, using, you know that as an option. But yeah, I guess once that becomes a little bit more common. Or, yeah, then we can look at building tools there. Yeah, that’s the.



Kylie Davis: Well, Guy, well, so cause I have a question for you all which is one of the obligations of self. Manage super fund when you’re property investing is that you are supposed to have a valuation of the property most years at the end of the financial year. But if you sort of. Don’t get around to doing your tax until September, October or April.


Kylie Davis: You then have to kind of do like a historical one which nobody has a tool, for you can’t go back in time and say, Well, what was the value of this property back in, you know, thirtieth of June last year?


Kylie Davis: Has anyone got a solution for that.


Richie Ragel: I suppose, just thinking off the top of my head. You could probably use the purchase price and then apply the date that you need that assessment created on, and then have a look at obviously the historical growth for that particular suburb. Over that particular point in time, and apply that as the percentage to the purchase price. It’s not property specific. So it is. It is. It’s focusing on more of a macro approach to it, but that would be. That will be the.


Kylie Davis: I just want an Avm button that I can put the date into and say valuing as of this date. Aj. Can you help me out, Alex?


Alex Fedoseev: Second from that.


Alex Fedoseev: Alright. Go ahead, Ajay.


Ajay Ayyar: But I’ll just say that you could, you know, maybe give it a go. But I don’t know.Be pretty basic at the moment. But yeah, we’re a bit of thinking to come up with something a bit more deeper than that.

00:53:48.030 Alex Fedoseev: Yeah, it’s like running Avm in the, you know. Most, yeah, you’re right. Most Avm’s current date. But you like the algorithm it can run. You can punch in any date that you wanted and give you the value. So it should. It sounds like it’s a pretty easy feature to implement. It’s just no one thought about it, Kylie. So.



Kylie Davis: My accountant is too tight to buy an Alfie data subscription and give me one as part of my part of the service he offers me, anyway. And he and I’ve had conversations about that for you, anyway. So look, guys, what’s your pro? I wanna get 2 things out of it as we sort of head to wrapping up. But if you could buy an investment property anywhere in Australia at the moment. Where would you be buying, and what sort of property would you be buying? And what’s the price? Bracket that you’d be looking to buy in


Alex Fedoseev: Very personal, too. So you know, it depends on the person


Kylie Davis: So I’m asking all 3 of you based on your.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah, one.


Kylie Davis: Preferences, and also for all of the watches at home. Sort of asterix. This is not, you know, this is general. This should be general information, and should not be regarded as investment advice. So.


Ajay Ayyar: Yeah. So first, so to me, I’ve always like Queensland, even my last admission property I bought in Queensland. It made good. I could have lasted a few years, so I would say, Queensland and I like Melbourne as well. I’ve traditionally not even really. I’ve never invested in Melbourne, but I think now It’s kind of everyone’s just going to Perth or Brisbane right now. 

So I feel like it’s kind of if you really pinpoint certain places in Melbourne, you know, with all the I think going forward is like gonna be, you know, probably the most in a populated Australian city, or you know, there’s a lot going for it. 

And I think there’s more restrictions to landlords that I think was introduced recently, which I think, is maybe scaring people away, so I think it could be an opportunity. If you look at certain suburbs. I haven’t spent very long, but I like Queensland, you know, obviously with the Olympic games, and, like, I know, anecdotally, and also the Stats. A lot of people who can’t afford houses in Sydney.


Ajay Ayyar: I’m moving up there to Queensland. It’s nice. It’s got sunny weather, and obviously the Commonwealth games and all of that happening. So I think it’s just an you know th, those 2 that I like, and I’m a bit scared of Perth. I know a lot of high profile investors who investigate if they’re really skilled. But I’m a little bit more conservative. I just don’t really understand the Perth market very well. It’s kind of volatile. And so you know, and price bracket wise. Probably. Maybe this is a bit low at the moment, but I’ll always like to go between 5, 4, 50 to 600. But you know that bracket, but I think that may not get many free standing houses, preferably 3 bedrooms.


Kylie Davis: Okay, Alex, what’s your preference? Yeah.



Alex Fedoseev: I probably agree in some regard with Aj, yeah, definitely, Melbourne has been popping up on our right right? A lot lately. Again, it really, really comes down to what the strategy is, what your budget is, and so on. So if if it was me, then yeah, I’d be targeting around 700 mark in well established suburb in Greater Melbourne region. It’s probably not gonna be the you know, the inner city. It’s gonna be the outskirts


Alex Fedoseev: That might work well for me. And the reason I’m saying this is because You know a lot of time, as you mentioned at the start, Kylie. When you discover a Hotspot, it’s already too late. Whereas the signs of the market in Melbourne and Victorian general where that is showing a reversal based on the data we’re seeing again. This is just the General broad Market. View. When you zoom down to sub level, every suburb is different within the broader market. So


Alex Fedoseev: That’s why you need to do a bit of extra due diligence and research. And I know I’m talking about Melbourne. But this, like some great suburbs, exist essentially in every other state, except for one state. You know, sometimes it’s like the A really good question to ask where to invest. But an even better question is, is, where not to invest.


Kylie Davis: Well, yeah.


Alex Fedoseev: That’s good to hear.


Ajay Ayyar: Those are not Tasmanian down right?


Ajay Ayyar: One of those 2.


Alex Fedoseev: Close Northern territory.


Richie Ragel: Jennifer.


Kylie Davis: And yeah.


Richie Ragel: Did she?


Richie Ragel: Yeah, for me? There’s probably a couple also for me, initially


Richie Ragel: similar to what I just thought about with regards to Brisbane, so southeast Queensland, and Brisbane in particular. The Olympic games. A lot of the infrastructure we’ve been buying there for a period of time, and the continuation of the economic drivers remains the same looks really strong from a data perspective. So focusing on established housing within 10 cases of Brisbane, dB, zoned with the ability to develop in the future will be the first option at a higher price point. 

So that’s a million dollars plus there’s other markets within a commutable distance to Brisbane via train less than an hour where you can be purchasing assets, established houses in the stuff for suburbs. With the ability to add value in the future. At a lower price, point around between 500,000, 600,000, so to sort of markets currently. 

Both within sort of southeast Queensland Brisbane area. I agree with Melbourne, I think. Generally what you see. Obviously there is the macro effect of all macroeconomic data. That sort of drives different markets across Australia. But you also see investors moving to markets where they see value.


Richie Ragel: And that’s we’ve seen that historically, where Hobart was was the had the lowest medium house price in Australia, and then that took off


Richie Ragel: Adelaide then had the lowest Median price point in Australia, and that took off Earth. More recently. Melbourne has always been basically number 2 or 3 behind Sydney and Melbourne is now starting to drop down the pecking order. So I think, as investors start to recognize that Melbourne, a global city with strong forecasted population growth where it’s still affordable. I think we’re gonna stay invested. Start to focus on Melbourne, probably in a year 12 to 18 months time.


Kylie Davis: Yeah, cool. Well, fellas, we’re gonna have to wrap up, cause we’re coming up for time. But it has been an absolutely fantastic conversation. My last question was gonna be, what’s your advice for investors? But I’m gonna summarise quickly, based on what I’ve heard, and that is one. Do you research? Well, one has a strategy and does research right? They’re the. They’re the top 2 tips. I guess that you would. They would all recommend 3.


Richie Ragel: Yeah.


Alex Fedoseev: Not full of the crowd. Isn’t that one.


Kylie Davis: Yeah, and don’t follow the crowd. Obviously, which is why we’re all liking Melbourne to a degree.


Ajay Ayyar: Analyse with analysing it, I think. Take action as well, you know. That’s a key thing.


Kylie Davis: Fantastic.


Richie Ragel: For me. Take a borderless approach to investing, because you say a lot of investors who focus on markets that they know all their friends tell them about, or where they live.


Richie Ragel: And then also really understand your cash flow, thresholds. Richie Ragel: base your budget and your requirements on this, so making sure that you understand what you can afford before you start to identify what’s the best location to match that.



Kylie Davis: Fantastic. Thank you so much. Alex Richie and Ajay, it’s been absolutely fantastic to have you on this proptech panel. And it’s been a really fantastic conversation about property investing and the prop tech that’s really taking it in all sorts of new directions. Thanks. So much for your time.


Ajay Ayyar: Thanks guys.


Richie Ragel: Worries. Thank you.


Kylie Davis: And thanks everybody at home for joining us. See Ya.