GadgetPilipinas’ Giancarlo Viterbo says the Philippines is ready for an online real estate revolution
As we countdown to the Property Report Congress Philippines 2016, we’ll get to know the respected market leaders who will speak at the conference on 7 April at the Fairmont Makati
“The Philippines is a hot bed of budding tech startups, and currently a significant player in the digital media landscape in Southeast Asia,” claims Giancarlo Viterbo, editor-in-chief of popular tech e-magazine, GadgetPilipinas.
A self-confessed geek, Viterbo has always been passionate about technology since he got a hands-on experience with his father’s office computer. While in college, he helmed the Cybertalk school paper, and a few years ago he received his certificate in web development.
He believes that now is the time for the Philippines to embrace the future and the transformative benefits and competitive edge of technology.
“Non-usage of available technology and resource (including digital media users) isn’t just going to impale the competitive edge of Philippine real estate and hospitality sectors, but it will definitely hurt current and future businesses,” he says.
Viterbo has been tapped to speak at the Property Report Congress Philippines 2016, a high-level forum that will discuss the past, present and future of the property sector in the country.
Property Report recently caught up with the GadgetPilipinas editor who shared his thoughts on trends in technology and real estate.
How has the Philippines advanced in terms of digital connectivity in this decade?
Digital connectivity in the Philippines has greatly increased versus 2014 and 2015. According to Simon Kemp of We Are Social, about 47.13 million Filipinos are actively connected to the internet, and more 41 million are active in mobile social media. In terms of growth versus 2015, the number of active internet users grew by 7 percent, and the number of active mobile social users increased by 28 percemt.
Such advancement and growth are triggered by several factors, which include network infrastructure upgrade by Telcos (yes, it really happened), improved and more affordable internet and data subscription programs, and affordable Android smartphones.
Do you think the Philippines is ready for an online real estate revolution or is this happening now?
We are in technology, mobile and digital media bubble. Based on Google Consumer Barometer 2015, majority (55 percent) of our population owns smartphones, white 43 percent has laptop or desktop computer.
Most industries have greatly shifted or increased their digital and social media marketing and promotion expenses. Technology, I believe, is now playing a big role in the property industry.
In fact, last year some real estate companies in the Philippines fully embraced technology when they partnered with ZipMatch. Developers such as Ayala Land, Amaia Land, Anchor Land, and Crown Asia participated in providing moving images for ZipMatch’s 360 Virtual Reality feature.
In your opinion, is home automation still a novelty in the Philippines?
Filipinos are starting to get interested in home automation, but it would still take some time to really gain high traction.
Based on trends, ‘home automation’ search term isn’t getting much results, but the more general term ‘internet of things’ has increased significantly. In my opinion, both search terms may be related but the former is more of skewed to retail-purchase than the latter, which I find more of a scholastic search.
Aside from Viterbo’s technology session, Property Report Congress will feature sponsors exhibits, plenary sessions, industry overview and outlook, international networking session and lunch, keynote addresses, and a 30-minute intensive workshop.
It will be immediately followed by the Philippines Property Awards 2016 gala dinner and awards ceremony.