“It’s a very difficult thing to grow a company from scratch,” George Giannakodakis says.
“Let alone a high-tech company in a place like Adelaide, where there isn’t much support around you in terms of technology and investors.”
Although he attains Adelaide is no Silicon Valley, it is exactly the place where Giannakodakis penned artificial intelligence (AI) property technology, PointData, in 2013.
Building on more than 25 years of experience in land and housing development, George’s company came to fruition, initially setting out to aid in government planning and infrastructure to assist policymakers in developing cities.
In 2018, the AI enterprise found its way into a more diverse market after forging a partnership with Land Services SA, disrupting key players in the property industry.
“PointData technology creates automatic valuations which are used by banks, other businesses, financial advisors and investors,” George says.
“The other side of the coin is that it does property development analysis and works out the development potential and the profit upside of land.
“In a very broad sense, AI is about automating white-collar tasks in the same sense blue-collar tasks were automated by production lines.
“That’s because the technology can perform these roles at a high speed and, extremely low cost and so we pass that on to our customer.”
With a product which is already innovative in its own right, PointData made the shift from a semi-automated to a fully automated system throughout the disorder of 2020.
“We want to be the most accurate valuation platform on the market” – George Giannakodakis
The AI valuation technology, known as Valeri, draws on a vast range of data sets to identify and predict property values – something which is proving to revolutionise property valuation with its accuracy.
George says the property data comes into the system on a Sunday night, removing “contaminated data” to provide an accurate valuation.
“Sales data comes in on a Sunday and the Valeri system takes that and cleans the data in an automated way,” George says.
“That process is fully automated; there’s no human interaction and it happens overnight on a Sunday night.
“One normal valuation would take you an hour, while this technology is working out in hours, reliably, there is no downtime to these processes.”
Along with the benefits the AI technology presents regarding efficiency and accuracy, PointData’s model also works to benefit the consumer.
George says the model values intangibles, a factor which human property valuation would often only place a weight on.
“Unlike humans, who can only deal with about three or four dimensions in the way we deal with information, AI deals with all variables,” George says.
“It finds the value of a tree lined street or the value of being 200 metres away from the beach versus 400 and, it looks at the impact of being in a particular suburb, or in a crime ridden area.”
For George, although one of the markers of success is that his employees enjoy being a part of something which is shaping the industry, he also emphasises the importance of continuous innovation and improvement.
“We want to be the most accurate valuation platform on the market,” George says.
“Continuous improvement and new innovation are very important, and we want to have grown new innovation and technology.
“You’ve also got to make sure whatever you do provides a return on investment – and that’s a basic requirement of any business.”
“COVID-19 has actually accelerated a transformation of the economy, which was coming over the next 10 years; PointData is a part of that transformation” – George Giannakodakis
With a desire to expand PointData nationally and eventually globally, the commitment to these goals saw the AI company seek market research from Square Holes following Land Services SA’s link with the research agency.
As products with the efficiency and precision of Valeri are scarce in the property industry, Square Holes’ Lauren Hayden believes it can change the property market for those who may otherwise not know the potential of their land.
“Earlier this year we did some work with Land Services SA, the source of truth for property data in South Australia, in relation to some of PointData’s products, market needs and behaviours” Lauren says.
“In the Land Services SA work, we found there is a potential gap for information and data for home buyers and sellers.
“I think there’s opportunities for consumers to be empowered with better data when researching property sales, there’s a gap in products like Valeri in the consumer market.”
From the Square Holes research PointData were able to understand how to sell their pioneering technology to the market, George says he was able to implement key changes.
“The research led to a rethink of our pricing strategy, lead to re think about the features of each of our products have we made some small adjustments that we thought were necessary to gain more traction in the marketplace,” George says.
“We were able to correlate that with the value proposition with each of our customer bases so that we can make decisions about a product or where to focus our priorities in terms of priority markets.”
Although the technology is still emerging, AI is a necessity in many industries for businesses to make a profit .
In the events of 2020, George says some companies have already taken to adopting AI technology.
“Some of the biggest companies in Australia – we’re talking airlines, banks, and other big corporates – have been moving with AI robotics, automating white collar jobs, because of COVID,” George says.
“They’ve needed to bring down costs and improve reliability.
“COVID-19 has actually accelerated a transformation of the economy, which was coming over the next 10 years; PointData is a part of that transformation.”
Despite George’s statement on the complexities of creating a start-up in Adelaide, it’s great to see the success of PointData in South Australia, rather than Silicon Valley.
More on PointData via here > pointdata.com.au
More on PointData’s new platform here > Valeri