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Data security taking centre stage in Australia's real estate digital transformation
Wed, 29th Nov 2023

As the real estate industry in Australia embraces a comprehensive digital transformation, paramount importance is being placed on data security. The surge in cyber threats in tandem with the rise of digital sophistication in the real estate sector has made data protection a critical need. Not only are these digital incursions a source of technical frustration, but they pose a significant threat to real estate professionals' reputation, the undermining of client trust and potential financial losses.

The property industry bases its interactions on confidence; thus, it's essential for industry professionals to not only understand data protection but prioritise it in their operations. Detailing the development of a digitally focused market, Leon Ward, Digital Construction Specialist for Australia + New Zealand at PlanRadar, highlights the role of PropTech software like PlanRadar, stating, "It's not just a tool for simplification, but also a safeguard for real estate businesses navigating the complexities of an increasingly digitised property sector."

The rise of digital solutions also adds to the complexity of the issue, significantly increasing the challenge of staying compliant with industry regulations. Regulations such as the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Scheme, Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Cth), Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 (NSW), Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW), and Consumer Data Right (CDR) demand strenuous data protection measures. 

As Australia moves towards PropTech, automation is spotlighted as an indispensable component. PropTech extends beyond just streamlining tasks, and it is essential for establishing robust security measures, meticulous monitoring of data flow and quick response to emerging threats. Automation brings features like automated access controls, secure document management, real-time monitoring, biometric authentication, compliance automation, automated software updates, data encryption for communications, automated audit trails, and two-factor authentication (2FA).

Use of automation is ensuring data safety, as well as speeding up real estate operations. The rise of PropTech in Australia isn't just simplifying tasks but ensuring data remains secure. Leon Ward advises, "To smoothly transition to digital, real estate professionals should firstly understand which processes and tasks are suitable for automation, foster an adaptable tech-focused team culture, and invest in secure and user-friendly PropTech solutions prioritising data protection features like encryption and access controls."

Ward also stresses the importance of a robust data protection strategy. Regular assessment of vulnerabilities, implementation of encryption protocols, and adherence to standards are crucial components of this strategy. The Australian real estate horizon in 2024 holds significant potential due to data-driven automation. A combination of smart digitisation and bolstered data security will shape the sector's future, with real estate professionals set to experience a revolution in efficiency and data security.