To inform our public of the importance of Nomisma (pay attention to the pronunciation, the accent is on the “o”) and specifically of the real estate Observatory, we had the pleasure and honour of interviewing Dr. Luca Dondi dall’Orologio, Managing Director of Nomisma. In fact, we believe that the tools made available by this independent company, which boasts almost thirty years of experience in the real estate sector, can help provide valuable support to real estate agents to expand the range of high-profile services to offer to its customers.
To enrich our usual column at the service of real estate professionals, today we will deal precisely with the topic Nomisma, a company that carries out research and economic consultancy activities for companies, associations and public administrations at the national and international level, on different areas of the economy, from real estate valuation to the agri-food economy, up to the social economy. Specifically, we will see why the real estate services offered by the Nomisma Real Estate Observatory can make a difference for your business and he was one of the leading experts in the real estate sector on the national scene to explain it to us.
Dr. Dondi, let’s talk about the “Real Estate Observatory”: almost all real estate agents in everyday life make use of these two magic words, but still very few really know the universe that lies behind such a complex structure. Can you explain to us in general what it is?
The Real Estate Observatory is a monitoring tool for some Italian real estate markets, in particular, there are 26 and they are the largest. This has been an operational structure in Nomisma since 1987 and has been publishing data since 1988; it does so on a quarterly basis, once a year with the market of intermediate realities as its focus and twice a year with the market of major urban realities as its focus. The data is published in a magazine that is available to the Observatory’s associates or to subscribers – there are two ways of using the Observatory’s services.
In addition to the magazine, it is possible to access an online database – this possibility is reserved for members only – which allows the consultation of real estate values in Italy from 1988 to the last data recorded. The sectors that are monitored are the residential, tertiary, commercial, industrial, parking spaces; the analysis is always done by contextualizing the dynamics of the real estate sector in the context of the economic dynamics of the country and having as reference the real estate trends both nationally and internationally.
The many services offered to users can already be seen from the main page of your website. What are they and how can you access them?
First of all, to access these services it is necessary to pay an annual membership fee, which gives the opportunity to participate in our report presentation seminars – three reports on the real estate market and report on real estate finance – in addition, it gives the possibility to receive printed volumes and to access the website for online consultation. We can say that in this way you become part of a community, which allows you to interact directly or by participating in seminars or by downloading the material that is reserved for members. A second possibility is that which envisages limiting oneself to a subscription which instead only gives the possibility of receiving the magazine in paper format, without the possibility of accessing the online database.
This interview also aims to raise awareness of the real estate Observatory’s potential for professionals in the sector. How can this be an important asset for a real estate agent?
A real estate agent, as well as a structured agency, can draw a clear and independent picture of the reference values - it is a useful tool both in terms of evaluation activities and in terms of marketing strategies – and can contextualize the dynamics of the local real estate market within the general dynamics of the sector and in the broader economic dynamics of the country. Finally, it can check the historical evolution of the values: this is a useful element to reconstruct the trends in order to make comparisons and to offer services that very often require a different value than the reported value. Current events.
We have noticed that Nomisma has a rather well-updated Twitter profile. In this regard, we would like to ask your opinion on the relationship between social networks and the reputation of a company, from the large organization – such as Nomisma – to the small real estate agency.
Objectively we are not very active on Twitter, unfortunately, we still use these tools very little because we are a bit old-fashioned and we are opening up to new technologies in a much slower way than we should. In reality, we realize that there is a universe of potential users of our data that is not reachable through traditional forms and that instead would be more easily interested through the use of social networks. This prompted us to open a profile, to start carrying out some communication activities – still very few compared to those we do on a general level – also through this channel.
Therefore also to deepen and improve what is the reputation of an organization that is no longer seen only as “old fashioned” – which is therefore promoted only through offline communication activities – but which is now able to interact online with the own audience, right?
Exactly, but above all, we are interested in being more punctual in the economic debate, and in this case of sector analysis: the times of the press, with the “old” press release, are now too slow compared to the speed of the debate, and therefore the idea of being able to distil the content of a work in pills of a few characters – in particular the content of the analyzes of the Observatory – is a tool that allows us to intercept and interest a wider audience than the one we currently identify with traditional channels.
What are the events that Nomisma has planned to promote its services to real estate professionals?
We periodically have presentation meetings that are reserved for an audience of operators, therefore by invitation. The next one will be held in Rome on June 16 at ABI, and it involves the presentation of the report on real estate finance; instead, on 13 July – but the date has yet to be confirmed – we will probably be guests of BPM in Milan for the presentation of the Observatory on the real estate market in July. On our website, it is possible to consult the program of events, and in fact, the program of the report on real estate finance of June 16 will be published online very soon. For those who download the program, it is possible to apply for accreditation, and we almost always grant the opportunity to participate.
The question is a must, what do you think of the current moment that the real estate sector is going through, in particular the Italian one? A real shot or just a flash in the pan?
We are still in a phase of uncertainty, in which the recovery of the real estate sector is linked to the general economic recovery. The signs in this sense are not comforting – not least the signal on industrial production today (Wednesday 25 May 2016, ed), so the context is less positive than what has been told and how it would be necessary to guarantee a more positive recovery. Solid real estate sector. It is clear that we have passed the most critical phase; I believe that we will enter a phase of stabilization rather than a phase of growth, precisely because the context is still a fragile one. If this were to improve more dramatically, the prospects for the real estate sector would improve as well, but I don’t think that’s the case for now.
From the point of view of the number of sales, the trend is favourable, even if the growth rates are all in all contained; instead, the dynamics of prices will remain negative, albeit with gradually decreasing rates of decline: towards the end of 2016 we will probably reach stabilization of values, but an increase in values is not at the door as in the past. We are therefore entering a phase of stabilization, not to say stagnation, rather than a phase of growth.
In this regard, what do you think are the steps to follow in order to reach a new phase of growth in the real estate sector and more generally in the economy as quickly as possible?
It is necessary that the confidence indicators, which have already been improving for two years, be accompanied by the improvement of the data on the real economy – production, employment, consumption – which are still rather flat data, which testify to objective difficulties: this it also affects the propensity to invest and the possibility that banks provide loans to a sector, such as real estate, on which they have been overexposed in the past. This is why the dynamics of the real estate sector are inextricably linked to the general economic dynamics; it is unthinkable to imagine an acceleration in the real estate sector when the general context is still rather weak.