MONITORING PROGRESS

Turkey 2020 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

The digitalization of property infrastructure will not only help consumers, investors, and individuals, but also make it easier for the government to monitor and understand crucial developments in the real estate market.

Hakan Gümüş
BIOGRAPHY

Hakan Gümüş attained his city planning degree from the Middle East Technical University's faculty of architecture, where he was the AEGEE-Ankara president and an AEGEE Europe board member in Brussels. Between 2004 and 2005, he was the project coordinator of the European Union Turkish Youth Council project. Later, he worked for the Turkish Education Association as an international projects expert, for Carrefour as a real estate development expert, and at Best Buy as a real estate development and leasing manager. After a time as the leasing manager for Jones Lang LaSalle, he developed a residential project in Kağıthane before joining GABORAS as the spokesman and general coordinator.

What steps is GABORAS taking to accomplish its goals?
GABORAS seeks to develop a real estate environment that creates trust. In our sector, there are many different real estate values being quoted. For example, property appraisal institutions and insurance companies both have values that differ from the market price. Investors, both local and international, are not sure which value is correct. GABORAS seeks to digitize the entire real estate sector's operations and provide concrete and technical information about each and every piece of real estate in Turkey. We have 183,000 title deeds in total and can provide information about all of these, whether it be earthquake issues, new legislation affecting the property, or the market price over the last 24 months. GABORAS seeks to digitize, standardize, and provide property information, as well as create indexes and then later come up with a real estate stock exchange. We have done 10 years of hard work on big data, algorithms, and creating technical information. We have finished that first stage of big data, and the second stage is monitoring one's real estate portfolio. This is crucial, for example, for a general manager who needs to know exactly what real estate assets the institution has, along with their current value. Property values change over time, and valuation reports take time to do, so we need to digitize the valuation process. We want to create a real estate declaration control system because there are a number of real estate listing services and websites in Turkey, though these are not controlled so they are easy to manipulate, for example, by using fake valuation declarations or prices. We want users to be able to access all the legal documentation relating to a property, such as construction permits and real estate broker documents and then work with the various real estate listing services to verify the information. The third stage includes various systems, such as providing contact details for a list of the best real estate brokers, appraisal institutions, and planners in each area (i.e. grid system) for people who want to verify information on the ground. This way buyers can verify if the online information about a property is true or not. We have all the smart data ready and can provide external services to government officials as well.

What is GABORAS' strategy to ensure its real estate platform always has the most up-to-date information?
The information is instantly updated because we use open source data on the internet, which is always being updated. We also use government data relating to any special analysis, and if there is a decision that is announced publicly from the government, it will immediately go into our system. This is the most up-to-date real estate information you can access in Turkey.

Has GABORAS received any support or push back from the government? What hurdles do you face under the current regulations?
The government has different institutions and ministries. When introducing something new, such as a digital model that has not been used before, some may oppose it. However, the president has explicitly stated that a real estate stock exchange market should be established in Turkey, that studies for this should be accelerated, and that we do not have time to waste in this area. Some ministers are also highly supportive of this idea. Thankfully the government has been extremely supportive, and this idea and project are getting bigger. In six months, we will be talking about something more.