“Standing at the forefront of the “Government 3.0” vision, we make more public data, especially property market information, available to the public, thereby serving as a ‘public compass’ for property market navigation.”
The Korea Appraisal Board (KAB), a government agency that specializes in evaluating a variety of goods including real estate, has embraced IT to transform its analogue management system into a digital one. In an interview with The Korea IT Times, Seo Jong-dae, CEO of the KAB, said: “We’ve developed an advanced appraisal and assessment system to ensure real-time assessment and management of the property market. All the innovative measures we’ve taken are designed to promote public benefits.”
Q: I’ve heard that KAB has drastically innovated its database management through the adoption of IT.
A: The job of maintaining a database of property is very important, but when I took office, KAB didn’t have any office or department dedicated to property database management. Only 7 employees were working on the job. Besides, though KAB had accumulated huge data, its data management system was in poor condition. The task of classifying and reorganizing the data took us a whole year.
We underwent an organizational restructuring in May 2014. As of now, we have one Office and four departments with 50 employees on the payroll. We also developed a smartphone app to make our work easier. For instance, when we conducted a field survey in the past, we had to plot data points on a map and took picture of the field and then we had to come back to the office to feed the information we had obtained into the computer.
Now, we have an app that performs all the complicated functions such as navigation and photographing. Furthermore, we’ve launched an app to provide the public with information on the property marker.
Q: KAB’s endeavors towards digitalization seem to have translated into increased customer satisfaction.
A: In the past, organizations were led by CEOs well versed in personnel management and finance. Today, we need to be very knowledgeable about IT because all the delivery systems and consumers are driven by IT. What we do, what we’ve achieved and the system whereby we transfer our achievements to customers are based on IT. In 2014, field studies and our accounting system were streamlined through our embrace of IT. Since 2015, we have been providing the public with access to our database.
Q: You’ve turned around KAB which was in danger of being squeezed out of the market. Under your leadership, KAB has received the highest rating in performance evaluation of public enterprises and has met the highest standards of integrity for two consecutive years.
A: To completely overhaul the floundering agency, I had to make sweeping changes to its organizational structure, the things that KAB called normal practice and the way it carried out tasks. As a public institution, KAB had found itself awkwardly competing against large private appraisers in the domestic appraisal and assessment market. However, several years of painful layoffs started to undermine the very existence of KAB.
“Under the vision of ‘The World’s Best Real Estate Appraiser’ and under the motto ‘Public Compass for Property Market Navigating, I have been pressing ahead with strong reform measures to turn KAB’s personnel management, organizational structure and work systems into customer-oriented ones.
Under the new vision and motto, KAB turned over s new leaf and received the highest rating in performance evaluation of public enterprises a year after I took the helm.
In particular, KAB came out on top in public enterprise integrity for two straight years, 2014 and 2015.
Q: I’ve heard that the 8th WAVO (World Association of Valuation Organizations) Congress is scheduled to take place in Daegu where KAB is based.
A: The WAVO (World Association of Valuation Organizations) is a non-profit international organization founded to become a voice for the worldwide appraisal and assessment sector and increase education and training opportunities. WAVO has 12 member nations, including the US, Canada, China and South Korea. Roughly 300 professional appraisers from 10 countries are expected to attend the 8th WAVO congress, slated for November.
Q: Could you elaborate on current issues, including ‘public compass for property market navigating.’
A: We will furnish and distribute property value information that affects the value of property, such as green building ratings, energy efficiency and apartment maintenance costs. Also, we will play a supporting role in property-related public projects by taking care of compensation for land taken, urban maintenance consulting services and ROI analysis.
In addition, KAB will provide the public with one-stop access to all the information the public need when they engage in property transactions.
On top of that, we will set up a system whereby all the paper work, from drawing up and storing a contract and tax payments to reporting an actual transaction price to authorities and registration, can be taken care of. By doing so, we seek to establish ourselves as a comprehensive real estate management institution.
To top it off, we seek to evolve into the world’s best real estate market expert by channeling more energy and resources into conducting studies on the property market and investment analysis.
Q: Could you describe your leadership style
A: The meat and potatoes of leadership is to guide an organization into making some result. The first step needed to be taken to do so is to lay out a vision that tells a company the reason for its existence. Second, it is important to figure out what customers want and then properly reconcile the vision with customer demands.
Third, the gap between the company’s vision and employees’ aspirations needs to be narrowed. Visions not merely help companies meet customer needs but also encourage employees to paint a rosy picture of their future.