Property Analysis

Grubisa’s predatory game-changer unmasked

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Dominique Grubisa has turned to yet another information broker after many companies severed ties (Screenshot via Vimeo)

Not quite the Masked Singer, but IA can now press the “take it off buzzer” and unveil the identity of self-professed property maven Dominique Grubisa’s new game-changer platform, as David Donovan reports.

LAST MONTH, we reported that Dominique Grubisa was excited about her ‘less is more’ new property platform. This came after CoreLogic, Archistar and Domain Group severed ties with her business, DG Institute.

We can now reveal that the data is now sourced from National Property Group, formerly known as National Property Data.

In a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday 11 October, Grubisa was telling her viewers that she had something very special to share the following day.

She said:

“You know me, I’m just fire, ready, aim, shoot from the hip...”

So excited was Grubisa, she said she couldn’t contain herself and probably wouldn’t be able to sleep that night. Quite some build-up.

What was the big announcement?

Well, it was the announcement of her new Splitter Block Toolkit, a new product Grubisa has introduced to sit alongside her Real Estate Rescue program.

This time, instead of seeking out and targeting people in financial distress or who are parties to Family Court proceedings, you track down people who have a property comprising two or more titles and approach them to buy their property, whether it's offered for sale or not.   

It comes with a three-month subscription to what she calls her “splitter block software” which DG Institute says it had to source especially for its community. At least this time Grubisa isn’t claiming she created the software — or is she? See below.  

This time, as part of the toolkit, you receive a subscription to National Property Group’s platform, which is available from that company’s website at a monthly cost of $110 for a single user. Grubisa, never one to miss the opportunity to embellish things, claims the three-month subscription is worth $3,000.

Who was it that suggested Grubisa had a habit of not telling the truth and embellishing things? Oh yes, it was the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

In a video promoting the new toolkit, Grubisa does a demonstration of the software. There in the demo is the logo of National Property Group.

(Source: Vimeo)

The logo for National Property Group also now features on an updated page for Grubisa’s Real Estate Rescue offering. This is the program where she encourages her students to seek out and target vulnerable people.

In her most recent ‘Inside Scoop’ email sent to her community, Grubisa claims she has been focused on building DG Institute’s own property technology.

Grubisa said:

‘We have always had other data providers contribute to our user experience and each one comes with its own strengths and weaknesses for our own purposes. I decided there was no ideal solution or magic bullet so we would have to build something ourselves to cater to our unique needs.’

Grubisa also claims that her business

‘...had all the raw data ready to go.’

Grubisa describes her new solution as DG Institute’s own ‘Goldilocks solution; not too complicated, not too facile — just right!’

IA does not believe this claim. She may have the data, but we suspect it is data licensed to National Property Group. If it was DG Institute’s own technology, then why does the logo of National Property Group appear in her demonstrations and on her website?

We do not know if National Property Group is delighted with Grubisa’s “less is more” comparison to the platforms of the other companies that jumped ship from dealing with her business. Perhaps they might be fonder of the “Goldilocks” description.

We do know that National Property Group is a participating broker,  bound by the Queensland Personal Identification Information in Property Data Code of Conduct (“the Code”). 

As we have previously reported, the Code prohibits the use of personal information (names and addresses) for direct marketing. Companies and end users that breach conditions of the Code face sanctions, which can include customers being prevented access to such data by any broker [paragraph 16.2.5 of the Code]. The brokers themselves can also face serious sanctions, including a permanent ban from access to the Queensland Valuation and Sales (QVAS) database [paragraph 16.2.3 of the Code].

A policy document issued by Queensland’s Department of Resources states [IA emphasis]:

‘The Personal Identification Information in Property Data Code of Conduct (the Code) is designed to help protect the personal identification details of Queensland property owners and to stop unsolicited direct marketing using valuation roll data. The Code strictly prohibits using personal identification information (names and addresses) for unsolicited direct marketing by mail.’

The latest annual report by the committee that oversees compliance with the Code stated that:

‘While annual complaint numbers have remained relatively constant, substantiated breaches were found in over 50 per cent of complaints during the reporting period [financial year 2021/2022], which is the highest percentage since 2018. This indicates that Code Subscribers are actively investigating and enforcing the Code.’

As for Code Subscribers enforcing the Code, we hope that will include National Property Group.  

An article that features on the National Property Group website – ‘Privacy, consent and data protection: using property data legally’ – says:

‘When using property data, it’s important to know what you can and can’t do, legally and ethically, so you build a reputation as a compliant and law-abiding property expert.’

In her recent video, Grubisa is clear about the purpose of using the platform.

She tells her viewers [at 23 minutes, 40 seconds] to use it to identify the blocks and

“...then approach owners and often it’s off-market.”

So, to be clear, as a result of Grubisa encouraging her students to seek out and contact people through data licensed by the Queensland Government to National Property Group, that company faces the potential risk of losing its contract.

IA can reveal National Property Group was made aware of the issues raised in our article in September, before it entered any agreement with Grubisa’s business.

So, we have to ask why did they sign up with Grubisa when their competitors had cut her loose?

Allegations of privacy breaches, from the misuse of personal information obtained from data licensed from property ownership records, are not a new thing.

In an article published on the website of Domain Group in April 2012, Chris Vedelago reported that estate agents had been banned from accessing property ownership details in Victoria.

In that article, a spokesperson for the then Department of Sustainability and Environment was quoted as saying:

“While the number of complaints may be small, all potential breaches of privacy are taken seriously and actively investigated... any activity that might constitute a breach of an individual’s privacy and implied misuse of the property sales information is unacceptable.”

IA is aware that agencies in a number of states are now investigating the matters we raised in our story last month.

We wonder how long the relationship between DG Institute and National Property Group will last.    

As Grubisa shows us time and time again, she will double down.  Down, down, deeper and down.

Follow IA founder David G Donovan on Twitter @davrosz. Also, follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus, on Facebook HERE and on Instagram HERE.

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