Real estate technologists from around the world recently gathered at the day-long Hacker Connect session that kicked off the week-long Inman Connect conference. With the surge in funding for real estate tech startups over the past couple of years, there were more attendees and more innovative speakers than ever before. As one speaker said, this industry is “prime real estate for disruption.”
While there were dozens of speakers on topics ranging from home search to transaction closing over a (very) full-day, these were my main takeaways:
Consumer Experience – At the end of the day, technology should support a great user experience. Redfin’s senior director of product detailed a scientific approach to refining their user-centric home search portal. New features and changes are subject to significant consumer testing. This has become even more important given that consumers now search for homes on desktop web browsers, smart phones – and now voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Coding and Development – One hurdle real estate technologists face is the difficulty of integrating with 600+ multiple listing systems. Tech execs from national brokerages eXp Realty, Compass, and Keller Williams talked about the need for standardization API’s and data elements around the RESO.org efforts.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain – No real estate technology conference can be complete without a spirited discussion of the latest headlines concerning “crypto” and blockchain. Several uses for blockchain were discussed and, as usual, it was agreed that there is opportunity ahead but how far ahead was subject to debate.
Real estate tech exploded in the past few years and there is no end in sight as vendors and brokerages continue to place big bets on innovation. But tech isn’t the only place where change is accelerating. Watch for my next blog post which will recap changes in business models for brokers, as well as concerning trends and growing opportunities for real estate sales professionals.
Marvin Stone is Senior Vice President, Industry Relations for Stewart. He is focused on the digital transformation of the real estate transaction process and is a frequent speaker at real estate, mortgage, title and technology events. Marvin also regularly provides research and insights on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as contributing to industry publications.