Real Estate Technology: 32 Leaders on the Biggest Trends
Technology is disrupting the real estate industry at an unprecedented pace
The past five years have witnessed an explosion in innovation and technology adoption by both realtors and their clients.
Real estate listing sites, large brokerages and independent players now have access to tools that make it easier for them to acquire business as well as give consumers a far better experience – during and after the transaction. Similarly, individuals – buyers, sellers, lessors, renters and investors – all have access to tech that makes it easier for them to find the right fit at a more favorable price.
What are the key real estate technology trends that are currently shaping the industry?
To find out, iovox asked some of the biggest leaders and influencers in commercial and residential real estate, “What trends in real estate technology are you currently excited about?”
These leaders told us about a wide spectrum of innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, 3D Cameras & Augmented Reality, Chatbots, Social Media, Mobile Technology, CRM and so on. Each of these elements has multiple applications that are enabling residential and commercial real estate professionals and their clients to achieve their goals faster.
32 Leaders Talk About the Top Real Estate Technology Trends
(All quotes were given directly to us for the iovox blog. Opinions expressed by contributors are their own and might not necessarily reflect the views of iovox.)
- David Tal
- Angela Tucci
- Daren Blomquist
ATTOM Data Solutions
- Scott Trench
- Nick Bailey
Century 21 Real Estate
- Michael Griffin
- Mark Choey
Climb Real Estate
- Zoe Horneck
Coldwell Banker Real Estate
- Zvi Band
- Chris Bennett
- Gino Zahnd
- Adam Stanley
Cushman & Wakefield
- Anthony Hitt
Engel & Völkers Americas
- Justin Fichelson
Fichelson Real Estate Group
- Jacob Gaffney
- Tom Tognoli
Intero – A Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate
- Mark Ferguson
- Vinay Goel
- Imtiyaz Haque
- York Baur
- Jeffrey Finn
- Andrew Flachner
- Suhail Ansari
- Krista Nordlund
- Seth Williams
- Gary Beasley
- Emile L'Eplattenier
- Charlie Bryant
"This is the most exciting time to be in real estate. Technology is advancing like never before, and giving agents leverage they never imagined they would have. Agents no longer have to focus on their own marketing, since there are companies that do that for them now. They don’t need to cold call and chase down their leads to see who’s actually interested in working with them. Companies like Agentology do that for them now. And other companies are helping them navigate the transaction, loan process, and more. The result is agents and teams are able to focus more of their time doing what they love, showing amazing properties and working face to face with clients. Technology has costs, but it’s giving agents more time and leverage to close more deals than ever before, and with less time and hassle. This is a very exciting time in the industry."
About David…David Tal is the co-founder of Agentology, the premier lead engagement and qualification service for real estate professionals. As a former broker, David has first hand experience navigating the changing tides in the real estate industry, and is a leading expert in the field of lead conversion.
"One of the trends in commercial real estate tech that I’m most excited about is the consumerization of technology—by which I mean the selection and purchase of data, workflow, and CRM software by individual brokers and teams instead of their brokerages. This is driven in part by a younger workforce that’s frequently dissatisfied by the proprietary tools—or absence of these tools—provided to them by the brokerage.
The fact that these brokers are making purchase decisions on their own behalf means that software companies like Apto can increasingly tailor our products directly to user needs, instead of trying to satisfy the sometimes divergent requirements of IT or purchasing departments. This gives us the opportunity to work much more closely with brokers to build products that they love to use and that will add the most value to their day-to-day work."
About Angela…Angela Tucci is the CEO of Apto, the industry’s leading CRM and deal management software for commercial real estate brokers. She was previously General Manager of the Agile Management Business Unit at CA Technologies. She was one of the pioneers of the Customer Relationship Management industry in the early 1990s, and brings decades of experience as a proven leader in public and private software companies spanning a wide variety of industries. Prior to CA Technologies, Tucci held executive positions at Rally Software, Symantec, and NEON.
"Given our mission as a company is to increase real estate transparency, we’re excited to see a growing number of disrupters in different real estate verticals that are increasing transparency and thereby also increasing efficiency in those different verticals.
These disrupters are often funded by venture capital, which brings with it a drive to constantly innovate, and that is a drive that the traditional real estate-related industries have not always embraced.
The examples we’re most familiar with are companies using property, neighborhood and boundary data from ATTOM to innovate. Here are a few that come to mind:
Offerpad and other so-called iBuyers that are reducing the friction to sell a home by removing some common challenges that sellers face: uncertainty around buyer financing, inconvenience of multiple showings of the home to strangers, timing for moving, cost of moving and more.
Purplebricks and other versions of discount brokerages that are right-sizing the role of real estate agents, allowing agents to do what they do best and allowing data and technology to do more efficiently parts of the transaction process that are not typically core competencies for real estate agents.
Offrs.com and other real estate predictive analytics engines that are empowering agents to identify and secure inventory before that inventory is listed for sale.
Roofstock and other non-MLS listing platforms that are serving as a testing ground for whether the MLS is truly the most efficient way to list and sell homes."
About Daren…Daren Blomquist is SVP of Communications at ATTOM Data Solutions where he directs the publication of original real estate reports sourced from the ATTOM Data Warehouse, the nation’s most comprehensive property database. Daren is also executive editor of the Housing News Report, a monthly newsletter published by ATTOM and named best newsletter by NAREE in 2015 and 2016.
"I envision technology allowing you to see exactly what other people like you (if not specifically, at least in aggregate) paid to buy a property, their loan rates and closing costs, the costs of remodels and contractor work, and the thought process and rationale behind why people purchased property the way they did to become far more accessible and at consumer’s fingertips. Zillow is a great example of a company that broke the mold here first – they aggregated data from many MLS systems and gave power to the consumer by enabling them to look up information about property values freely, without having to consult an agent first.
I see a continuation of the trend. Not only will we be able to aggregate data, but just as importantly, we will be able to aggregate thought processes and opinions. This will help democratize real estate investing information. Consumers will be able to research, online, and learn how people with similar backgrounds made decisions regarding the purchase and sale of real estate that is local to them. Technology and the crowdsourcing of this numerical data and written explanations outlining decision-making processes will shift power to the buyers and sellers of real estate."
About Scott…Scott Trench is President of BiggerPockets.com, a real estate investor active in the Denver, CO market, a real estate agent, and author of the wealth building book Set for Life.
"Technology is increasingly being embedded in the commercial real estate industry, and this industry is no longer just about the physical space. The potential for embedding technology is widespread.
Applications include increased ease of finding and leasing spaces, executing transactions, optimizing management and operations of the space and creating a variety of experiences within the buildings. I’m excited about the concept of properties becoming more than physical structures. Within each asset and portfolio there is a complex set of actionable data. Understanding this data is essential to ensuring the success of each property in a portfolio, and having access to insights at the client, portfolio and property level can help us understand the strengths and opportunities, mitigate risks, lower cost and maximize performance.
The internet of things and smart buildings will add a lot of benefit, while raising the need for improving cyber security as building technologies and enterprise technologies start interacting with each other. I believe buildings will take on a digital life, and coupling that with physical attributes and ‘near real-time’ data on various aspects of a building, will make it easy to lease, maintain, occupy or own. This is an exciting time to be part of this industry for sure."
About Chandra…As Chief Digital & Technology Officer, Chandra Dhandapani is CBRE’s most-senior global technology leader, with responsibility for all aspects of the company’s technology and digital enablement, including those serving clients and CBRE professionals.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Century 21 Real Estate
"The ability to better leverage mobile first technology to serve up agent knowledge in the way consumers want it thereby connecting the dots in the process from lead to close for both buyers and sellers. Even with the exponential growth of digital and mobile technologies, and the promise of AI and augmented reality, consumers ‘push forward’ the value of working with a person. In fact, the irony is that the digital revolution has helped scale the importance of human knowledge and shared experiences. Technology is constantly evolving and so, too, must the agent and the real estate company."
About Nick…Nick Bailey, president and CEO, Century 21 Real Estate, leads the organization’s approximately 8,800 offices and 122,000 sales professionals in 81 countries. Nick has over 21 years of industry experience, and is a leader in franchising, management, and technology. Prior to C21®, Nick served as Vice President, Zillow® Group.
"A couple of the most exciting technology trends in the industry today include teaming and digital client collaboration. Teaming is the grouping of agents into cohesive teams within a company that adopt a specific target like geography, demographics, property type, etc. Team members develop specialties within their group to promote rapid growth and optimal client service.
When servicing their clients, the most tech savvy agents increasingly rely on digital forms of collaboration to accelerate their deal making. They use targeted applications designed to capture their deal-related activity and funnel it into online war-rooms that are accessible by clients. This enables agents to deliver an unrivaled level of service while allowing clients to self-serve their need for information in our on-demand world."
About Michael…I am an inventor at heart. My greatest satisfaction comes from finding ways to instill automation and efficiency into legacy business processes. Commercial real estate is the perfect marketplace for me because of the technology challenges that still persist. I chose the CRM (customer relationship management) segment because I didn’t think there were any viable products doing a good job.
I created ClientLook to help commercial real estate companies large and small work better. My goal was to create a CRM solution that was intuitive, smart and adaptable to any specialty. As I’ve always known, making things easy is really hard. I spend my time searching for ways to make the ClientLook experience better by developing innovative approaches to design, pricing and even customer support. We lead across the board.
I began my career as a commercial real estate broker and quickly moved into technology. I sold my first CRM startup (ARES for ACT!) to CoStar Group and subsequently spent almost nine years there. I launched ClientLook in 2009. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to lead the next generation of technology solutions for our industry. Stay tuned!
Co-founder, Partner & CTO
Climb Real Estate
"I would have to say that I’m just excited about the overall trend of large and traditional players (KW, Realogy/NRT, REMAX, etc) in the real estate brokerage industry really starting to emphasize, focus and invest in technology to better their brokerage, agents and hopefully the client experience.
Compass and the recent wave of “tech-enabled brokerages” have provided a wake-up call to many players among the traditional real estate brokerages. For example, RE/MAX purchased Booj, a real estate technology development shop and are using them to build technology in-house and proprietary for RE/MAX agents and their franchise owners (here’s an example of what I mean https://www.inman.com/2018/08/03/re-max-is-taking-on-compass-and-keller-williams-with-its-own-tech-platform/). Keller Williams has recently shifted their strategy to be more tech-focused as well with the launch of their own AI-powered personal assistant “Kelle”. Realogy has also repositioned their company to emphasize technology with recent leadership changes and investments in real estate technology such as Ojo (a chat-based lead nurturing system) and Notarize (an innovative online/virtual notary service)."
About Mark…Mark is co-founder, partner, CTO of Climb Real Estate and was instrumental to lead Climb to being one of the top residential real estate brokerages in San Francisco. Mark has led the strategy and development of CLIMB since its inception in 2006 as a sales group, later as an independent brokerage in 2010, and through to the successful acquisition by NRT, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage. Today, Mark helps direct the strategic vision and long-term plans of Climb and serves as founder and Managing Director of CLIMB | LABS, the company’s innovation arm.
"This is such an amazing time to be in real estate, especially as an agent, because everyone is trying to make your life easier. At Coldwell Banker, we’re going a step further. We’re not just launching new products, we’re developing intuitive technology to improve your business – by providing the products and data agents need to close more deals. A few key trends are driving our product development at the moment including machine learning, predictive analytics, personalization and Scrum.
At Coldwell Banker we’ve developed the CBx Technology Suite, which uses data-aggregation, predictive analytics and machine learning to support agents through every step of the listing journey. The newest product in the suite, CBx Seller Leads, predicts when a seller is ready to list, before they raise their hand, and gives agents the context to personalize their message to that potential client, from the onset of the relationship. From there, the CBx Listing Experience and CBx Buyer Locator deliver an outstanding, interactive listing presentation while also showcasing trends in a specific market and where buyers are coming from. All of which help agents close more deals.
Another benefit of using the CBx Technology Suite is that ultra-targeted, effective marketing campaigns (personalization) become easier to execute. Real estate agents know how to personalize their message when talking with clients. The CBx Technology Suite enables the next step, digital personalization, which is personalization at scale.
A simple and extraordinary customer experience is also at the core of how we develop new products at Coldwell Banker, and we wouldn’t be able to do that without leveraging the final trend, Scrum. For those that are unfamiliar with the funny name, Scrum is an agile methodology, that is commonly used in software development, it’s a project management framework. Unlike the traditional waterfall approach, Scrum promotes iterative development cycles and faster launches, making room for changing priorities and trends. With Scrum, teams develop in two to four week cycles, so they can easily pivot and maintain focus on the right things for customers.
Real estate agents have so many choices when it comes to technology. At Coldwell Banker, we want to remove that burden and provide simple and meaningful technology that improves your business so that agents choose to be a part of our network year after year."
About Zoë…Zoe Horneck is VP of Product Marketing and Communications at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. She is responsible for all Coldwell Banker platforms and products as well as communication across the network of real estate professionals and corporate teams. Having worked as an agent, Zoe understands what drives their business.
Co-founder & CEO
"What excites us the most is we are seeing deeper alignment of what brokers are looking to provide, and what agents need to grow their business. Believe it or not, there was a time where a more contentious relationship existed, but as some innovative brokerage models have brought top-notch branding and technology that helps agents nurture their most important relationships, that is causing other brokerages to refresh their approach to technology."
About Zvi…Zvi Band is the co-founder & CEO of Contactually, the intelligent CRM platform leveraged by major brokerages across the country. Thrice named a Washingtonian Tech Titan, featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Washington City Paper, Zvi was also a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Zvi is a passionate speaker and author whose writing has appeared in Forbes, Inc, Inman News, and many other outlets. His first book, a study of relationship marketing, will be coming out with McGraw Hill next year.
"At CoreLogic, we’re excited about the new generation of real estate solutions being driven by standardized APIs and strong data security.
That may sound like boring engineering language, but one of the greatest challenges facing real estate is getting data where it needs to go—simply and securely. New data standards and protocols make it much easier for aspiring startups to gain access to the listing and property information they need, streamlining the flow of data from the MLS to the galaxy of solutions that brokers, agents, and consumers use. This open flow of data requires trust—which is made possible by strong security technologies protecting the interests of intellectual property owners all along the way.
With these foundational technologies now in place, we are on the leading edge of a wave of new, innovative solutions that promise to improve every part of the real estate process. We are very excited to be a part of it."
About Chris…Chris Bennett is executive leader for the CoreLogic Real Estate Solutions portfolio of products, including its brokerage management, property information, security, and multiple listing platforms. Together, these solutions help more than 1.2 million real estate professionals do their jobs better every day. With 30 years of experience in real estate and multiple listing solutions, Chris has made a career out of building lasting relationships throughout the industry.
Founder & CEO
"The real estate technology trends I’m most excited about don’t actually have much to do with technology – they have to do with great product and service design, which is most usually the much more difficult problem to solve. People often start companies with a technology in search of a solution, and often fail to meet mainstream success. In my view, the most interesting things happening in real estate right are companies using existing technologies to design and build elegant, disruptive experiences for the mainstream.
A great example is Opendoor. They’ve strung together an incredible, seamless service using humans and existing technologies like mobile phones, GPS, and apps to fundamentally change the process buying a selling a home.
Cozy is another example. The service drastically benefits landlords and renters nationwide by systematically and elegantly removing headaches, providing automation, transparency, and security at every step of the entire rental lifecycle. Cozy handles billions of dollars in payments, insurance, maintenance, tenant screening, expense tracking and more all with technology that isn’t specifically "new" – the huge disruption is how simple, mobile, and stress-free it is to use.
Another example is Lemonade for renters insurance. Using no "special technology" they have built what I’d consider to be one of the best standalone insurance purchasing experiences in the space using similar principles of disruptive experience design."
About Gino…Gino is the founder and CEO of Cozy, the leading online property management service in the United States for landlords and renters.
"I remain most excited by the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, two aspects of technology that can fundamentally change our industry. These technological advances will help us more rapidly and precisely analyze property portfolios, reduce cyber risk, and enhance our ability to identify opportunities to exploit market patterns to drive value for our clients.
I also still believe there is a tremendous amount of value to be extracted via robotic process automation, which some people confuse with AI. Many people see RPA as a means to reduce costs through reducing labor associated with transactional processes. I see it as a means to reduce errors, improve data quality and move us toward a world where AI becomes the norm. Better data leads to greater learning and eventually more predictive analytics."
About Adam…Adam Stanley provides strategic and operational direction for Cushman & Wakefield’s client facing and colleague technology systems and infrastructure across all global business lines. Under Adam’s leadership, Cushman & Wakefield (or DTZ) was named to the CIO100 for 2016 and 2015 by CIO Magazine. Adam has also been honored as one of Chicago’s Tech 50, Infoworld Premier 100 Leader, Huffington Post’s Most Social CIOs, and the InfoWorld CTO 25.
President & CEO
Engel & Völkers Americas
"I think the promise of AI is quite compelling for real estate. In a client-service based industry, our approach has always been to use data in ways that continuously surprise, delight and anticipate the needs of our clients. Today, and even going back to the analog days, every real estate agent worth their salt knows their clients’ details such as birthdays, spouses’ and children’s names, jobs, pets, hobbies, preferred brands, and more, right down to the way they take their coffee. And all of this is in addition to their preferences on architecture, design, neighborhoods, etc., which are directly tied to buying or selling a home.
What’s most exciting to me is to see the ways in which real estate professionals will use the power of AI to supercharge their knowledge and awareness of client needs and preferences to create a more holistic, personalized view of each client, and in turn, use the technology on a day-to-day basis to create an even better, more bespoke client experience.
I also think we’ve just begun to scratch the surface in terms of 3D home touring. As VR technology becomes more sophisticated and ubiquitous, I think we’re looking at a future where virtual home tours are even more immersive and personalized, which will only become more important to servicing our sophisticated and global client-base."
About Anthony…As president & CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas, Anthony Hitt oversees the European real estate brand’s growth and operations in the Americas. Under Anthony’s leadership, the luxury brand consists of approximately 150 real estate shops and more than 2,900 advisors, contributing to Engel & Völkers’ global network of over 10,000 real estate professionals in more than 30 countries.
"One of the most interesting trends will be the influence of technology on the parking industry. Ride sharing and driverless cars in future will drive down parking rates. Much like air travel, the objectives of ride sharing sponsors will be to keep cars on the road and not in the terminal (parking spaces). Hence, less spaces, certainly in high cost jurisdictions.
With changing transportation habits, fewer ownership of personal vehicles supplanted by autonomous vehicles, functional obsolescence of parking spaces is a matter of time. This will make property owners think of alternative uses.
Consider all the unused land that could be turned into entertainment – games, theaters, playgrounds – developers can think outside the typical ‘box’ constraints when it comes to repositioning a mall. And not just malls. Theme parks have expansion opportunities they never considered possible.
With all that extra land to develop, parking may go the way of the horse and buggy, but commercial real estate will find new ways to use newly available land."
About Mark…As the EY Global Real Estate, Hospitality & Construction (RHC) Sector Leader, Mark coordinates the efforts of our 15,000 RHC professionals around the world. He brings three decades of real estate industry experience, and has served as lead advisor on more than US$50 billion of transactions.
Fichelson Real Estate Group
"VR and Augmented Reality: I’m seeing VR and augmented reality being integrated more and more into the real estate industry. When it comes to marketing a home it’s rapidly becoming essential.
As a luxury real estate agent marketing exceptional and unusual properties to a global audience, VR has enabled me to basically allow for a potential buyer thousands of miles across the globe to virtually tour a property without actually having to set foot in it. My goal in marketing properties is to set it up so that by the time a client previews a property in person, they already have an idea of whether they want to purchase it or not.
Technology such as VR and augmented reality are literally changing the way properties are marketed and enabling agents such as myself to market more directly to a global audience.
Big Data: Currently, most people search for real estate based largely upon opinions and experience rather than on facts and hard numbers. The emergence of big data into the industry will change the way real estate is bought and sold. Technology companies are emerging that will be able to predict everything from trends in the marketplace that will effect housing prices to whether or not a specific property is a good investment or not. In the near future, decisions will be based more on comprehensive data rather than on gut feelings as it has largely been.
Technology and Social media: The advent of social media and technology within the real estate industry has already begun to change the role of the real estate agent as well as the traditional brokerage business as a whole.
First off, the vast majority of listings today, on and off-market listings included, are in some capacity online and publicly available for general search. This means that most clients and potential buyers can ultimately find properties on their own without the help of an agent.
Where the agent is integral, however, is in the negotiating of a sale or purchase. While technology has transformed the search process, it will never replace the agent. A great agent will not only pay for themselves but also save and or make you money via their negotiating skills. The traditional brokerage model is the major part of the industry that is being disrupted and frankly I’m excited about it! Traditional real estate brokerages employee agents and lure them by promising ample support, taking on liability costs and having superior marketing. With the advent and mainstream nature today of social media and technology flooding the real estate industry, agents no longer need the big brand names that brokerages provide. Agents today largely brand themselves on social media platforms such as Instagram and Youtube and are able to use their own name as their brand. Furthermore, the plethora of search tools that are available both for the public and for agents are countless thereby depleting the importance of the former role that big brokerages used to performed. Today, agents frankly do not need to pay exorbitant splits to a brokerage in order to succeed.
Case in point, Town residential in NYC which was the new hot shiny company which sold over 3B last year alone. A couple months ago, Town went belly up to the surprise of the brokerage community and the reason cited, was in short, that the cost of retaining top agents was simply too high to cover high overhead such as prime office space and expensive pr and staff. In short, brokerages are dying and agents are increasingly becoming more and more independent. This is a huge shift in the real estate industry and its all due to technology and social media!
Social media is also enabling agents to target advertise to their audience. I can literally customize an advertising campaign on social media for a specific property to target the specific buyer profile of a particular property."
About Justin…Named San Francisco’s Favorite Real Estate Agent by Forbes.com, Justin Fichelson is a frequent guest real estate expert on CNBC, CBS and Fox Business. Justin’s clients include Forbes 400-ranking business founders and the heads of some of the biggest tech companies in the world.
"Most real estate tech is user-friendly and fancy, but ultimately useless. Most mobile searches for real estate go nowhere in that people may find a pretty home on their phones, but can’t close a mortgage — so what’s the use, if they can’t buy? So that’s where the behind-the-scenes tech advancements are most notable. How can we be sure that digital mortgages aren’t vulnerable to fraud and documentation issues, such as those that lead to the subprime housing crisis and ultimately a near-collapse of Western economies of scale?
I’ve been impressed by three main, emerging components of real estate-related tech: the use of bots for underwriting, the use of blockchain for mortgage-documentation tracking and security, and mostly the implementation of machine learning, via AI, to provide personal finance” guidance to potential real estate shoppers. All three today, are relatively unknown outside of housing finance, but will become day-to-day and public facing within the next three years."
About Jacob…Jacob Gaffney is the Editor-in-Chief of HousingWire and HousingWire.com. He previously covered securitization for Reuters and Source Media in London before returning to the United States in 2009. While in Europe for nearly a decade, he covered bank loans and the high yield market, in addition to commercial paper, student loan, auto and credit card space(s). At HousingWire, he began focusing his journalism on all aspects of the housing and mortgage markets.
Global Vice President, Watson Internet of Things Platform
"One of the trends that excites us most as an organization is the move towards connecting buildings with the things within those buildings, so that the people using those buildings have an improved experience of being in those buildings. By analyzing data from millions of devices and sensors embedded throughout buildings such as doors, windows, chairs, meeting rooms, dispensers and air conditioning systems, facilities managers can better understand how people are using buildings. Those insights can, in turn, drive cost efficiencies and provide a more outcome-based service, helping to ensure that buildings not only fit daily practical and functional needs, but also become increasingly more pleasurable environments that people enjoy and want to spend time in.
Buildings have long mimicked living organisms – plumbing circulates through the walls, wires innervate every room, and concrete and beams provide skeletal support – but until recently, buildings lacked the most critical body part: a brain. The IBM Cloud is the cognitive center that enables buildings we live and work in to serve our needs in new and unprecedented ways. In the IBM Cloud, we have a complete portfolio of offerings to support smart real estate management: the IBM Watson IoT platform gathers and analyses exponential volumes of data; the new IBM IoT Building Insights uses Augmented Intelligence, machine learning and advanced models of buildings and HVAC systems to help building owners and operators reduce their energy consumption while ensuring comfortable and productive use of their buildings; IBM Maximo provides asset management for real-time visibility of ‘things’ within buildings; and IBM TRIRIGA helps to increase visibility, control and automation of an organization’s real estate management, capital projects, space management, facility maintenance and energy management. With its business analytics, critical alerts and automated process capabilities, TRIRIGA helps finance and real estate executives make more informed decisions and bring operational and financial value to their organisation."
About Bret…Bret Greenstein has over 27 years of technology and leadership experience in all aspects of IBM’s business, from hardware to software to service delivery and business transformation. He is responsible for the IBM’s Internet of Things portfolio of solutions, which includes Continuous Engineering, Asset & Facilities Management, as well as IoT Device Messaging. Bret and his team help industrial clients around the world to Design, Build, and Operation smart, connected things through software solutions and industry expertise, and to leverage the Internet of Things to drive true business model innovation.
"I can’t say I’m super excited about any "new" technology. The key is getting agents to use what is already available to them. Companies invest millions of dollars a year in technology and only have about 10% of their agents use it. It’s like gym memberships. Everyone has one but less than 10% of the people ever actually go. This makes no sense to me.
The key is leveraging high tech with high touch…both for agents and consumers. Over the last 10 years, agents and companies have become so obsessed about developing technology that will help them find clients and recruit Realtors that they’ve forgotten what’s most important…customer service. I never hear anyone talk about that anymore.
The one thing I would say I’m excited about is our Email Engagement Program, where we leverage email marketing on behalf of our agents. We know email marketing has been around for years but when you execute the emails for the agents, it’s technology that’s actually used and keeps the agent top-of-mind with their clients."
About Tom…Recognized as one of the 100 most powerful people in real estate by the Swanepoel POWER 200, Tom is a driver and leader in the industry. Tom has over 25 years of real estate experience, from being a top producing agent to being one of the founding partners and leaders of Intero.
Founder and member of Forbes Real Estate Council
"One exciting new trend is the ability to send notes that look handwritten but are created by machines and mass produced. Often these notes get more attention than a typed letter or postcard as the address looks handwritten as well.
Another exciting trend is the ease of editing pictures and videos. It is not difficult for agents to make their pictures look professional if they take the time to learn how to use a few tools.
The ability to electronically sign documents has been around for a while, but now even HUD is on board! It such a time to saver to be able to sign on a phone or computer."
About Mark…Mark has been a real estate investor and real estate agent since 2001, after graduating from the University of Colorado. Mark has flipped over 150 houses and routinely flips 20 to 30 houses a year. Mark owns 20 rentals properties as well including a 68,000 square foot strip mall. Mark is the managing broker and owner of Blue Steel Real Estate. Mark is also a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council.
Mark started InvestFourMore in March of 2013 to discuss his rental property investing techniques. Mark expanded InvestFourMore to talk about his flipping business and real estate agent business. InvestFourMore now has 300,000 views a month and is one of the top real estate blogs.
"Businesses are working hard to attract and retain the best talent. They are putting great emphasis on their workspaces, technology offerings and the workplace experience. And with that, we are seeing a major trends toward consumer technology experiences moving into the enterprise. This means that workplace and building technology will become more user centric. Businesses are also looking to be cost efficient and this can be achieved through evolving technology such as AI, machine learning, blockchain, and IoT in everyday business processes."
About Vinay…Vinay is JLL’s Chief Digital Product Officer. In this global role, he ensures clients have access to the best technology expertise and products in order to drive business transformation, integrate new technologies into their workplaces and use data-driven insights to derive new value from their real estate portfolios.
"Consumer behavior has evolved in the last few years, and both real estate agents and brokerages have needed to adapt to the way today’s consumers like to engage. Among the technology trends most prevalent today, we are excited about using Artificial intelligence ("AI"), machine learning, and deep learning to improve the experience for consumers and agents.
Envision a real estate transaction, in which an AI Seller Assistant allows a home seller to find the right agent to list their home at the right time of the year and appropriate list price. Now envision, an AI Buyer Assistant that allows a home buyer to find the right home and the right agent to close the deal.
Our AI Agent Assistant ensures that agents serve their clients with the highest level of service anytime and anywhere they need. At Movoto, we are creating such possibilities using general AI concepts, and machine & deep learning."
About Imtiyaz…Equal parts entrepreneur, leader, and product architect, Movoto’s CEO, Imtiyaz Haque, has an unwavering passion for building and nurturing high-growth products and teams. Prior to his role as CEO with Movoto he served as Vice President of Engineering where he led the company’s Global Engineering and R&D. In his previous capacity as Head of API and Innovation, and then Global R&D for Philips Imtiyaz focused on Lean Startup principles and Agile Development Methodology to deliver new innovations to the company.
"Currently, I’m excited that CRM (customer relationship management) data and real estate data have combined with predictive analytics to automate agents’ intelligence about consumer emotions. With this data we can now notify agents when a consumer has a major life event (growing their family, getting married, becoming empty-nesters, etc.), and then give them the consumer’s context. Unlike other industries, real estate is driven deeply by emotions. This newfound data pairing means agents can better advise their clients’ as they make the most important transaction decision in their lives."
About York…York Baur is a start-up and turnaround exec with a unique blend of general management, sales and marketing and technology skills. He specializes in venture-backed and family-owned technology companies and has extensive experience in fundraising and corporate development. Since becoming CEO of MoxiWorks in 2012, he has expanded the company to over 60 brokerage clients and growing, serving over 110,000 agents that make up 10% of all transactions in the U.S.
"We are focused on the commercial real estate technology space. Historically slow to adopt, we are now seeing a massive change. The largest companies are now investing heavily to assure that rather than be ‘disrupted’ they lead the ‘disruption’. A key challenge in the past was the desktop-based nature of tech and the lack of end-to-end solutions. Now with the power of ability and the advent of more holistic solutions the industry is keen to implement tools that help them win business and deliver service more consistently and with greater efficiency.
Among the many cool things beginning to transform the market is the use of 3D Virtual and Augmented Reality. In the past these technologies required very expensive hardware and were difficult to deploy. Now, the cost to create high fidelity 3D content is low, while the power and bandwidth to deploy over web browser makes it easily accessible to deliver and consume."
About Jeffrey…Jeff is a founder and presently CEO of RealNex, a leading Commercial Real Estate Technology company. RealNex provides a holistic suite of solutions to the industry. From CRM to Analytics, Marketing and Deal Management, RealNex is designed to streamline brokerage operations and drive transaction efficiency. In his role, Jeff leads the strategic direction and corporate business development initiatives.
"Whereas most technology investments made over the past 20 years have been aimed at generating more leads, today’s tech companies are beginning to focus more on helping agents convert existing leads at a higher rate.
For instance, Austin-based Opcity is ensuring leads connect quickly and successfully to the best agent for their purchase, and San Francisco-based RealScout has built the leading home search environment helping agent-affiliated homebuyers find the right property faster. This shift down the funnel improves the consumer experience while simultaneously boosting ROI for real estate practitioners."
About Andrew…Andrew is Co-Founder and President of RealScout, a startup tackling residential real estate’s core problem: matching homebuyers and homes. LinkedIn revolutionized hiring by bringing job-seekers (demand), employers (supply) and recruiters (brokers) to one place. RealScout strives to unlock the same revolutionary dynamic to the residential real estate industry.
Chief Technology Officer
"I’m particularly excited about the application of machine learning in the real estate industry. It’s been one of the top tech trends the last few years and we’ve seen it transform the entertainment and retail industries with companies such as Netflix and Amazon. It has huge implications for the real estate industry and has the potential to help buyers and sellers make decisions faster and with more confidence.
Today’s consumers expect ease of use and high levels of personalization and customization in everything they do — and real estate is no different. Realtor.com® has access to a large amount of high-intent consumer data, which is a ripe opportunity for recommendations about neighborhoods and properties. Another immediate opportunity is consumer interest in natural language interactions for home search, where they could receive instantaneous information and answers via bots or professionals responding in real time.
The key to success in the real estate industry will be investing in the human capital to transform data into insights, and making those insights easily accessible, while winning the trust of both consumers and professionals – it has the potential to be a major game-changer."
About Suhail…Suhail Ansari is Chief Technology Officer at realtor.com®, overseeing the company’s technology strategy focused on accelerating innovation and using data to empower people by making all things home simple, efficient and enjoyable. Formerly Vice President of Engineering at eBay, Ansari holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Michigan State University.
"Advancements in Machine Learning/Big Data: We are getting better at anticipating user’s intent before they enter our sites and serving them up the most relevant content for their rental needs. Renters don’t want to scour through thousands of listings to complete their search and we’re making investments to get the most relevant results for each renter, leveraging data from the millions of searches that happen across our sites each week.
Physical/Digital Connections: Through our native products and strategic partnerships we are one step closer to being able to close the gap in lead to lease conversion; systems are available now that will help us identify whether a renter that has submitted a lead through one of our properties has visited a property or has started living there. We are also finding new ways to engage these renters post lease with requests for feedback–e.g. property reviews, neighborhood reviews, offers for additional property recommendations, etc.–extending our relationship with renters beyond the initial search.
Artificial Intelligence: There is opportunity for AI to play a much bigger role closing communication gaps between renters and properties. Renters don’t want to leave a voicemail or wait three days for an email response to find out if a property is available; but if there was opportunity to activate a chatbot that could source this information for them, managing the property communication, while keeping the renter informed on their progress, that transforms the current lead experience. I think we’ve only cracked the surface on the use cases for chat assistants in our category and anticipate much broader adoption through concierge services."
About Krista…Krista Nordlund is a data-driven, results-oriented product executive with more than 15 years experience delivering dynamic product experiences with multiple Fortune 500 brands. Prior to joining RentPath, Krista held various product and leadership positions within US Airways, Expedia, USA TODAY and most recently drove a product transformation within BookIt.com. Krista holds an MBA from University of Washington and BS in Industrial Management Engineering from RPI.
"As a video and photography hobbyist, I can’t wait to see some of the new cameras, software and web applications that continue to enter the scene. With the speed at which this technology is evolving, it’s a very exciting time to be active in an industry that can benefit so greatly from all these new innovations in camera gear. The ability to give a great visual representation of the properties we’re selling is a major help in getting properties sold quickly, and it makes the work even more fun!"
About Seth…Seth Williams is a land investor and residential landlord, with nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com – a real estate investing blog that offers real world guidance for real estate investors.
"I really think we are entering the Golden Age of real estate tech. We are progressing from using technology to generate and disseminate content to now using innovative technologies and tools to enable commerce.
The first phase started when we entered the new millennium, and there were companies like Zillow and Trulia using technology to create compelling real estate content. We are now entering a new phase where companies are leveraging technology to enable commerce by facilitating transactions and investment in new and exciting ways. Companies are using data science and AI/machine learning to drive their investment strategies, new marketplace models are emerging to facilitate transactions on-line, asset-backed tokenization using blockchain is beginning to happen and analog processes all around the transaction are being digitized.
It is an exciting time for real estate technology!"
About Gary…Gary Beasley is CEO and Co-Founder of Roofstock, the No. 1 marketplace for single-family rentals. Previously, Beasley was Co-CEO of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust. He was also CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and CFO of ZipRealty. He has a BA in economics from Northwestern and an MBA from Stanford.
"While blockchain and AI are indeed truly groundbreaking technologies, the technology I am most excited by isn’t really technology at all. Instead, I am excited by the clone of Moore’s law that’s playing out in the real estate software industry. As more and more entrepreneurs and VC’s realize just how lucrative the market can be, we’ve seen an explosion in new software and apps. For example, just a few short years ago, if you wanted a solid real estate CRM you had a handful of (expensive and clunky options), many of which were nothing more than basic CRMs crudely modified for agents and brokers.
Today? There are dozens of CRMs on the market, many for free, and the remainder locked in an arm’s race of feature creep and lowering prices that is one of the best things to happen for agents in decades. This democratization of tech has both helped level the paying field, and spurred innovation in the industry.
While the IDX world has understandably moved a bit slower, there are still new and exciting turnkey IDX website competitors popping up seemingly every day. As a result, we’ve seen prices fall dramatically. This competition can only help agents long term."
About Emile…As Managing Editor for The Close and a former NYC agent, Emile has been offering insight and clarity to the real estate industry for almost a decade. His commentary is also regularly featured on sites like Realtor.com, Fox News, Yahoo, Streateasy, CNBC, and Apartment Therapy.
"These are super exciting times for those serving the real estate industry. Advanced machine learning tools can streamline the trading process by matching buyer’s search preferences, seller’s supply and information from brokers. Brokerages can determine their expansion plans with predictive analytics. Conversational interfaces can augment an agent’s productivity by answering simple and complex questions that are time consuming for humans and deliver listings powered by augmented reality can show you how your future home will look like. Don’t be surprised if all these are a part of normal real estate shopping process soon.
Furthermore, there is an increased effort to standardise real estate data and API’s. This unleashes opportunities for developers to build innovative products with little investment and more choice for brokers and agents."
About Suganya…A 17-year veteran at Zoho, Suganya heads the Developer Relations team and is responsible for recruiting, educating and enabling partners to extend the functionality of Zoho products and integrate with third-party applications. Suganya also works with Zoho CRM platform partners to create industry-specific solutions which foster entrepreneurship around the Zoho CRM platform.
"Successful digitalisation of the real estate market will increasingly require faster decision making right across the property lifecycle. This is not only in terms of buyers, sellers, renters and landlords, but also from areas of the lifecycle which have historically had longer turn around times, such as mortgage lending and conveyancing.
This instant decision making will need to be enabled by timely, accurate and relevant data, such that value chain participants can make highly informed and appropriate risk-based decisions, incorporating relevant mitigations (such as insurance) where applicable. We are already seeing more and more participants re-engineering their processes through use of data and believe this will accelerate with programmes such as open banking.
Through Zoopla, Hometrack and uSwitch, we have long promoted data-driven decision making and are uniquely positioned to lead and help facilitate real-time decisions across the property lifecycle."
About Charlie…Charlie Bryant is Zoopla’s Managing Director (Property). Prior to Zoopla, Charlie was CEO of Hometrack. He has extensive experience of working with high growth, technology-enabled companies, and was previously as Head of Technology Investment Banking for Europe at Deutsche Bank. Previously, Charlie held a number of senior operational roles within Misys plc, including Chairman of Assureweb, Chief Executive of Sesame Technology and Commercial Director of Sesame Group.
What other real estate technology trends are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below.
Peter Banerjea is a marketing advisor at iovox. The iovox call management app improves productivity of busy real estate professionals whose business revolves around phone calls. Peter helps companies acquire customers through organic traffic and build their online brands. His work has appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc, Fast Company and Huffpost.