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Real Estate’s Tech Moment

November 16th, 2017 | Posted in Real Estate News

Chances are in the past 48 hours you’ve ordered food, a cab, a Thanksgiving turkey, or even a made-to-measure suit, all on an app without having to leave your home or talk to a person. Chances are this is not how you did any of those things five years ago.  As consumers, we have grown accustomed to seamless transactions, instant responsiveness, and increased transparency. The pain points we used to feel, say, when calling our local cab dispatcher or fumbling for cash at a point of sale have been catered to by tech start-ups; and, as a result, our expectations have been revolutionized – we expect a smooth experience.

Industry after industry, through entrepreneurs backed by venture capitalists, has sought to catch up to that standard – and real estate is one of fastest growing. This year, more than 100 real estate-focused start-ups secured over $400 million in early stage investments, up $100 million from last year. Not only that, a significant amount of the investment comes from within the industry – large firms, such as CBRE, have backed dozens of real estate-adjacent start-ups from portfolio management software to property management platforms. This is a seachange in an industry that has historically lagged in technological adoption.

With all of this invigorated VC activity, the reflex may be to cry “disruption!” wolf, but in reviewing the areas receiving significant seed money, I see only a positive for both real estate professionals and those in the market. The breadth of tech products being developed include service-based amenities for renters, a streamlined & digital mortgage buying process, and simpler platforms to communicate with your property manager. Need help envisioning your furniture in a space? Augmented reality technology is now robust enough to help you. All this innovation translates to an efficient real estate ecosystem, which is something we can all benefit from. A better experience for the home buyer and seller is what the future holds – and I’m excited about it.

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