Two weeks late with this post, but just some quick thoughts from Inman NYC 2016 worth noting – my first time going to the Right-coast Inman show and I must say it was definitely eye-opening – it seems like there is a lot of innovation in Real Estate Tech space that has happened since SF Inman 2015 in August… I was definitely looking forward to seeing NYC blanketed in a beautiful blanket of snow, but unfortunately, by the time I arrived 90% of the snow had already either been cleared or melted and the remainder turned into classic mound of “Black NYC Snow” – Yuck.
Uberfication of Real Estate
Firstly, the “Uberfication of Real Estate” continues. People want things and want it now. They want to be able to push a button (ideally, only ONE button) and get what they need delivered to them right NOW. Kara Swisher said it best when she said
“San Francisco is assisted living for Millennials”
I mean, everything is available at the touch of a button in SF now (where I live) – your lunch, your laundry, your handyman, your car, someone to park your car, a massage, a cleaner, groceries, alcohol, someone to package and mail your stuff, on-demand strong people to move stuff, you name it you can have it available immediately. I have become so lazy living here… my entire life is outsourced! I love it.
Real estate is no different, buyers want to see homes NOW and they ideally don’t want to find an agent first, go through a whole scheduling exercise to see a property.
We saw several new companies talking about providing agents a platform for either on-demand showings (a client can look on their app and “call” a real estate agent to show them properties in the area) or companies looking to shorten the property showing process — a huge point of “friction” in the real estate sales process.
Glenn Kelman CEO of REDFIN was on stage discussing Redfin’s on-demand showing feature and how it has been going and their philosophy that:
“People don’t want a relationship that comes with the service, just the service”
QuikShow is one such company that will allow you to post a property showing “opportunity” and other available, nearby agents can show the property to your clients for you (for a fee).
CurbCall was another, just say you are “available” on your iPhone app and instant showing requests can be sent to you.
Everyone seems to be wake-surfing Facebook’s Ocululs Rift media wake and this conference was no exception. Again, the big pain point of physically viewing properties is driving innovation in this area as well. Mark Zuckerberg’s $2.0 Billion purchase of Oculus Rift, Google’s Cardboard viewer and everyone else trying to get involved, real estate is a natural fit for the benefits of the promise of Virtual Reality.
Climb also dabbled with how to enhance the less-than-perfect one-dimensional pictures of real estate properties. It is just so odd how when you see a property in person, it can be so different from the photos you see “online”. Wanting to enhance the experience for the buyer, we beta-tested Matterport’s revolutionary technology last year. We think viewing (visualizing) properties in an “immersive experience” is certainly in the cards here…. we found pros and cons of Matterport’s technology and found some new pain points (for a listing agent and brokerage) when experimenting with this technology which caused us to not fully roll-it out.
Other trends discussed… Artificial Intelligence, MLS consolidation, new iPhone-based CRM and messaging apps.
NASDAQ CLOSING BELL
But the highlight of the trip was I was invited by Zillow Group to ring the NASDAQ Closing Bell!
Thank you Zillow for helping me check off a bucket off my bucket list.
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