I truly believe that in the next 10 years real estate will be the major industry that gets disrupted by technology. Obviously housing conditions will fluctuate as will different markets and interest rates. The housing styles will also change like they always have.
[Tweet “The fact that we are still buying houses in 2016 the same way we did in 1956 is absurd.”]
What is more obsurd is real estate investors haven’t demanded technology to increase efficiency and profitability of their operations.
[Tweet “We are still managing real estate like we did 50 years ago – this is CRAZY!”]
I have identified 5 major areas that I believe will radically change in the next 10 years in relation to how we run a real estate business.
Below are the 5 areas:
Mobile is continuing to grow at an exceptional rate, and this will continue to grow as most emerging market consumers don’t have computers but rely on their smart phone for everything.
Real estate investors are going to use more mobile apps to manage their properties while tenants can use their phone to pay rent, manage maintenance requests and manage their property.
This is the area of real estate that I am most excited about being disrupted by technology. Currently property management is still very antiquated with tenants filling out paper applications, calling-in maintenance requests, and mailing in their rent.
There are tremendous amounts of room here for productivity gains using technology.
The fact that you have to physically go to a title office and sign documents at a certain-time to co-ordinate with the counter-party, is outdated and antiquated. With millions of workers working remotely with sensitive information there is no reason to have a physical office you have to go to for a closing anymore.
This area of real estate has already changed significantly but there is more room to go, especially on the commercial real estate side. The fast majority of financing and funding takes 30-60 days and still relies on in-person communication. Technology can not only speed this process-up but also make it more cost-effective for both parties.
There are few things that are as hotly debated as real estate agents. I’m not going to debate whether they are worth a 6% transaction fee or not. I will say that the vast majority of real estate buyers start the process online without an agent.
There are a multitude of technology companies that are trying to make this now online process even more efficient. Some of these companies have chosen to work with real estate agents, while others have chosen to compete directly with their business.
So without further ado, here are the Top 12 Real Estate Technology Companies that are truly disrupting the real estate industry:
Cozy is a technology company that is focused on bringing offline processes online. I have personally used Cozy and am very impressed with their offerings. The entire tenant application process is online and streamlined using Cozy.
They also can manage rent payments as well as background checks. The best part is that all of this is free!
Founder and CEO Gino Zahnd had this to say about how technology was changing the real estate industry:
Cozy is displacing a number of fragmented legacy products and services, and bringing them all together in one place. No longer does a landlord or property manager need to use different tools for marketing, tenant screening, payments. It’s all in one tidy place with Cozy. We are laser focused on continuing to build valuable services that give people precious time and peace of mind.In the coming months, we’ll start adding similar value and new products for renters, so that it’s possible to take Cozy with you wherever you live. We want Cozy to be the foundational layer for all parts of the rental lifecycle.
Cozy has really stepped it’s game up and has one of the leading landlord blogs out there: landlordology.com.
I asked Lucas Hall for a quote on how technology was changing the real estate market. He had this to say:
“Everything is going mobile. Even real estate. With online rent collection, maintenance tracking, document signing, and video conferencing, there’s not much need for a physical office. Property managers are able to run a business on the go. Brokers are able to reduce overhead expenses while having access to more information than ever. Buyers and renters are able to know almost everything about a house before stepping foot in it. The truth is that those that don’t embrace mobile real estate technology will get outperformed, outbid, and outlasted by those that do.”Lucas HallHead of Industry Relations, CozyFounder of Landlordology
I absolutely love Rentometer. It’s a free service that let’s you check out comparable rents in a certain area. What I really like is how it takes the guess work out of rent-rates and you can get very accurate projections on what you will be able to charge in a certain area given the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. I also like how it shows median and mean rent.
Technology is having a big impact on the rental housing industry from different directions – some were foreseeable, others not so much. Some of the foreseeable changes were efficiency gains in how you lease your units, collect rent, and maintain your rental units. Some of the unforeseeable are being driven by the impact technology has had on how people live and work. One example is the new “sharing” economy – as an owner of apartment units, did you anticipate that your renters may be subletting their unit out on a short-term basis on Airbnb?
Mike Lapsley, President
I built a house last year and Houzz was absolutely critical to the process. Most people refer to the site as a Pinterest for construction, but it’s a lot more than that.
I really like the Houzz community where you can post pictures of a property and ask questions on what others will do. I posted a picture of an awkward backyard and several landscape architects gave me some great ideas on what they would do. The mobile app is extremely well designed as well.
I personally use Zillow for all of my home searches. I love all the custom parameters and saved searches. What is extremely powerful is the “make me move feature” which I used to sell my own house and I have also used this feature to buy properties.
I know several real estate agents and mortgage brokers that have had a good experience with advertising on the site as well.
“Effective use of technology has streamlined the industry and the house hunting journey. Trulia originally launched with the goal of opening real estate data to everyone, empowering consumers to make informed decisions about homes.
Our expertise in data science has revolutionized the way we deliver this information to consumers and has allowed us to individualize the experience in extremely useful ways. The popularity of mobile devices has worked well with our strategy as we are able to deliver the right amount of content for consumers, at the right time, no matter where they are.
We see continued rapid creation and adoption of new technology in our future, and are very excited to be a thought and execution leader on how technology will continue to improve consumer’s real estate experience.”
Jeff McConathy VP of Engineering, Consumer Services and Deep Varma VP of Data Engineering
Commercial real estate is still completely antiquated with most buyers and sellers using the “good old boy network” and most listings are actually offline. CREXI is looking to change the entire network of how we buy and sell commercial properties. The site is very well designed and I enjoy perusing the properties listed.
VTS is changing the way property owners and property managers lease space out. Currently this process requires significant in-person communication and paperwork.
VTS is changing this process bringing everything online and streamlining the process to be more efficient and timely for everyone involved.
If you haven’t used DotLoop in the past couple of years, it means you haven’t made a real estate transaction in the past couple of years. I have been very annoyed at having to sign documents in-person and annoyed by other e-signature platforms for various reasons.
DotLoop is dead simple to use and shouldn’t take longer than 60-seconds, even if you haven’t used the product before. I really like their mobile product as well.
8 Corrigo Inc.
If you own properties you know maintenance requests can spiral out-of-control faster than you and your team can react. Corrigo makes software that streamlines this process.
The best part is that most type of software companies are built just for large corporations. In Corrigo’s own words there software can easily work for “mom and pop” real estate owners.
Everyone knows they need a CRM to get out of email hell. However, there are very few CRM systems out there that are just dead simple to use.
PropertyBase is extremely easy to use and I like all of their templates. What really sets them apart in my opinion is their dashboard view and how integrated they are through the entire transaction process.
“Real Estate Companies today have to be well structured and systematic in order to handle the mere volume of touch points they are expected to deal with on a daily basis. Automation of processes through technology is no longer a nice to have, but rather a necessity for brokerages who want to grow and who don’t want to lose out on significant amounts revenue to their competitors. Technology advancements, especially those in CRM and marketing systems, are enabling Real Estate businesses to react quickly to consumer demands with speed and personal attention. As humans, we flat out cannot meet these growing consumer expectations and hope to be successful without instilling into our organizations the necessary processes, structure and discipline which these technologies provide.”
V.P. of Sales and Operations
This company actually got recommended to me from a customer. One of the best features is how subcontractors have to verify they will show-up the next day. I also like the workflow tools and how it makes it transparent for a contractor’s customer to be informed of the overall process.
I think BuilderTrend could seriously be the game-changer that customers have been looking for in the construction industry.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!
11 Honest Buildings
Honest Buildings was built for real estate owners to better easily manage the construction process. This is a very unique approach as most software companies just target the construction companies.
For owners of large buildings, this software looks critical and I’m looking forward to seeing this company continue to gain traction.
Nestio is a web-app that is built for real estate professionals in the multifamily space. This product is extremely popular in large cities and I suspect it will continue to gain popularity in smaller markets soon.
What is most impressive to me is the real-time data that the company is able to produce for leasing professionals.
Do you think I missed a company that is changing the real estate industry? Fill out the form below!