At Inman Connect San Francisco last July, Mr. Inman stood on stage and declared that $1.4 billion in institutional money had been invested in RE technology since the start of 2014. He then introduced 30 real estate tech startups. The amount of information and innovation was staggering. One thing is clear – The times, they are a changin’.
Any one idea can change the game completely. What does that mean for you? Billions of dollars are being spent to replace Realtors and Loan Officers with intelligent widgets. If you aren’t paying attention, it is to your peril. The upside is that I don’t believe we will be replaced completely (at least not all of us). The reality is far more nuanced and those capable of evolution will continue to win. With that in mind, I outlined the four things I do to keep up with RE tech.
1. Subscribe to Inman.
Yes, you have to pay for this one, but it is worth it. Every day the team pulls together relevant real estate news to keep you connected. Even the occasional advertorial provides value by illuminating the businesses we will be talking about next quarter. Inman is offering a 25% discount if you join Select between now and May 31 when you use promo code “JessePassafiumeSelect” at check out, (the code is case sensitive and I am not getting paid).
2. Peruse TechCrunch.
These folks aggregate a ton of technology news in one place. It is not geared towards real estate but the information is relevant. I am watching virtual reality closely as it is directly impacting the market. There are new companies doing amazing things every day. Staying connected to them is tough, but it provides valuable insights into what comes next.
3. Download and Use New Apps.
Digital natives among us, the youngest and largest group of homebuyers in history, aren’t using e-mail. They are communicating in real time over any number of other channels. These platforms change quickly, but one way to stay current is to download and play around with the apps that are trending. These are a few of the most intriguing:
Periscope is a live video feed app. You can watch in real time people from all over the world. The business implications are tremendous.
Redfin is cool. I have mentioned this before, but their mobile app is amazing and they do a great job predicting the house you are going to like. How is your IDX platform?
Instagram represents 300 million active users, lots of pictures and great engagement. “Instagram is considered the most important social network by more American teens (at 32 percent) than any other network.” Link up your Twitter account and do some lurking.
4. Set up an RSS aggregator like Feedly.
Finding relevant content can be challenging. One thing I do every morning is scroll through Feedly on iOS. It puts all the stuff I want to read in one place. I have over 200 blogs and news sites in the areas of design, health, and real estate tracked. When there is new content, it shows up. You can share, save, read and engage right in the app. Easy.
Dedicate 30 minutes a day for targeted exploration on your computer, phone or ipad. The benefits are twofold: 1) You avoid that deer in the headlights moment when someone is talking about Snapping and 2) you have chance to use your accumulated wisdom to ascertain the knowledge that matters. We live in amazing times, embrace it or be left behind.