One of the content themes at Inman News’ Real Estate Connect NYC was innovation in digital technology and how it relates to real estate. The Internet is evolving, opening up hordes of new possibilities. Where is it going and how will real estate use it? Here are the top 10 takeaways we identified at the close of the conference:

1. Video is the real estate technology to watch in 2005.


2. Consumers expect much more than a small black-and-white text description of home listings in the Sunday real estate section. They want to see multiple photos, virtual tours, neighborhood and school information, video, interactive maps and be able to calculate an average monthly mortgage payment all within a few clicks.


3. With broadband becoming more ubiquitous, the possibilities for media-rich ways to display real estate online are growing continuously.


4. Broadband users typically spend more time online than dial-up users. Streaming video and audio are now popular as are photo-sharing.


5. Blogging is becoming sport, creating a whole world of virtual communities online where people can discuss real estate and neighborhood living.


6. The next best thing to being at the house is being online inside the listing.


7. Photos, photos, photos. If you post property pictures, people will come to your Web site. Some analysis and common sense has shown that consumers are much more likely to click on a listing with images than without.


8.  Ideas are converging. Companies are combining aerial images of homes with things like overlays of school district boundaries, land uses, flood zones, property values and other data.


9. The integration of property photos and virtual tours with cell phone technology could be a next phase in digital media as companies race to improve the quality of pictures taken with cell phone cameras.


10. Craigslist is having an impact, no matter what the real estate industry says.




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