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Tech heads meet for real estate

Opportunity and obstacles explored during developer gathering

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SAN FRANCISCO -- "Tech Will Conquer Real Estate" was the title of the opening address at a gathering of real estate software developers and technology gurus here Wednesday. Michael Arrington, editor and owner of TechCrunch, a blog that follows new Web 2.0 developments, ruffled some feathers with his direct analysis of the state of innovation and technology in the real estate industry. There's a lot of anger toward the real estate industry from the general population, Arrington said, adding that, "Companies that have tried to change this industry have been systematically torn apart." Arrington said that technology has always removed friction from activities and transactions, and pointed out "areas of friction" in real estate, such as the value of brokers and agents, broker fees and fee structure, access to multiple listing service data, and so-called mashups that mesh MLS data with some other application like mapping. Just showing MLS data to consumers is not the answer to removing fri...