Zach Scott, chief operating officer for Point2 Technologies, a real estate technology company based in Saskatoon, Canada, expects more mobile tools for real estate and richer Virtual Office Web site experiences on the horizon. VOWs allow greater consumer access to real estate data but face an uphill battle against the more established Internet Data Exchange (IDX) standard.
Hear Scott speak during the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 5-7.
What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2009?
Greater consumer demand for real estate information.
Greater demand from Realtors to have the technology they require to deliver more value to consumers online.
Rich VOW experiences.
More expansion into mobile space for consumers and Realtors.
What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?
Strengthen relationships with buyers and sellers and hang on — the economy will recover.
Audit the services you use to ensure they’re delivering the value you’re paying for in a measureable way.
Take advantage of listing syndication to get your listings in front of the largest audience possible online.
What made you join your current company?
As a family we decided to move to Saskatchewan, and Point2 was first on my list of employers. Real estate is fun, too. I think we’re sitting at an inflection point in the change curve for the real estate industry, and it’s exciting to continue to bring more and more valuable services to the market.
What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?
Changing our mindset from a bottom-up, technology-driven organization to a top-down, business-driven organization: Like many technology companies, our roots are in tech, and it’s difficult to strike a balance between making tech and innovation a key part of the company without letting it drive everything. …CONTINUED
What new features are in the pipeline?
Obviously our focus is still very much on providing value to Realtors by aggregating their data from the MLSs. We’re working hard on that and have a number of new MLS clients announced, many more in the pipeline, and more than 250,000 additional listings to syndicate. Beyond that we’re looking at the mobile space, integrated IDX and MLS Connect, a single-sign-on solution to help our members access Point2 directly from their MLS site.
What lesson did you learn in the last year?
We overestimate what we can do in the short term but underestimate what we can do in the long term. It’s about focus and momentum.
What would your second career choice be and why?
Founding or co-founding a new venture. I’ve always got too many ideas and not enough time. Creating new things that excite people is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?
Many challenges still exist around sharing data that if overcome would benefit all involved. We’re working hard to bring as much of this data together as we can so the people and companies who need it can access it more easily.
What do you most enjoy about working in the real estate industry?
It’s complex both in terms of data and politics, and I like dealing with complexity. I like to be challenged. I also see tremendous opportunity to bring about valuable change. I get very excited thinking about cutting through the complexity and creating simple solutions that work.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you …
I like to work with my hands around the house on evenings and weekends. I’ve built a large play fort (some say it’s an actual fort) for my two daughters, and I’m in the middle of renovating my house. I enjoy it because it gives me a chance to focus on something other than work and doesn’t require the same level of thought. Sometimes that’s when my best ideas come.
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