Advances in e-commerce, mobile payments, cloud computing and digital documents have made our lives easier in profound ways.

But not real estate. Buying a home remains a gnarly, complicated process.

At the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, Jan. 16-18, Inman News Publisher Brad Inman will set out his vision for real estate: Buying a home should be as easy as buying a latte.

"We need a big vision for the overly complicated real estate process. Here is mine: Make the mechanics of buying a home as easy as buying a latte, so homebuyers can focus on the right things," Inman said.

The "latte vision" is the theme of Real Estate Connect, the biannual event that asks the hard questions and doesn’t shy from controversy.

The technology is in place to confirm identity, certify buyers and sellers, enable digital signatures, and mash up and process disparate data on a single transaction platform. The pieces are in place — what’s missing is a bigger vision and a strategy to get there.

The panel to open this controversial conversation will include Austin Allison, founder and CEO of dotloop; Eric Bryn, vice president of digital innovation of Baird & Warner; Tom Gonser, founder and chief strategy officer of DocuSign; Glenn Shimkus, co-founder and CEO of Cartavi; and Krisstina Wise, founder and CEO of GoodLife Team.

For more information about Real Estate Connect visit

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