Technology

Memories of the first Real Estate Connect

Netscape had just gone public, and NAR was deciding what to do with real estate listings on the Internet

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In September 1996, a small real estate and technology conference held in a redwood grove north of San Francisco brought together some important members of real estate and technology at a momentous time in real estate's history. The Internet was on the early side of its Big Bang, and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) had just decided to move the operation of its online listings portal to a separate firm. Real Estate Connect, said Brad Inman, the founder of the conferences and a real estate journalist at the time, was a chance to get a community of his readers together to talk about real estate and technology. The 55-person guest list included Joel Singer, then CEO of the California Association of Realtors (CAR); Richard Janssen, founder of the firm that became Move Inc. and who was working on the technology that became realtor.com at the time of the conference; Saul Klein, operator of the real estate community RealTown and involved in the first iteration of realtor.co...