Real estate tech’s excellent adventure in 2013

The issues, trends and companies that will keep sending shockwaves through the industry in the year ahead

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The real estate tech scene heated up in 2013 as a recovering housing market and the soaring valuations of publicly traded companies like Realogy, Zillow, Trulia and Move Inc. helped coax entrepreneurs and investors into betting on more services that could shake up the industry. Real estate crowdfunders, in particular, seemed to sprout left and right in anticipation of regulations that may pollinate the practice of pooling investors’ money to buy property. In September, the Securities and Exchange Commission lifted the ban on “general solicitation” of investments by companies that rely on a widely used regulatory exemption to issue securities. That made it possible for crowdfunders to court investors across public communication platforms, including social media sites. Many crowdfunders still don’t publicly display their investments because the new regulations allowing advertising also require companies to verify that investors are accredited if they choose to advertise. ...