The process of buying and selling a home faces radical changes as technology, new business models and revolutionary ways of getting buyers and sellers to the closing table are adopted at lightning speed.

At the center of change is the real estate technology event Real Estate Connect. Often credited with predicting where the future will take us, Real Estate Connect is about connecting the dots for technologists, brokers, franchises, agents and managers.

“This is not about evolution — we are in a period of radical real estate change,” said Inman News Publisher Brad Inman. “Connect is the place where the industry is willing to talk about tough issues along with bright new voices outside of the industry. This is not a powwow of the same old folks talking to the same old folks. We incubate ideas and pursue actionable opportunities for transforming the business.”

More than 2,000 experts from around the world will descend on San Francisco from July 16-18 to sort out that future.

When change agents gather in San Francisco, they will focus on how the new consumer real estate experience is disrupting the industry and challenging Realtors, brokers and franchises to change how they do business.

“Take a look into the Inman crystal ball and discover practical ways the industry can adapt to change, how technologists can work with the industry to create solutions to realize value, and where brokers can explore new partnerships that create better consumer experiences,” Inman said.

Some of the issues to be discussed at this year’s event include:

  • Big Brands and Start-Ups: Learning from the cool kids
  • The Uber Real Estate Experience: Who is doing it, how is it done
  • The Front Lines of Innovation: How consumer demands are shaping how the home search process starts.
  • What Does a Great Real Estate Transaction Even Look Like: Agents and brokers weigh in on crafting the ultimate buy and sell side experiences

Connect brings to the stage a wide range of experts from both inside and outside the field of real estate, including:

Patrick Vlaskovits, New York Times best-selling author of “The Lean Entrepreneur”

Patrick Vlaskovits

Patrick Vlaskovits

Patrick Vlaskovits, who wrote the book on the new rules of successful entrepreneurship with “The Lean Entrepreneur,” also coined the term “growth hacking” in 2010 to define a new way of reaching customers and growing businesses. Now growth hacking is the most talked-about trend in Silicon Valley, where it has fueled the rise of companies like Dropbox, Airbnb and more.

Vlaskovits comes to Connect to discuss how the new realities of acquiring customers online require a completely new mindset and approach in order to find success outside of the typical business-building playbook.

Cyan Banister, angel investor

Cyan Banister

Cyan Banister

Cyan Banister is an entrepreneur and prolific Silicon Valley angel investor. Sitting on the edge of innovation and disruption, Banister and her husband, Scott, have invested in today’s fastest-growing companies including Uber, Zappos, Space X and many more.

Banister will share her perspective from the catbird seat of what’s coming next, what consumers want, and what technology companies are focused on building to create the great next consumer experiences.

Amber Feng, product lead at Stripe

Amber Feng

Amber Feng

Stripe has completely reinvented the online payment process, creating a developer-friendly way for websites to take and process credit card payments. Focusing on the developer and end user, Stripe has carved away market share from leading processing incumbents in the process.

Amber Feng knows firsthand how to successfully innovate on the consumer experience within challenging and brittle environments and what it takes to meet the needs of today’s connected consumers.

Paul Tyma, co-founder at Refresh

Paul Tyma

Paul Tyma

Refresh is the new productivity app that puts detailed information about the people you’re about to meet with right in the palm of your hand. It uses intelligent algorithms to find, update and alert you ahead of time to potential contacts, their backgrounds and interests.

Tyma, who co-founded the popular app, will explore the profound power of the phones and devices we’re already carrying with us, and explain how we’ve barely scratched the surface of what they will ultimately mean to how we live our lives.

Susan Feldman, co-founder at One Kings Lane

Susan Feldman

Susan Feldman

Susan Feldman is responsible for changing how we buy. As co-founder of the nearly $1 billion e-commerce giant One Kings Lane, Feldman and her team have created a new powerful brand and completely reinvented the home furnishing category.

Feldman sits down with Publisher Brad Inman to discuss how new consumer behavior is transforming even the most staid industries, and what they’ve learned about consumer needs while building a billion-dollar business.

Jared Simon, COO at HotelTonight

Jared Simon

Jared Simon

The notion of booking a hotel room in a distant city at the last minute used to be enough to give travelers cold sweats. But thanks to HotelTonight, more than 6.5 million users are able to find a last-minute hotel room with a few taps on their phone.

Simon, one of the co-founders of the popular booking app, will share how they solved the massive logistics problem of last-minute room bookings and how they’ve turned a past stressor into a delightful and exciting experience for its users.

Julia Grace, head of engineering at Tindie

Julia Grace

Julia Grace

Grace, a software engineer and electronics maker, heads development at Tindie, a new marketplace that makes it easy to buy and sell hardware built by independent makers. From Arduino robotics to LCDs and touch screens, Tindie is helping connect independent makers to each other as they build tomorrow’s products.

Grace will discuss what’s next in hardware and show us where the Internet of Things is ultimately headed: connected and smart devices that change how technology enables us in our day to day.

They’ll join more than 100 speakers on the stage of Connect to connect the dots and plot the future for the real estate industry. Real Estate Connect is July 16-18, 2014, at the Hotel Union Square in San Francisco. For more information, visit

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