Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.


  • Websites and software need to focus on mobile-first.
  • 3-D is evolving beyond a virtual tour gimmick.
  • Real estate profession is becoming a driver of industrywide tech adoption.

Inman Connect San Francisco is over.

But the technology products, industry creativity, tips, tactics and insight it generated remain in hyperdrive.

No other event that revolves around the sale of houses coalesces such industry expertise and tech intelligence.

Here’s what I learned from my time on the floor.

1. Data is power

Zillow is the poster child for how to leverage real estate data. Say what you will about how it does so, the advertising sales company has no doubt sparked an awakening in the industry as to how to win more buyers and sellers. Dare I ask: Is Zillow the Napster of real estate?

It does appear as if the company will be around longer than its music-sharing counterpart. However, just like the (in)famous Internet pioneer, when the portal war smoke clears, will Zillow end up as motivation for how to do it better?

2. Mobile means business

You need to have more than just a responsive website. You need to be “mobile-first.” Developing software? Get that mobile version out of beta quick.

It’s not just for agents who are on the move; information-hungry consumers are becoming indifferent to brand and partial to responsiveness. Avenue and AgentPair are looking to capitalize on this trend.

3. 3-D is coming of age

Consumers will soon want to do more than pinch or push their way through foyers and hallways. I believe augmented reality will reveal the true benefits of this quickly evolving home photography technology.

Augmented Pixels uses 3-D renderings to create exploded views of multistory homes when you hover a mobile device over a brochure. Rooomy allows you to virtually stage any vacant home with furniture you can also buy directly through its growing list of partners.

4. Open houses remain valuable lead generators

Accurate data is king. Dated, days-old content is getting relegated to the jester’s quarters faster than ever. Since there is no better data than what can be found “on the ground,” agents shouldn’t neglect the value of capturing on-premise buyer feedback on listings.

Tools and tech to make that process better and more powerful will continue to emerge.

5. Smart homes are getting too smart

There will be big questions about smart homes as the tech becomes more common. Cameras, thermostat controls, door locks, window blinds and garage doors can now be controlled via a single mobile interface.

How is secure transfer of all that data — and access to it — going to be reconciled at closing? Can we prove the seller can’t “look in” on the new owners? Ethical challenges are on the horizon.

6. Real estate is an industry innovator

There are plenty of very smart people working in this industry. At every touch point, from programmers to closing coordinators, best practices are being introduced, refined and integrated at breakneck pace.

Debates about data, portal wars and “our CRM is better than your CRM” spats should be seen as healthy, normal growing pains.

Keep it up, everybody. This is a fun time for real estate.

Do you think any of these trends are flashes in the pan, or are they here to stay? Leave a comment and let us know!

Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Real estate news and analysis that gives you the inside track. Subscribe to Inman Select for 50% off.SUBSCRIBE NOW×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription