• On demand services are quickly rising in real estate, as they are industry-wide.
  • Some of the best real estate technology solutions are those that simple make an old way of doing things new again.
  • Look for more tools in tech that make agents more collaborative and the industry more transparent

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

Thanksgiving is an occasion to lift our spirits — some emotional, some in rocks glasses.

Not to cast aspersions upon the holiday’s most underrated side dish, but there a lot of things to be thankful for other than a good green bean casserole recipe.

For example, this year in real estate technology, we witnessed the rise of the on-demand agent.

Using tools like AgentPair and CurbCall, prospective buyers can roll up to a house, text a proverbial Bat signal to any nearby agents subscribed to the service and sit tight for showing help to arrive.

Avenue, as does AgentPair’s PairBot, uses text-messaging to create a concierge service for aspiring buyers and sellers. Consumers just send a question into the dark matter of the market to initiate discussion with a local agent expert. An agency agreement may or not transpire.

Fan or not, the innovation behind these approaches to prospecting deserves second helpings.

While we’re passing the sides around, I think we should hand the candied yams to a few Boards of Realtors around the country who have taken on their members’ concerns, addressing the fallout from the portal wars by creating smart, self-sustaining in-market solutions of their own.

Fan or not, the innovation behind these approaches to prospecting deserves second helpings.

This isn’t a condemnation of Zillow or realtor.com; both are tremendous assets to the industry. In fact, I often wonder in what condition the state of real estate on the Internet would be without their collective influence.

The presence of these marketing giants have pushed others into action. Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) and San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR), for example, are taking broad steps give their members collaborative spaces to proactively share and interact outside of the pressures of advertising budgets and skirmishes over PPC (pay-per-click) keywords.

Let’s also plop some of Aunt Mildred’s mashed potatoes on the plates of companies like Proxio and Resaas for making more agent-to-agent connections happen via their unique platforms. Talk about bringing people to the same table.

Hopefully, the agent community at large will find reasons to celebrate the camaraderie generated by these developers and not run screaming from the house about how no one ever listens to them and that it was only one time and someone else paid for it.

(Or does that only happen in my family?)

Let’s not forget the younger ones in this industry, the real estate technology startups who have already, or will soon, graduate from the kids’ table.

I’ve bored people to death with my view on Relola, but it should get an extra slice of pie regardless, especially after its post-NAR momentum.

PointDrive has earned its place in the marketing corner, as has RealtyAPX, a do-it-all, front, back and out-of-office real estate office management and marketing system.

A big slab of pie to those companies aiming to make open houses more worthwhile, like AM Open House, Open House Toolkit, Spacio and Open Home Pro.

I think these companies are great examples of how technology can make traditional business processes more palatable.

I hope this week Inman readers are also thankful for the terrific journalism and insight being provided into your industry. I know we’re very thankful for your readership and ongoing feedback.

As an opinion writer, I don’t get to dive into the smorgasbord of succulent stories that our reporters share so well. I often find out about the best stuff at the same time you do. I’m thankful to be dining at the same table.

We have a month or so left in 2016. Soon it will time to celebrate what’s next in the tech space.

Until then, I hope you’ll look back at the 11 months of 2015 and find a few reasons to go back for seconds.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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