• Virtual reality, 'peak content' and data curation will impact real estate in 2016, according to Matthew Shadbolt.

As director of real estate products at the New York Times, Matthew Shadbolt knows a thing or two about the intersection of real estate and technology.

Here are three big trends that he sees impacting the industry.

Virtual reality

We’ve reached a tipping point with virtual reality, Shadbolt said on stage at Inman Connect. This year the technology will finally begin to gain traction and impact the business landscape.

Jenna Bascom / Inman.com

Jenna Bascom / Inman.com

In real estate, VR headsets, such as those provided by Oculus Rift and Google, and online 3-D models will enable consumers to virtually saunter about listings. This experience will be particularly valuable to relocating buyers, Shadbolt said. He envisions agents sending VR headsets to buyers to streamline their home search.

‘Peak Content’

The challenge of marketing and communicating on popular online media platforms, such as social networks, continues to grow. Agents and brokers should think carefully about how much time and resources they invest in maintaining a presence on these platforms.

“Distribution [of content] might be best thought out strategically rather than fear of missing out,” Shadbolt said.

One effective strategy for brokers would be to “digitize what’s in your agents’ heads,” in order to serve up their unparalleled knowledge of neighborhoods, he said.


Consumers can access an abundance of data online. But all that data can be overwhelming.

This presents an opportunity for agents. They can lace a homebuyer or seller’s consumption of data with “empathy, guidance and understanding” — the “key point of differentiation between an agent and a portal,” he said.

Agents must excel at organizing and interpreting data for consumers to continue to thrive, he said.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
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