Hassan Riggs, founder and CEO of Smart Alto, an artificial intelligence company that has text message conversations with real estate leads to book home tours, is here to prove he might be the new kid on the block — but he is here to stay.

Riggs, who had an impressive early career marketing for multibillion dollar brands and startups, says creating new technologies is his real passion. He believes computers should be doing more work (cue the robots). Riggs focuses on growing his company based on the needs and wants of the consumer, not quick marketing gimmicks.

Riggs will take his very first steps onto an Inman Stage at Inman Connect San Francisco on Friday, August 11, during the New Kids on The Block Session to tell the audience why they should be paying attention to all Smart Alto has to offer.

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We chatted with Riggs to learn his greatest tip for success and what trends to be on the watch for.

What are some of the most important trends or changes coming to the real estate industry?

Big data will replace FICO scores; more people will have access to fair credit; and the homebuyer demographic will radically shift — all within 10 years.

Banking startups like Affirm and Earnest are already using artificial intelligence and big data to accurately predict a borrower’s ability to repay a loan, even if they have little or no credit history.

By instantly analyzing a huge swath of data — from the applicant’s transaction history to the details of their social networks — these startups can accurately identify and extend fair credit to a wider base of qualified borrowers.

Soon it will be common for everyone from young adults to newly landed immigrants to secure home loans. Once these people are no longer shut out of the real estate market, agents will face customers with very different needs and expectations. Unless agents learn to adapt, they will become as outdated as 75-minute listing presentations.

What’s your best tip for success?

Lead with your head, heart and hands.

Leading with your head means using the sound judgment that comes from carefully evaluating facts and data combined with a strong intuition for the right course of action when the data is lacking.

Nowadays, no one wants to support a company simply because it’s headed by good decision-makers. People have a strong sense of their values and they trust the brands that reflect those values. That’s why leaders also have to lead with their heart, so they not only make their teams and companies efficient but also align them with the greater good.

Leading with your hands is also crucial. Today’s leaders are hands-on. It’s hard for me to imagine top performers cloistered behind an office door. They are down in the trenches, taking an active part in the work. That’s what makes for great leadership.

Email Samantha Bullock

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