Technology now intersects with the real estate business in so many areas. That’s precisely why Hacker Connect, part of Inman Connect San Francisco’s programming, is the perfect gathering to get a good overview on topics including portals, consumer experience, cryptocurrency and blockchain, right alongside deep-dive topics like APIs and database ontologies.
For the hundreds of real estate technologists who gathered for Hacker Connect in San Francisco last week, the discussion began at the beginning — when the consumer first dreams of buying a home.
Here, in three very big “buckets” are my main takeaways from the (very) full day:
Consumer experience (CX)
At the end of the day, technology should support a great user experience. Redfin’s senior director of product detailed a scientific approach to refining its user-centric home search portal. New features and changes are subject to significant consumer testing.
This has become even more important given that consumers now search for homes on desktop web browsers, smartphones — and now voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Key
Takeaway: Build a great CX, not just great tech.
Coding and development
One hurdle real estate technologists face is the difficulty of integrating with 600-plus multiple listing systems. Tech execs from national brokerages eXp Realty, Compass and Keller Williams talked about the need for standardization APIs and data elements around the RESO.org efforts.
Takeaway: Many brokerages are growing their development shops so they can differentiate, control integrations and own their own intellectual property.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain
No real estate technology conference can be complete without a spirited discussion of the latest headlines concerning “crypto” and blockchain. Several uses for blockchain were discussed and, as usual, it was agreed that there is opportunity ahead but how far ahead was subject to debate.
Takeaway: There is opportunity for blockchain but it still seems to be in the distance.
The real estate technology field has seen explosive growth in the past three years, and there is no end in sight as brokerages, vendors, startups and VCs continue to fuel innovation. Inman’s Hacker Connect is a great place to get an overview — and a deep dive on targeted relevant tech topics.
Marvin Stone serves as senior vice president, business integration for Stewart Title Guaranty Company. Connect with him on Twitter.