Top executives from many of the world’s leading real estate firms joined a panel discussion recently about the impact of new technology on commercial and residential real estate markets. The session, “Strategic Technology Solutions and REach® Driving Innovation in Real Estate,” addressed how technology is changing transactions in the $1 trillion real estate industry and its impact on REALTORS®, brokers, home prices, and buyers and sellers. It was held as part of the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.
The panelists included many of the industry’s most prominent leaders of global real estate firms:
- Steve Berkowitz, CEO, Move Inc.
- Gino Blefari, incoming CEO, HSF Affiliates LLC (owner/operator of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate)
- Elie Finegold, senior vice president, Global Innovation & Business Intelligence, CBRE Group Inc.
- Alex Perriello, CEO, Realogy Franchise Group
- Mike Ryan, executive vice president, Global Communications & Branding, RE/MAX
The panel was moderated by Constance Freedman, vice president of strategic investments and managing director of the Second Century Ventures Fund for NAR. The program was presented byREach®, accelerator of Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of NAR. REach® connects real estate professionals with innovative technology companies seeking to address the market.
“Technology is having a transformational effect on every stage of the real estate transaction, from listing to financing and even post-closing. As the rules and consumer expectations evolve, agents and brokers must keep pace,” said Freedman. “We were excited to host an event that featured both the leaders driving technological change and the young companies who are best positioned to shape the industry’s future.”
The session included demonstrations of emergent technology products and services from members of the REach® class of 2014:
- Back At You Media – A leading social media marketing company dedicated to the real estate industry.
- Deductr – Helps REALTORS® keep their hard-earned money by automatically tracking their expenses, mileage and time.
- Desktime – Agents can build relationships and earn extra income by helping clients turn unused office space into cash.
- FundWell – An online marketplace that pre-qualifies and matches small businesses and commercial real estate investors to lenders.
- Goby – A Software as a Service platform that tracks energy utilization in buildings to optimize efficiency and regulatory reporting.
- SendHub – Offers mobile, flexible and connected telephony for real estate professionals.
- SmartZip – A marketing automation platform for identifying top home seller prospects and reaching them through targeted online, social and offline marketing campaigns.
- WeVideo – Redefines video creation and editing and allows any agent to create professional-grade videos.
REach® members are early stage technology companies selected for the potential impact of their products and services on markets with complex transactional processes, like the real estate industry. Since the start of the 2014 program earlier this year, the REach® companies have grown their customer bases by more than 70 percent on average and have raised more than $13 million in new financing. Last year’s REach® 2013 class companies grew from 100 to 1,000 percent during the program and raised more than $16.5 million in funding.
REach® is a unique strategic accelerator created by Second Century Ventures, the investment arm of the National Association of Realtors®, which helps technology companies launch into the real estate vertical and its adjacent markets. REach® is a 9-month program that provides education, mentorship and market exposure to help its portfolio companies access the trillion-dollar real estate market and leverage NAR’s strategic expertise. REach® accepts fewer than a dozen companies each year to access one of the world’s largest industries.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.