The Future of Real Estate: Moon shots or consumer movements? #RE2020


Yesterday, a leading real estate tech conference announced that Realogy’s new CEO, Ryan Schneider, would be making his public debut at their event.  His topic: “How Technology and Data Can Send Your Business to the Moon.” Before reading our response, understand the scale of this giant real estate brokerage holding company is unrivaled and some would argue troublesome:

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Ryan, Welcome to the real estate industry. Your perspective as an industry outsider should be insightful, but before you launch the industry’s expectations towards the moon, can we use ask some basic questions pre-countdown?

As others may have told you, real estate agents can be fiercely independent, many preferring to work solo orbiting neighborhoods when and where their clients need help. Should “indie brokers” and individual agents be more concerned about getting to the moon or getting clients the best price and terms on homes that launch their preferred lifestyles not the agent’s ego?

If you’ve not been house hunting in an overheated housing market like Boston, you may be surprised that some smart people might think getting to the moon is easier than finding affordable housing. It’s not just the price, lunar missions have a distinct competitive advantage — an internal GPS guided by mission control, whereas homebuyers are routinely manipulated in BLIND bidding wars. Want to work on something together? Let’s start with data-driven insights that protect homebuyers from missing their target, or at a minimum make offers in conflict-free, transparent process so they don’t overpay for the “wrong” house?

Back to your topic and other things we can work on: There are unverified reports that retailers pulled in a record 700 terabytes of consumers’ personal information on Cyber Monday, but we don’t need The Onion (or a director of the CFPB worthy of that title) to tell us that’s wrong. There’s clearly a difference between big data and personal data; the moon shot is asking whether there’s a way to anonymize, share, aggregate and analyze both to benefit consumers, brokers, smart cities and society? How do we get there?

Here are some questions others have been thinking about, and invite your feedback before you take the stage at #ICNY18:

1. Who’s data is it and how can they leverage it?

2. What ethical obligations do real estate agents and brokerages have with regard to personal data?

3. Do we need to extend fiduciary rules, rights and disclosures beyond the transaction into a future where smart homes operate autonomously and consumers manage their own digital identity?

Speaking of autonomous, anyone in InmanVille on NAR Stratregic Thinking Advisory Group want to share their concerns about autonomous homebuyers, and what implications they might have for the rocket fuel (revenue) necessary for Indie brokers or mega-brokers to stay in orbit?

While some fear an autonomous future, others dream about autonomous vehicles as solutions to urban problems. Before writing that off, let’s not forget that unmanned space crafts were instrumental in America’s quest to reach the moon before their Russian rivals and continue to this day. Further, for nearly 20 years those rivals have collaborated on international space station. Can you see a way for industry competitors to share data that will improve the housing ecosystem worldwide in our lifetime? Any lessons we can learn about data sharing from your innovations at Capital One, or from your former rival, MasterCard’s City Possible Movement — a systemic vision to solving problems on this planet? Wouldn’t that make more sense than shooting for the moon?

Want to inspire another movement — something akin to President Kennedy’s challenge in 1961 to put an American astronaut on the moon by the end of the decade? Let’s clean-up the industry and invite others to cocreate a money-saving real estate ecosystem, so consumers — some of whom can scarcely afford to gaze at the moon — can achieve their dream: landing in a safe, affordable neighborhood their families can call home.

Invite you and others, particularly consumer advocates and innovators from #RETech, #FinTech, #CivicTech & #LegalTech communities, to discuss the future of the real estate industry using #RE2020.  Let’s see how far we can get by the end of this decade: (share via social media)

Posted in Consumer protection, Crowdsourcing, DIY Homebuyers, Dual Agency Detective, HousingID, Personal data, RE2020, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, Real Estate Roundtables, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance

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