Real estate could use more technology “disrupters”

Innovation in Real EstateWhen I first began my own journey to create a curated news site for the real estate industry about two years ago, the first reaction I would typically get from prospective investors and advisors was always the same, "Why do you want to focus on the real estate industry? It's archaic and falls short on innovation." Fast forward to today and I'm amazed about how quickly the real estate industry is gaining momentum as a really hot space in the tech world. Literally every day I either discover or read about the launch of a new industry site. And, a great deal of these sites are not just "me too's", but really innovative products and services that aim to disrupt the way the industry operates, like, leasability and MotionLoft as profiled by commercial real estate blogger Duke Long. These are examples of sites that I admire because they demonstrate ambition.

I can personally speak to how hard that challenge is; to get people to change the way things HAVE been done and embrace a NEW way of doing things. I find myself on a similar, although maybe not as ambitious, journey with The News Funnel.  I'm asking people to change the way they consume and distribute news. It's breaking with an old model and embracing a new one.

In my opinion, to be a "disrupter" takes the most courage as an entrepreneur. I admire the courage, conviction and passion of the entrepreneurs behind such sites.

Here's a great site I just found: dotloop. The big idea is to take residential real estate negotiations online and eliminate the need for paperwork. Like a lot of companies that take off, sometimes it's just a really simple, basic idea like "eliminating paperwork" that catches on. I can see this site, which, by the looks of it, is off to a fast start, will do really well. They are taking the normally slow, archaic process of buying and selling a home with reams and reams of paper, and completely simplifying it. That’s what I call a "disruptive" idea. A product or service that changes the way things are typically done. It doesn't reinvent a new product, it just dramatically simplifies what had been a rather arduous process.

I wonder what other ideas are out there. What exists in our industry that is archaic and could be ripe for change? Are there sites that you feel are disruptors or areas of the real estate industry that you feel need disruption? I invite your comments below.

Related post: Technology comes to real estate, finally