Picking up where we left off in Part 1 of “A Consumer’s Model” of the Future of Real Estate, Part 2 continues coverage of the Disconnect 2019 conference in April where InmanNews brought together industry influencers to discuss and predict the future of the industry.

Partnerships, Mergers and Acquisitions and Accelerated Consolidation

Industry influences believe that large and mid-sized broker-owners will merge, become more” virtual” and focus on agents’ performance, productivity and financial wellbeing. Tech companies or some combination of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft Airbnb, etc. will elbow their ways into the real estate business over the next five years. Amazon has already done so with its selling of kit houses much as Sears and Roebuck did some fifty years ago.

Pushed by venture and private-equity investors who want rewards in the now disrupted real estate industry, open tech and data markets will replace the +100 years of closed systems. Lawsuits and the Department of Justice are predicted to “ward off” any threats to tech and business model innovation.

Expansive Role of Platforms

Platforms that scale, such as iBuyers and tech brokers, will grow, expand and ooze into the industry because consumers like everything that allows them to “streamline” the process of buying and selling homes.

Integrated title insurance, mortgage loans and closing services, already available in the present tense, will become ubiquitous in the near future. Also virtual showings, smart contracts and instant offers will become the norm, not the exception.

Data Ownership Fights to Become Less Fractious 

Influencers are realists as well as dreamers…they know that fights over data ownership will continue but they think such fights will soon be driven by “the fundamental principles of fair use, consumer privacy, open access and the quality of data” rather than by spur of the moment, raucous or contentious behavior.

In an ideal world, “data that serves the consumer” will prevail.

Roadblocks to a Consumer’s Model  

– Affordability issues at every price point are not going away any time soon.

– National and local attempts to block innovation will hurt progress within the industry.

– Pocket listings will continue to “compromise” the consumer experience.

– Concentrated power in the hands of just a few national/international companies could weaken the value of local professional services.

– Until a new system is created, broker cooperation and collaboration ought not to be abandoned…it’s where roughly 95% of listings in any local market are seen by consumers.