Real estate gets more tech.

For those of us in the tech world with a background in real estate, the impending tech opportunities in real estate may appear obvious. Real estate is a sector of the economy that’s done quite well despite it’s glacial movement towards tech, but the pace definitely appears to be picking up.

Yes, real estate agents are getting more “techy,” so to speak, yet there remains a divide between veteran agents who are entrenched in traditional marketing practices and recently licensed agents who exhibit an appetite for all things tech.  The state of real estate marketing is definitely trending tech however, whether agents are ready for it or not.

One evident reason for the boom of tech start-ups in real estate is due to the vast wealth the industry commands as a percentage of the nations total economic assets.  To be specific, residential homes account for the single largest “tangible” U.S. real estate asset, worth roughly $23 trillion.  Commercial real estate further accounts for another $15 trillion.  As an asset class, real estate is larger than other U.S. heavyweight industries such as fixed income, equity and health care.

So that being said, venture capitalists continue to swarm into real estate to get a piece of the action and capitalize off of the tech boom that’s quite unrealized in real estate. Venture funding of real estate technology startups reached a peak in the Q4 of 2014, with 32 companies raising around $300 million. In total, venture funds have invested $605 million in real estate startups in 2014 versus $241 million in 2013 – a growth of more than 250%. There are a number of signs suggesting the trend will continue through the remainder of the year.

While Zillow continues to grow it’s batch of proprietary technology with the recent acquisition of Trulia, real estate technology is indeed growing at a rapid pace.  New predictive marketing companies like Smartzip, ReboGateway, and My Listings Agent, promise real estate agents high quality leads using big data and predictive analytics.  Will simple web advertising on Zillow continue to satisfy the marketing demands of real estate agents, or will the predictive power of big data attract agents to sites like My Listings Agent?  It is indeed the dawning of a new tech age!



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