The real estate industry today works in much the same way that it has for decades, along with all the problems that come with that kind of stagnation.
In recent years, the industry has exposed itself to antitrust lawsuits in the U.S.A. and the involvement of the Competition Bureau in Canada, in particular regarding access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). But more broadly, it’s an industry that’s stuck in its ways when it comes to how transactions work and who gets to be involved in that process.
Driven by new technology and ambitious solutions, new business models are finally challenging the status quo. These are some of the companies and new technologies that are turning real estate on its head.
Much of what has the real estate industry stuck in the mud starts with the way real estate agents work and how consumers find them. Nobul is using the business model of the dynamic online marketplace to challenge that relationship and empower the consumer.
Founder and CEO Regan McGee says of how Nobul works and why it’s attracting Millennial home buyers and sellers, “Nobul is the world’s first true digital open marketplace. We connect buyers and sellers with agents. It’s a true marketplace just like Uber.”
In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, he explains that “Agents compete for your listing or your buy. They’ll give you their proposal where it outlines exactly what they’re including and what they’re excluding, what their track record is, and reviews from people that have actually used them.”
It’s an environment that’s giving agents incentive to be more competitive on both price and service, while consumers get more transparency and information about agents before they sign anything.
Combining real estate with crowdfunding, Fundrise took aim directly at the world of real estate investing.
Buying an investment property is a huge commitment for most people. For the average person, buying a rental would represent a massive proportion of their portfolio, leaving most real estate investments to the very wealthy.
Fundrise challenged that premise by allowing entry-level investors to benefit from real estate investments, and the company even launched an electronic REIT that gave everyday investors access to commercial real estate projects as well.
Rentberry brought the blockchain to the rental market. Focused on high-rent markets where it’s common practice to rely on real estate agents to find an apartment, Rentberry created an online marketplace that cut agents (and their costs) without sacrificing certainty.
The platform uses a decentralized ledger to allow property owners to list their units and for prospective tenants to apply.
The real estate market in California has brought a lot of investor interest to the single-family home rental market. SFH homes are in short supply, and they are a lucrative opportunity for investors. Roofstock capitalized on this opportunity to give new investors a chance to diversify their portfolios into real estate.
Roofstock uses Artificial Intelligence to power its property-matching technology, streamlining the process for potential investors.
Buildium is a solution to the challenges of property management. It’s a cloud-based software that streamlines the day-to-day tasks of property management and puts everything on a single platform. Buildium has transformed itself into an essential tool for property managers.