Mon 16 Jul 2018

7/17-20/18: Follow #ICSF18, share your perspective on real estate in 2020 using hashtag #RE2020

Bill Wendel Public Seen by 281

Invite real estate innovators & affordable housing advocates to listen to the podcast episode below and let us know if you'd like to join us for a LIVESTREAM Watch Party. For several years, #RE2020 has been asking "What will the real estate ecosystem look like in 2020?" Let's hear how panelists at #ICSF address the question below in their General Session at noon on Wed, 7/18 and use Anchor to share our perspectives before and after.

Real Estate in 2020: Here is What It Looks Like
Innovators are on fire, disruption is full speed ahead, consolidation is the norm and the winners and losers are becoming more evident.
What does the future look like?



Jim Battan Mon 16 Jul 2018

I clarified with Inman folks that the hashtag they're using is #ICSF, not #ICSF18.-Jim


Bill Wendel Mon 16 Jul 2018

Thanks for the clarification @jbattan. My recollection is that you're attending, is that correct? @nitesh will be in SF through Friday and offered to debrief daily. Anyone else interested in doing the same?

In January, I attended Hacker Connect, and followed the tweetstream by keyword as i have for years. Will aggregating content via Hashtags, as well as what's not said. The number of keyword gaps might surprise some industry observers. If history repeats itself, so leading industry issues are likely to get little attention.

Others may create ripple effects. Anyone seen this WSJ headline yet?



Jim Battan Mon 16 Jul 2018

Yes, I'll be attending the general conference, the Hacker Connect, and the CEO Connect.
I'll keep some notes and send them all to you, perhaps daily.

@Nitesh, let's meet, perhaps during a lunch break.



Bill Wendel Mon 16 Jul 2018

Thanks Jim! Adrienne, @adriennemeisels encourage you & your LobbyCon colleague to meet @Nitesh & @jbattan too. Of course, you're invited to share some thoughts daily, too via Loomio or daily podcast episodes on @Anchor.

Here's the list of industry trends we created after #ICNY18 and several other events, using MIT's #uLab three step theory of change -- what's ending, what's presenting, and what's emerging:



Bill Wendel Mon 16 Jul 2018

Let’s see what we can pull off this week, even if it takes a a few false starts to master the tech. Have sent this to several people via another private channel. If anyone wants to be interviewed, let me know and I’ll send this link when it’s convenient for you to talk.

I'm recording segments on Anchor this week and would like to invite you to share daily updates from #ICSF. If you're open to that, please download Anchor soon so we can talk!



Bill Wendel Tue 17 Jul 2018

Can't make it to Connect? Scan the schedule below, and tune into on the Inman Livestream over the next several days:



Bill Wendel Tue 17 Jul 2018

Not very many tweets today from #ICSF, but still several sessions left to watch on the LIVESTREAM today. More #REStartUps on the next several panels than the whole day put together:


@nitesh @jbattan @adriennemeisels


Jim Battan Wed 18 Jul 2018

Here are my notes from yesterday. Nothing disruptive in sight.

Hacker Connect

  • Tribus custom software for brokerage

  • Tech trends: Move from intuitive to mindless. Let apps do the hard work. Remove friction. Don’t make the business fit the tech. Consider custom solutions that meet your needs. Integrated workflow. Focus on data.

  • Redfin customer-centric products. Talk to your customers. They most care about pictures, schools, and commute. Hard for users to visualize the home layout using photos. 3D scans help {but still very manual process and imprecise}. Users rarely use search filters due to FOMO and indecision around needs/wants. Important to balance quantitative and qualitative data. They use 3-day Google design sprints. Homes.com ( http://Homes.com ) does want/need searches.

  • RocketUrBiz: Data ontology vs ML/AI. Used for knowledge discovery and exploration. Too many data silos. Ontological integration is their answer. AI in general and narrow senses. “Evil data processes” exist. You can’t discern knowledge from raw data; need to ETL it first. Databases do not store knowledge. Dbtia(?) is an ontology database. ODBs have a core taxonomy. OREO Open RE Ontolgies.

  • Handling interoperability and integration challenges. eXp, KW, Compass. Josh wants to drive the cost of tech for brokers to zero. KW partnered with Nextdoor to get access to their 161,000 neighborhoods. Maelle Gavet and Josh agree that 750 MLSs is crazy. Amazing that some systems don’t support APIs. KW doesn’t think standards will ever be universally supported. RE is finally realizing that data is most important, and who owns the data owns the world. Upstream goes counter to SPOF and decentralized data.

  • Blockchain for RE. MLSListings and Imbrex. Blockchain working group in RESO. Auditable ledger. I would ask: what about the serious capacity limitations in block update frequency, size, and throughput? Not to mention lack of government oversight capacities?

  • Developers perspective on MLS: Hoverboard Labs Seth Siegler. Tech hasn’t changed much in past 20 years. Access to MLS data is difficult to get, data is a mess, not normalized, key values are indecipherable. Importing data makes no sense with real-time listing needs.

  • Building smarter APIs: Restsb, Blend, and LetsButterfly. 3 important stack elements: Roadmap, versioning, and documentation. Believers in RESO. Build success and failure test scripts.

  • Was interviewed by Greg Charlop for the Real Estate Flash podcast, airing next week. On the subject of MLS deficiencies.

  • Data ontology deep dive. Virtual logic vs descriptive logic. Basic Formal Ontology BFO On GitHub. OBOFoundry.org ( http://OBOFoundry.org ). Written in OWL2.

  • Lots of shill sessions by vendors: NextDoor, ShowingTime, blockchain like Propy, CRM, leadgen, and other agent-focused topics. Even CTAs listed at the end of the sessions.

  • Referrals are going down. Agents respond to 51% of leads.

  • Startup pitches:

  • Kleard: app to empower agents: safety, leadgen, etc

  • RocketUrBiz: consolidation of 10 agent apps.

  • Localize.city: AI insight engine

  • Upcall: outbound phone agents

  • Disclosures.IO: manage disclosures and offers

  • Relativity: referrals app

  • CloudCMA: cash offer integration, investor connect API

  • ProxyPix: photos on demand

  • Local Logic: amenities for every address

  • Vrollo: integrates vacation rental data with listing data for investors



Bill Wendel Wed 18 Jul 2018

@jbattan Impressive, look forward to deconstructing, comparing to my own list of A-Z. If others only have 30 minutes to tune into the LIVESTREAM or tweet street, now is a good time to here what leading #REStartUps are doing. See link above:


Bill Wendel Wed 18 Jul 2018

@jbattan Strong statement. Nothing disruptive in sight! If you see or hear something that is today, please share insights and invite them to collaborate via #RE2020!


Jim Battan Thu 19 Jul 2018

Today's notes:

Brad’s opening:
We’re the best and brightest. We’re curious and courageous. We have conviction. We’re aware of the changes in the industry. Our vision is to improve the RE industry to improve the customer experience. Change is upon us. Long story about Randy. Keep your head high because you are doing good work. Act as a service rather than sales industry.

Panel discussion:
Clelia Warburg Realty
Mike Del Prete
Jeremy Wacksman Zillow
Vija with KW
Clelia says in five years:
Bottom layer will be full tech disintermediation. Push a button to buy a house.
Middle layer of discount brokers like Redfin and PurpleBricks.
Existing brokerage continues to exist in high complexity, high value markets. Lots of pressure though to show their value. Many fewer brokers because they don’t add value. Like Private Wealth model in finance.
The question is how big are those three slices?
Will iBuyers be a force? Unclear. Gives sellers options.
Psychology, not technology, is the barrier to disintermediation.
Homie and ? in Atlanta are making some traction.
Zillow sees higher commissions when a seller is given a menu.
Adapt in this massive environment of change.

John Cary: Experience with co-housing in Oakland. 160 of them in US. Homeless encampments everywhere. How do we create more temporary, transitional, and permanent housing?

Data For Democracy, Haven: disinformation is messing up your reality. Social networks suggest content, keep user on site, gather data, target ads. Creates manufactured reality, interferes with truth. Leads to polarization, and sometimes radicalization. Russia uses these tactics often. Amazon reviews are remarkably manipulated via Facebook groups. Anyone can be duped by messages that confirm their biases. An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.

Compass reinvented the for sale sign, circular, with a light and bluetooth.

Gary Kelly: vision of the industry’s future. Businesses moment of innovation. You won’t recognize the industry in a year. Nothing has happened yet. Add data and AI to commodity hardware to power the inflection point. Agent -> tech-enabled agent (with MLS) -> agent-enabled tech (Z, Opendoor, Purple, all the firms than Inman worships) -> tech. Tech will never happen. The fiduciary is either an agent or tech. Redfin would run without agents if they could. A-ET want to reduce commissions by 30%. They want tech to be the rockstar. Don’t spend more than 10% on leads. KW have no agreement with Z, but do with dotLoop. If TEA doesn’t own their tech, they succumb to AET. KW agents spending $300k/yr on tech will spend $0 next year. Amazon, Facebook, Netflix all own their software. Takes 2-3y to build an industry-specific cloud service. Must have AI. Extensive banter with Brad. Who will own the data? $1B in KW profit share. Tech is driving KW’s growth, not profit share. Build an end-to-end consumer experience. Voyeurism, search, offer, close. The mortgage industry hates them because they have their own with no origination fees. Brad says Gary sees the future more than most of us. Z wanted KW’s data to improve Z’s AVM. They can’t have it and are audited twice a year to prove it. Lots of standing up cheering from his fans (employees presumably) in the crowd. Lots of snarky comments on social media.

Panel discussion with Trelora, PurpleBricks, and eXp CEOs. Microservices are here. TMS, commissions, etc. Joshua says KW is in the same boat as Sears, Sports Authority, and Kmart. All dying. Barrier to entry is so low. Agents are still needed. PB is great service at flat fee. 90% of owners would say they don’t want to pay commissions. Independent contractors fighting their brokers. Joshua says $75B to $35B in commissions in 5-7 years. Everyone can see the clear path to the future: a better experience. Consumers want a fair price, extraordinary service, and full transparency. Not “Gabby Lipstick’. PB and Trelora CEOs are good at this discussion. eXp doesn’t see the race to the bottom on commissions. Huge pay raise due to less work for much higher commissions due to home appreciation. Lots of agent cheering when eXp says the agent is required. How long to major changes? Joshua says 8-9 years until a major player files for bankruptcy. PB says 3-4 years for reduced commissions. eXp says not clear.

Glenn Kerman Redfin: was scheduled to talk about innovation, but instead talked about Race in RE. How do we improve RE for all races?
Dialogue with Brad: consolidation. VC money flooding in. Redfin has NIH syndrome, and are tightwads. Disagrees with Gary: no longer wants to remove agents, but did 14 years ago.

Wall Street effects on RE with The Agency CEO and Citron Research. VCs pay a lot for disruption; e.g. Netflix and Amazon. There won’t be just one disruptor. Amazing that Compass market cap is near Realogy’s, which is a much larger company.


Bill Wendel Fri 20 Jul 2018

@jbattan Thanks notes above: What do others think of this session, prediction -- how big will the slices be?

Clelia says in five years:
Bottom layer will be full tech disintermediation. Push a button to buy a house.

Middle layer of discount brokers like Redfin and PurpleBricks.

Existing brokerage continues to exist in high complexity, high value markets. Lots of pressure though to show their value. Many fewer brokers because they don’t add value. Like Private Wealth model in finance.

The question is how big are those three slices?

AGREE! Psychology, not technology, is the barrier to disintermediation.

DISAGREE: Zillow sees higher commissions when a seller is given a menu. Menu of Services will exist in all three tiers, hence will provide both money-saving opportunities to consumers as well as savings opportunities. BILLIONS annually!


Bill Wendel started a ranked choice Fri 20 Jul 2018

Snap Poll: Which real etate business model will emerge as the consumer favorite in next 5 yeas? Closed Tue 7 Aug 2018

When asked what real estate will look like in 2020, the question #RE2020 has been addressing for three years, one panelist at #ICSF (Clelia Peters, Co-Founder & Advisor, Warburg Realty and MetaProp) described three broad market segments. Which will emerge as "consumer favorite" within the next 5 years?

Bottom layer will be full tech disintermediation

Middle layer of discount brokers like Redfin & PurpleBricks

Existing brokerage continues to exist in high complexity, high-value markets

Use this platform to rank the three options, below or add another real estate model you think will become a player. We've already added iBuyers and Fee-for-Service to Clelia's scenarios.

Comments welcome, as well as insights into niche market opportunities, or the resurgence of existing models like Exclusive Buyer Brokerages (who do NOT take listings).

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total
Discount brokers 1 1 1 0 0 12
Fee-for-service 0 2 1 0 0 11
Existing brokerage 1 0 0 2 0 9
Full tech disintermediation 1 0 0 0 2 7
iBuyers 0 0 1 1 1 6

Jim Battan Fri 20 Jul 2018

1 - Full tech disintermediation
2 - Fee-for-service
3 - Discount brokers
4 - Existing brokerage
5 - iBuyers

Our hope is that in five years, Builts and other AI-based apps will be better than 90% of the agents of today, and so full tech will be the predominant method. In some states, lawyers will still be required by law.


Tom Wemett Fri 20 Jul 2018

1 - Existing brokerage
2 - Discount brokers
3 - Fee-for-service
4 - iBuyers
5 - Full tech disintermediation

I don't think any one will dominate the industry. It will continue to be a blend as it is now with slight changes in percentages of the market. There are buyers and sellers who will opt for a DIY approach but more want an agent involved.


Jack Barry Sun 22 Jul 2018

1 - Discount brokers
2 - Fee-for-service
3 - iBuyers
4 - Existing brokerage
5 - Full tech disintermediation

I. when acting as the Listing Broker, and charge One Percent Fee. If the buyer has no agent, the seller's total cost is that One Percent..... This is the future.


Bill Wendel Fri 20 Jul 2018

Only three more sessions left in #ICSF's LIVESTEAM.
LIVE now: Why is Softbank pouring hundreds of millions into Compass?


Last session: Will shared equity drive real estate prices higher or allow would be first time buyer to get into the housing market by splitting the wealth with Wall St? Here's what Inman says:

A new breed of companies is redefining what it means to own your home. Hear how these alternative financing models work and why they are so attractive to investors.