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May in Review: 5 Amazing Things that Happened in Real Estate Technology

June 01 2018

From AI-powered property search, to the debut of .realestate website domains, to the latest crop of real estate tech startups, May was an exciting month. What happened? Here's our round-up of the latest and greatest developments in real estate technology during the past month.

1. Homes.com Remodels Site, Now Powered by Artificial Intelligence

What happens when artificial intelligence (AI) meets property portal? The newly launched redesign of Homes.com, that's what. By integrating AI into its user experience, Homes.com finds a way to set itself apart from the "Big 3" portals by offering innovative new features, like:

  • Homes.com Snap & Search - Do your buyers know what their "dream home" looks like, but just need help finding it IRL? With Snap & Search, all they have to do is upload an image of their ideal home, and Homes.com's AI-powered algorithms will visually search millions of property images to show you similar local listings.
  • Homes.com Match - What's important to your buyers in a home? Now searchers can tell Homes.com which amenities they're looking for and rank their importance, and Homes.com will assign a "Match" score to each listing so your buyers can home in on the listings most relevant to their needs. Think of it like a dating compatibility score for home search.
  • Homes.com HomeShare - This collaborative tool helps agents and their clients communicate better during the home search process. Users can share listings, notes, messages and more with each other via HomeShare.

Artificial intelligence is also front-and-center on the Homes.com home page now, too. Rather than the traditional portal search interface, Homes.com now offers a conversational experience:

homes dot com home page conversational

Additionally, Homes.com introduced AI-generated headlines that attract more buyers, fewer clicks to see listing details, and more flexibility when users search via price range. Learn more in this video.

2. Hot New Tech: REach Class of 2018 Debuts

REach, NAR's tech incubator program, revealed its 'Class of 2018Class of 2018' on May 1. Each year, the annual program selects a handful of companies whose products or services show the potential to benefit NAR's 1.3 million members.

The program runs from one NAR conference to the next. Each class debuts in May at the NAR Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. and 'graduates' at NAR Annual in November. Here's a look at the eight companies from the Class of 2018 poised to impact our industry:

  • zavvie - Offers a turn-key hyperlocal marketing system for agents, teams and brokerages, which helps generate listings and increases commissions.
    Active Pipe - Email marketing automation platform for the real estate industry.
  • BoxBrownie.com - Offers high quality photo editing, virtual staging, floor plan redraws, and computer-generated imagery, or CGI, renders at competitive prices.
  • CurbCall - Mobile, on-demand lead routing technology that allows agents to instantly and safely connect with consumers.
  • Glide - Provides professional, full-service transaction coordination backed by modern technology, which saves time, enhances compliance and dramatically improves client service.
  • Hurdlr - Like a Fitbit for agents' financial performance, Hurdlr helps agents hit their income goals by providing automated tracking and proactive guidance.
  • RealKey - Offers a browser-based transaction management system, which brings all parts of homebuying and getting a mortgage into a single unified portal where all communication, updates, information and documentation collection are automated.
  • Quigler - Delivers a compliance checklist in an agent app, which gives consumers process transparency, accountability and instantaneous communication.

3. NAR Announces New .realestate Website Domains

On May 21, The National Association of Realtors announced that it would launch .realestate top-level website domains this fall. So if you're looking for a memorable and SEO-friendly website address--like YourCity.realestate or YourName.realestate--mark your calendars now!

There's sure to be high competition for these domains, so be sure you snag yours in the NAR-backed pre-sale. The pre-sale starts Sept. 18 and is available to NAR members with an active .realtor domain. Sales open to the general public on November 27, so if you're interested in a .realestate domain, be sure to claim yours before the frenzy begins.

Visit get.realestate to learn more.

4. The Rise of AI-Powered Property Search

Conversational property search is having a moment--and May was a particularly busy month in this corner of the industry. Not only did Homes.com debut their new conversational search interface this month, but a new partnership is now bringing property voice search to Alexa and Google Assistant.

Voiceter Pro and Terradatum's new partnership gives consumers access to comprehensive hyperlocal market metrics by talking to an AI-powered assistant. In return, real estate pros get to connect with consumers on a cutting-edge channel and generate new business in a place most agents and brokers haven't even thought to look yet.

5. More Real Estate Tech Hits the Stock Market

Speaking of moments, real estate technology is having another one--on the stock market. eXp Realty started trading May 21 on the Nasdaq Global Market. The company's the ticker symbol is EXPI.

eXp Realty is a virtual brokerage that's home to over 11,000 agents in 49 states. The company's unique "virtual campus" provides agents with "24/7 access to collaborative tools, training and socialization" via a cloud-based, collaborative platform.

That's all for this busy month, but if you're thirsty for more, check out these two bonus picks: Sotheby's augmented reality app debuts on iOS and Upstream launchesUpstream launches.