When you think of disruption in your daily life, you tend to think of inconvenience. But disruption, as it’s generally defined in the business world, operates in the opposite direction – at least for consumers.
Disruption occurs when a scrappy young enterprise, often leveraging newly advanced technology, fundamentally alters the status quo of an industry. Often, you see disruptive companies railing against the fusty or consumer-apathetic practices of an industry, delivering convenience and value where none existed. This is what happened to the private transportation industry when Uber hit the scene, and the retail industry was dealt a similar blow by e-commerce giants like Amazon.
Currently, it’s the real estate industry being disrupted. And like other industry disruptions before it, the companies on the vanguard of innovation are addressing long-held consumer frustrations. In this article, let’s explore three positive ways innovative thinkers are disrupting the real estate industry.
The Digital Marketplace: Delivering Transparency, Choice and Accountability to Consumers
One of the buzzier stories out of the real estate industry in the past couple of years has been the rise of Nobul, a consumer-centric real estate digital marketplace. The platform allows buyers and sellers to thoroughly vet their agents according to sales histories, verified reviews, commission rates and more – a long overdue reversal of the industry’s opaque approach to representation.
Speaking to Medium, Nobul CEO Regan McGee says, “We are the tip of the spear of disruption. We’re finally giving consumers power in this industry… For us to be disrupting this market is extremely exciting.”
The entrepreneur also said that his platform was dedicated to bringing “choice, accountability and transparency to an industry that has – for decades – been widely regarded by homebuyers as opaque and challenging.”
Fractionalization: Democratizing Real Estate Investment
Several industries have moved to embrace blockchain technology since its inception over a decade ago. By contrast, the real estate industry is a relatively late adopter. But better late than never.
Recent years have seen the rise of blockchain “fractionalization” through platforms like Digishares, Apex, Vesta and others. This radical approach to real estate investment allows individuals to buy shares in a property rather than scraping together the down payment. These pooled shares are tied to the property’s rising (or sinking) value and can be easily traded on the blockchain.
It’s a creative way to democratize a practice (real estate investing) traditionally exclusive to large investment firms and deep-pocketed HNWIs.
The Information Age: Bringing Data to the Masses
In the past, buyers and sellers were shut out of comprehensive data. They either needed to make do with the limited traditional data available through MLSs or put their complete faith in representatives to steer their decision-making.
But data isn’t just for the elite any longer. With private listings platforms utilizing big data, and real estate tech innovators working to democratize data, the modern real estate consumer has more information than ever before. On platforms like Whiterock AI and Homesnap, the modern buyer can access non-traditional market data culled from sophisticated big data analysis to help them evaluate their options.
These three disruptive forces – real estate digital marketplaces, blockchain fractionalization and big data search platforms – are roundly positive for real estate buyers and sellers. It’s exciting to see the real estate industry shed its reputation for conservatism and embrace these positive disruptions.