“Change doesn’t happen without conflict,” said Brad Inman as he kicked off Day 2 of Real Estate Connect. And it was on this day that the continuing evolution of mobile technology and social media — and its infusion into every day business — hit home for many an attendee.
Tom Gonser of DocuSign shared the massive growth numbers of his e-signature platform, now with over 40 million identities saving people 150 million work hours and 2 billion days of turnaround time. Moreover, their mobile signature growth is staggering. “We expect to break the 50 percent threshold (of Docusign contracts signed on mobile platforms) by the end of 2013, many being international,” said Gonser. Mobile has not only led to increased use, it’s now a global standard, with over 188 countries being represented in its user-base.
Gonser continued the “disruption” narrative of the conference as well. “Zero infrastructure companies…” like the startups shown-off during Connect, “…are the new normal.”
Guy Wolcott epitomized the zero-infrastructure ideology while showcasing how he pivoted from a traditional brokerage to tech startup darling. His app, Homesnap, allows a smartphone user to pull all public information available on a home through geolocation by simply taking a picture of it, is one of the most popular real estate apps available for iPhone.
“I wanted a fun, easy to use ‘Shazam for homes,’” he put it, all so that consumers can “do what they want, when and where they want to do it.”
The mobile technology and social media “morphing of industry,” as Brad put it, was then highlighted in Tamara Mendelsohn’s “Building and Measuring the Social World” presentation.
Mendelsohn, the VP of marketing for the event management website Eventbrite, shared her company’s social business blue print; stating that “social media is no longer a strategy, it’s how you do business.” By “knowing your authentic self, humanizing your community, think about your product as an experience, and having fun with your community and brand,” one can now measure the value of things like a “share” on Facebook, to the tune of $4.15 for each Eventbrite event share on social media. By allowing others to speak for your brand and harnessing your message within their own social sphere framework, then sourcing it for your marketing, one can grow their brand’s reach. Bringing “digital communities closer together” as she put it, is something every real estate practitioner and broker should take note of.
Veering back to technology, Continue reading »
By Katherine Tarbox, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
In April, Dream Town Realty in Chicago and Groupon tried to bring the daily deal phenomenon to the real estate market. Only 219 consumers purchased the $25 Groupon, which offered a $1,000 cash incentive to buyers who purchased with the brokerage by April 9, 2012, or sellers who listed by the same date. Although the deal didn’t attract the thousands of purchasers that the site is known for, it did generate national publicity for both Groupon and Dream Town Realty.
Groupon is a site popular for deals at local restaurants and retailers. As the daily deal phenomenon grows, consumers are becoming cautious about paying full price — something that was discussed at Real Estate Connect July 28 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. During a session entitled “Daily Deals are the New Opportunity,” Tigue Bonneval, co-founder of HouseTipper.com, talked about how there is space for a home-related deal site.
HouseTipper.com offers a variety of deals, including savings on solar panels or appliances included with the purchase of a condo from a developer. “Most of our deals have tipped,” explained Bonneval, which means that there were enough people interested in the offering that the deal becomes available for all. However, if enough people don’t purchase the deal, then it doesn’t “tip.”
After the valuation of Groupon came in at a $30 billion and they are reportedly planning for I.P.O, it’s no wonder that so many want to jump on the online deal train. Time will tell if it works just as well for real estate as it does for moving inventory out of Gap.