Can tech outsmart the housing shortage?
Like most industries, real estate has welcomed a flood of tech investors seeking change, profit, and disruption and though Silicon Valley venture capitalists and tech investors came to real estate relatively late compared to other fields, real estate tech’s big 2017 shows it’s trying to make up for lost time.
Coworking colossus WeWork is now valued at $20 billion. Fifth Wall Ventures, a fund dedicated to real estate technology, raised $212 million. Redfin had a big IPO, Common raised millions for coliving, and let’s not forget Airbnb’s continued expansion.
In real estate, as in other industries being transformed by technology, you can measure the commercial and cultural shift through language. An entire glossary of new terms—coliving, microunits, smart homes, and coworkinghave taken root thanks to a speedy adoption of new technology.
Real estate tech continues to offer business plans that improve efficiencies and create new ways to wrest value from the same old square footage. Startups excel at making real estate sales faster. So-called “iBuyers” like Opendoor buy your house and close in a matter of days so you can move quickly and efficiently; Ribbon allows buyers to turn their bids into all-cash offers; and a number of firms have institutionalized home flipping.
Technology is surely lending a helping hand to the real estate sector.