As some major companies expand their reach into, or deeper into, mortgage lending, one expert says they could change how the housing industry works over the next few years.

Nominations for HousingWire’s Tech100 Award opened at the beginning of this month and will close on Jan. 25.

One of the biggest changes to this year’s award is the addition of our editorial advisory committee. This year, for the first time ever, nominees will be reviewed by an advisory committee, made up of some of the best minds in the housing industry. This committee will then advise HousingWire’s internal award review board of potential finalists before the winners are selected. Click here to see who is on this committee.

But now, members of that committee have come together to inform HW readers on some of the biggest issues in tech today. HousingWire interviewed Saxony Partners Director Alex Fan, who talked about some of housing’s biggest issues – including the need for more transparency among mortgage lenders.

Here is the second part, with more questions and answers to follow from other experts in the weeks leading up to the end of the Tech100 nomination period:

HousingWire: Where do you see real estate tech in five years?

Alex Fan: You are starting to see companies like loanDepot and Quicken Loans try to vertically integrate to touch all parts of the home buying experience from home search to finding a lender to finding a moving company to getting a renovation loan.

This industry went from being a highly disconnected system to one forged upon key relationships and will evolve to being completely interconnected. Advances in technology and shifts in business strategy are making this possible. Amazon is also a looming reality that is already making advances towards disrupting the industry.

HW: Will machines eventually replace humans?

AF: Yes, and no. Automation and AI are still buzzwords in the industry, but some companies have figured out how to leverage technology to streamline their processes. So yes, what once required manual work is now supplemented by automated processes (some completely replaced by automated processes).

With these advances in technology, humans will be able to do more valuable work as the tedious and mundane is offloaded to the “robots.” As companies figure out how to leverage this technology, headcount will cease to scale linearly with the volume of work and start to bend downwards.

Here’s everything you need to know about the HW Tech100 Award, and click here to nominate your company. The nomination period is open until January 25, 2019.

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