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Real Estate

Real estate CEOs talk about digitizing the industry

Discussions on race and injustices in the industry were also continued

On the second day of Inman Connects Now, brokers and CEOs took the virtual stage and discussed real estate’s transition to virtual technologies, as well as what buying and selling a home could look like post-pandemic.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman addressed big trends in housing, which include migration, visualizing listings, volatility, 3D home tours and simplifying systems.

As for being able to make transactions during COVID-19, CEO and Cofounder of Side, Guy Gal, said that Side’s partners were able to transition easier into the “new normal.”

“[While] shelter in place was happening, most brokerages couldn’t even close deals with agents because they provide that service in offices, brick and mortar, with people,” Gal said. “All of a sudden, everybody was home and offices were closed.”

“We didn’t have that issue,” Gal continued. “Our partners were able to transition seamlessly into that new normal, because we provide all that service over software through our proprietary application and platform.”

Trulia’s Cofounder, Pete Flint, discussed how agents should stay relevant while the industry moves to tech. In light of the pandemic, real estate companies have moved to virtual training, 3D home tours and even FaceTime tours.

“A five-year revolution has happened in three months,” Flint said. “I look at what the 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds are doing. How are they conducting their business? They’re doing everything from their cell phone.”

Another topic of discussion was addressing racial and social injustices in response to the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and David McAtee.

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin discussed racial injustices he faced as a young black man and mentioned that he was often the only black man at companies he worked at in the beginning of his career.

“It’s OK not to be OK in this time,” Reffkin said.

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