During Inman Real Estate Connect San Francisco’s session titled "The Industry Destiny: Imagine Your Industry Destiny in 2018", an adversarial panel took the stage to discuss future trends within the real estate industry.

The panel included Redfin’s CEO, Trulia’s CEO, Zillow’s COO, Realtor.com’s President and Forbes Media’s Senior Real Estate Reporter.

One such trend was the need for each online real estate software platform to work together more effectively through the use of established open APIs in order to exchange relevant data about a user’s context. User personalization and more intelligent recommendations were the driving force behind this view point.

Each company identified the need to pass information back and forth between each other to facilitate a better understanding of a user’s current needs and determine where they are within the home buying or selling process.

For example, if a home buyer started their search on www.zillow.com and then switched to www.trulia.com, Trulia should be able to ask Zillow, via their open API, for relevant data related to what type of homes they might be interested in, how many homes they have already viewed or what agents they have contacted.

This data and subsequent insights would be used to give users a vastly better experience across the entire internet instead of just within each independent platform.

Many things would need to be done in order for these open APIs to be created and used effectively by each company but it was encouraging to see Redfin, Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com all advocating for greater interoperability.

This interoperability would raise the bar for home buyers, sellers and agents by giving them a more complete and comprehensive experience across all platforms on the internet.