Last week, we hosted a fireside chat with Shai Goldman and Silicon Valley Bank discussing opportunities in Real Estate Technology. I moderated a panel that included Rich Sarkis from Reonomy, Dave Eisenberg from Floored, Doug Chambers from FieldLens, Marc Siden from Onboard Informatics and Riggs Kubiak from Honest Buildings. One of the attendees, Sasha Edgarov, posted a nice writeup of the event.
As anyone who reads this blog or follows me on twitter knows, I’m a staunch proponent of real estate technology and believe that we’ll see several unicorns eventually emerge in the category, as I mentioned in the piece I recently wrote in TechCrunch summarizing the opportunity. As early stage technology investors, we aim to invest in what we believe will be important 5 years from now and I believe real estate technology fits squarely within that framework. As we discussed on the panel, the real estate industry is entrenched in their ways of doing business moreso than some other industries, since a lack of innovation hasn’t meaningfully impeded progress or reduced profits. This is, perhaps, the biggest argument against the real estate technology opportunity. We also discussed data and how it’s newfound availability has the power to transform the category. No panel on real estate is complete without discussion of the role of the middle man - AKA the broker / toll taker - and Sasha suggests that success for brokers of the future will look something like 50% data / needs assessment plus 50% superior customer service. As always, the panelists hung around after the discussion and mingled with the 85 or so in attendance. The event was well received and we thank everyone who participated.