One of the most exciting things about leading a technology team within one of the industry’s largest residential real estate companies is that the real estate industry is only now catching up to others regarding the technological and digital transformation of processes and products. This means that my team and I can shape the future of this important industry and have a real impact on both how and what technology will be used throughout real estate. However, as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and that is why the future of real estate needs to be an API powered open ecosystem.
Real estate agents and brokers are almost all independent contractors, they are entrepreneurs, and that means that they crave freedom, choice, and flexibility in every aspect of their working lives. Not to mention that over the past couple of years, an influx of billions of dollars has been pumped into real estate technology, which means that there are many different product choices for agents and brokers to use and grow to love. Therefore, I am a big proponent of open API technology, as it allows brokers and agents to choose from a plethora of our first-party solutions or seamlessly add their own. Not to mention, it’s very awkward to say to a broker or agent, ‘hey, I know that you like using all these things you’ve been using, but if you join us, you can’t.’ We shouldn’t be so arrogant to think that just because we’re the biggest, we have all the best ideas. It’s been an epiphany for me, and the pace of innovation has increased dramatically.
While open API powered ecosystems are great and have been used for many years in many different industries, I still find that there are a great number of misconceptions about what it means to have a real open ecosystem, and it is my pleasure to dispel some of these notions. I also want to preface this by saying that these are just a few of the myths; there are a lot more than just what you will read below.
MYTH: Open Ecosystems Prevent Enterprises from Maintaining Valuable Data
To respond to this myth, I must first define what an open ecosystem is to my company and me. An open ecosystem is a way of enabling our brokers, agents, and franchisees to be able to have a free exchange of data between our and their systems, regardless of whether they use our first-party products or other third-party products.