For most home buyers, Zillow is the Facebook of the real estate technology world, appearing in the field with a dominance that marginalizes its competitors. But several Android apps have emerged as compelling players in the wider mobile collaboration category, with business-to-business segments that illustrate the potential of modern enterprise solutions.
Moving From Paper to Digital
One up-and-coming company in this space is Roostify, a web and mobile service that simplifies the home-buying experience for everyone involved. While not gathering as much attention as Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage service, Roostify has gained admiration from a respected group of insiders, including Steve Ellis, head of innovation for Wells Fargo, who sponsored them in its Accelerator.
Founded by Rajesh Bhat, formerly of Ernst & Young, and two former Google engineers, Roostify eliminates the paper-based inefficiencies of the mortgage process by adding real-time income verification, helping lenders process information faster and providing stey-by-step guidance for buyers. Using a modern software stack, including Ruby on Rails and Postgres, Roostify offers “seamless communication,” access from anywhere and increased visibility for all parties involved.
Another company that’s much better known but equally innovative is DocuSign, which has evolved from focusing purely on electronic signatures to aim to become a “global leader in digital transaction,” according to Chris Sinkey, product marketing manager at DocuSign. In short, DocuSign’s mission is to remove paper from business processes. According to a recent update, as part of its push to digitize business, it’s now serving over 225,000 companies and over 85 million users. DocuSign’s marketing materials focus heavily on mobile, with prominent links to download the DocuSign application for Android from the Google Play store, and many of its electronic signatures can be done on smartphones.
New Ways to Foster Collaboration
Another trend in real estate technology involves rethinking how we traditionally use email. Wells Fargo’s yourLoanTracker aims to separate the home purchase process from its dependence on email by offering a simple workflow interface and secure document repository.
Other approaches to mobile collaboration include the Chrome extension Folio from Amitree, which helps busy real estate agents organize and manage deals right from their email inboxes by searching for keywords and phrases that identify all transaction-related email threads, and then automatically categorizing the emails, files and contacts related to each transaction.
Just as email’s limitations led to services like Dropbox, mobile collaboration between individuals and teams using modern devices like Samsung Galaxy smartphones is easier to facilitate using enterprise messaging solutions like Lua, which offers the ability to transition from messaging to a real-time group call with no dial-ins or passcodes, all with a mobile-first orientation that’s critical to meeting today’s need for collaboration.
As seen from the variety of real estate solutions involving mobility and collaboration, today’s enterprise tools show the potential of mobile across multiple industries, and provide an opportunity for both entrepreneurs and CIOs to enhance productivity in the world of real estate and beyond.
Technology trends in real estate don’t end with mobility. Virtual reality is helping homebuyers tour potential homes and neighborhoods using a VR headset.