Now is the time to invest in ‘mobile-first’ real estate tech | VentureBeat

As a mobile-first, real estate-first technology platform for mobile data capture and cloud collaboration, we at FotoNotoes found Sean Jacobsohn’s article in VentureBeat spot-on. From the first sentence:

Now is the time for “mobile-first” real estate technologies.

To the numbers:

Real estate is a $1 trillion asset class, second largest to corporate debt and ahead of equity.  In addition, there are millions of professionals employed in the real estate industry: 2.8 million agents and 500,000 construction professionals as well as 120 million commercial and multi-family properties managed.  Nearly all of these professionals are using overly complicated technology that is 10 to 20 years old.

 And the rationale:

One reason the real estate industry has been slow to adopt technology is the average age of a realtor is 57 years old, which is higher than many other industries.  Another reason is because many professionals in real-estate are non-desk workers so desktop computer software has always been inconvenient.

It all makes great sense to us and confirms what we’ve been seeing: field service, facility management, construction, appraisal, and other real-estate related industries are realizing significant and immediate benefits from mobile-first technologies.

Sean’s predictions are also encouraging:

In 2013, this is finally starting to change, because most real estate professionals own mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads. In fact, the global smartphone plus tablet installed base has recently surpassed the installed base of the PC.

Thus, developers are building real estate software specifically optimized for these devices, which are location aware, easy to use for a historically low-tech audience, and capable of solving problems that were cost prohibitive in the past.  With the advent of mobile solutions many real estate professionals now have business productivity applications available while they are out and about, allowing them to act in real-time, especially as many of their prospective tenants are leveraging mobile devices to do real-time property searches.

What does this mean for the established real estate technology players?

They will need to build, buy, or partner to stay relevant to their buyers who are increasingly adopting mobile technologies [Emphasis added]. Cartavi, a mobile document management company, was in business for less than two years when it was snapped up by DocuSign. Meanwhile, three established players bought point solutions for mobile leasing: MRI Software purchased VaultWare, Property Solutions purchased SiteTablet, and RealPage purchased LeaseStar. Appfolio and Yardi have built mobile property management solutions, while in the construction space, Procore, Sage, and Viewpoint have started talking about their mobile offerings.

If you’re a technology provider in the real estate industry, please contact us. We’d love to show you how FotoNotes can extend your solution to the field and make you “mobile-first.”

You can read Sean’s article here: Now is the time to invest in ‘mobile-first’ real estate tech | VentureBeat.

Sean Jacobsohn is an investor at Emergence Capital 

Emergence CapitalSean Jacobsohn is a venture partner with Emergence Capital Partners. He joined Emergence Capital after being an executive and advisor at portfolio companies YouSendIt and Doximity, respectively. In addition to being a sales and alliances executive in the technology enabled services space for thirteen years, he is co-founder and co-President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels, the largest university-affiliated angel group in the world.