How does technology alter an industry that is heavily regulated, with strong checks and balances and where information is heavily guarded? The real estate industry is comprised mainly of independent realtors, unified under brokerage houses and a nationwide real estate association. Within the confines of this oligopoly are rules to protect its players and ensure the market maintains dependence on the structure that has been defined for decades.
In the meantime, the market has emerged into an on-demand economy that has been driven by information. Today home buyers’ increasing access to information allows them, in some ways, to circumvent the agent. The need for instant gratification and knowledge to find the best value at the lowest cost is slowly evolving this industry. How real estate succeeds in the next decade will fully rely on the changing habits of the home buyer, with an acquiescence to slowly dismantling this market structure to improve buyer access to information, while creating new sources of value.
One start-up based in Calgary and Toronto is paving the way for this disruption and is challenging the players: the realtors and the home buyers to think differently about these transactions. OpenHouse.AI is a cloud-based data and feature rich web platform for residential real-estate that empowers buyers and sellers to make better and faster real estate decisions through clarity and transparency.
Founded by Will Zhang and Yanky Li, these young entrepreneurs are truly unravelling what has been a very traditional model and creating a platform where free information significantly changes the game.