Real Estate Business Card

After decades of icing out technological tools and automation, the real estate industry is finally coming around to tech. To be fair, they had every reason to delay the transformation; the status quo worked in their favour, allowing agents to gate keep listings, keep unfavourable information opaque, and generally steer the course of the transaction whichever way they wanted. 

By contrast, technology strips away a lot of those privileges. It provides consumers with detailed information (warts and all), empowering resources and the full spectrum of choices at their disposal. Its integration within real estate has made the industry more honest, consumer-centric, democratic and accessible. (Even if it has ticked off a few inveterate agents along the way).  

You have to give credit where it’s due, however. Technology might’ve never penetrated real estate were it not for fearless disruptors and innovators working within (and without) the industry. Naturally, we’re talking about Nobul. 

The disruptive real estate digital platform turns six years old this year. It recently topped Deloitte‘s list of the fastest-growing tech companies (across all industries) and crossed billions of dollars in sales (a milestone that keeps inching forward). To mark the occasion and assess the platform’s impact on real estate, let’s take a deep dive into the company’s approach. 

Consumer Bargaining Power in Agent-Consumer Relationships

From the outset, one of Nobul’s mission statements was to help real estate consumers. Speaking to BNN Bloomberg, CEO Regan McGee proudly declares, “We’re building a full ecosystem: end-to-end real estate, and consumer-centric. Buyers and sellers never pay us anything, and they never see an ad. It’s a competitive process throughout the whole buying and selling of real estate.” 

How did the company do it? They applied AI algorithms and transparent access to agent information to the agent-hunting process, delivering consumers the upper hand in bargaining. The consumer inputs basic information, and the algorithm lists the best agents for their criteria. Then, agents compete for the buyer/seller’s business by offering lower commissions or more services. It’s a deceptively simple process, but it overturned the conventional agent-consumer dynamic, shifting bargaining power to the consumer’s corner. 

Of all Nobul’s tools and functionalities (of which there are many), this radical approach to agent matchmaking continues to be their bread and butter. Several outlets have written about the innovative approach – with some calling it the “Uber of real estate,” or real estate’s biggest disruption – and scores of real estate consumers have benefitted from it. 

Consumer Empowerment Through Resources and Tools

Another early mandate from Nobul was to ensure that consumers felt empowered in their real estate experience. Not long ago, the real estate industry earned a reputation for being opaque and inaccessible. Agents often gatekept information, forcing buyers/sellers to rely on them for everything. Further, tracking down all of the tools and information a consumer needs in one spot was tricky. 

Nobul decided to be that spot – a hub for all things real estate related. They added essential tools like a mortgage comparer, affordability calculator, home evaluator, city-by-city buying guide, and even a market conditions indicator. By centralizing this information, the company made it easier for buyers and sellers to stay educated. 

It’s one of the reasons Nobul calls itself an “end-to-end platform.” One of their approaches to real estate was to ensure that people had a single place they could visit for every step of the journey. Rather than the disjointed, fragmented collection of sources and resources they fought through before. 

Protection and Convenience on the Blockchain

A year ago, the company announced it was adding a blockchain feature to its growing list of services and functionalities. Proving that it remains on the cutting edge of proptech (even five years after its founding), the company embraced the emerging technology when few others would. 

Teaming with IBM, Nobul announced that its users (who still don’t pay a dime to the company) could leverage a secure blockchain through the platform to organize and secure key real estate agreements. These agreements include: the Listing Agreements, Buyer Representation Agreements, Broker-to-Broker Referrals and more. It’s another way that the company continues to look out for consumers’ best interests – while having fun with some innovative tech.

To summarize, the company’s approach is pretty straightforward. It works for the “little guy.” Nobul features tech-enabled functions to increase consumer bargaining power, empower consumers through education, centralize real estate resources, and maintain a secure transaction. This altruistic approach is rare in the modern, cutthroat tech landscape, but it appears to be paying off for the company.


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