We are living in an increasingly connected world, every corner of which is permeated with new technology, including the real estate sector. New entrants are innovating every single day, crowding out established competitors and revolutionizing the way we buy and sell homes.
As tech startups grow, merge, and acquire or are acquired, the importance of collaboration becomes even clearer. The industry players with a strong track record of collaboration are the ones making inroads in this increasingly crowded technology landscape.
Collaboration and open platforms are tried and true technology strategies. They’ve been tested and proven over and over by some of the most successful tech companies in the world, from Google to Apple and beyond. So, it’s no wonder that real estate is catching on.
According to one industry expert, the most important pillars of a collaborative technology strategy are integrations, reliable partners, bidirectional data exchange, and being truly open. The companies that build their foundations on these pillars will also be building resiliency into their business models by making their solutions more collaborative and allowing customers to mix and match as needed.
For tech companies to collaborate successfully, they need to be collaborating with an endgame in mind.
For a company like Constellation1, this might mean providing MLS data services to a competitor because, ultimately, the customer will benefit.
While certain industry players don’t collaborate at all, others blindly create integrations simply because they think they should—with no real objective in mind. Integrations do not a useful product make, and if a solution is collaborative but doesn’t actually solve customers’ problems, that collaboration will be for naught. Collaborating with purpose means working together so brokerages can combine their unique offerings in creative ways and craft innovative customer experiences. In short, the ultimate goal of collaboration needs to be to solve real problems and help brokerages compete to win.
The startup model is driven by bright ideas, innovation, and seed funding. It’s also often driven and shaped through acquisitions. In a real estate sector flooded with new entrants, this is increasingly a reality. The startup acquisition model really changes the framework around collaboration: when a startup is your competitor today but might be a new branch of your company tomorrow, you have to look at and think about collaboration differently. At Constellation1, we’re known for working collaboratively with everyone to add value and get new solutions to market faster.
For success in today’s landscape, integration and collaboration need to be pillars of companies’ business strategies—a true part of their DNA. When integration is baked in, all companies have to do is let innovation happen: customers and the market will let them know exactly where they need to go.
The world is becoming more interconnected, not less. The model of an isolated, siloed company that goes it alone is outdated and unrealistic. Whether a company is unwilling to collaborate because it won’t or because it can’t, sooner or later, it will have no other option than to get overtaken by those who do.
Given current consolidation trends, collaboration, integration, and openness are imperatives, no matter how big you are or how long you’ve been in the industry. If you’re a collaborative startup, you are likelier to get acquired or merge with a complementary partner; if you’re a collaborative giant, you’ll be able to bring new acquisitions into your family of companies with ease, all while impressing your customers. If you aren’t proactive about making integration possible, you’ll be left in the dust.
For all real estate companies, integrations are a major area of opportunity and continued growth. There is plenty of room for new and innovative ideas that integrate with other great products and enrich the real estate technology ecosystem.
The purpose of technology is to be nimble and flexible, not just today, but tomorrow, too. It’s true for both tech companies and the brokerages and agents they serve. The more collaborative tech stacks are today, the easier it will be to add new features and grow, leading to further differentiation and even greater success down the road.
Be sure to check out the short 15-minute replay of our recent session at the T3 Summit for all of these insights and more, plus specific examples of powerful (and profitable) collaborations and some of the hundreds of integrations between Constellation1, MoxiWorks, Insider Real Estate, and some of the most exciting companies in the industry.