Industry

Friday Flash: A Kardashian future

Author
Brian Boero
No.
874
Please excuse the mess. This page is currently under construction.

The stealth “sell your home in 3 clicks” startup from Paypal co-founder and VC Keith Rabois now has a name – OpenDoor – and a placeholder website.

VentureBeat has a little background, as well as a good quote from Rabois:

“My friend [PayPal and Palantir cofounder] Peter Thiel suggested that I come up with an idea to innovate in residential real estate,” Rabois told VentureBeat in April. “It’s the largest part of the economy unaffected by the Internet. And that was definitely true then, and even with things like Trulia and Zillow, it’s fundamentally true today. But the process of [selling a home] hasn’t been transformed by technology.” 

He is right. All the innovation and money thrown into online real estate thus far has left but a light abrasion on the skin of the industry. No one has cut deep into the body of the real estate process.

OpenDoor is sharpening its knife.

NAR is pumping another $22 million into RPR. By the end of 2014 the total investment will be near $100 million. That’s enough to buy every NAR member a really, really nice Chuck-E-Cheese’s gift certificate.

I have been critical of the RPR venture since the beginning. But I am going to stop with the harangue. Robertson’s got that covered anyway.

I clearly don’t get it, and they’re clearly going to keep running with this.

Edina Realty has built out a nice campaign that makes the case for searching on edinarealty.com instead of other, non-broker, sites. Clear copy. Video. Supporting data. It’s well done.

Now, Edina has taken the extraordinary step of ceasing syndication to the portals, so they had a special motivation to do this. And they also have a usable site — sadly, not a safe assumption in the brokerage world.

But still: doesn’t every broker have similar advantages? IDX sometimes feels like a straightjacket, and some MLSs remain inexplicably tight-fisted with solds, but there is a case to be made for the brokerage website.

Study the Edina case for cues.

Consider these developments:

Google intimated that it will serve ads through all of the real world things it’s working on – cars, thermostats and the like. They quickly backpedaled, but it seems kind of obvious that something roughly like “Adsense for my dishwasher” is probably inevitable. I can’t wait.

Facebook announced a feature that taps into your phone’s microphone to “hear” what song you’re listening to, or what TV show you’re watching, and post it as a status update.

So, tonight, when you fall asleep in front of Keeping up with the Kardashians you can still keep posting about it!

Seriously, what both of these things suggest is a future in which our physical surroundings are indistinguishable from the network. That’s going to create a lot of weirdness and stupidity, but even more opportunity. And I think it’s going to change how we find, buy, maintain and live in our homes.

Enjoy the weekend.