31 Dec 2013
10 Real Tech to watch in 2014
I love tech – that’s pretty obvious. When you’ve seen as many tech startups as I have pitch, some of which I have been mentor to over the last few years, you develop a sense of what works and what (sometimes) embarrassingly doesn’t.
Here’s my list of 10 real tech to watch in 2014 in no particular order. Those that made the list were assessed based on their tech, customer strategy, partnerships, potential for revenue and to some extent, my level of excitement on how they will dramatically change the way real estate is done.
1. Realty Mogul
If you haven’t heard about crowdfunding in real estate then you must have been sleeping under a rock for most of the year. Since launch, Realty Mogul have been the first to crowdfund a shopping center. To date, their platform has raised close to $10M in deals with almost $700K already returned to investors. They’ve done a lot to help the real estate crowdfunding concept gain mainstream attention and momentum. Kudos to their CEO, Jilliene Helman for the miles she’s flown this year.
This one will be a big win for both retail entrepreneurs as well as community developers who want to revitalize stagnant streetscapes by making better use of vacant retail space. The startup is set to bring profits back to retail real estate investors by making stores more accessible and dynamic again, enticing shoppers to return by recreating experiences. This will be the Airbnb for retail space and in the same way Airbnb has changed travel for millions on their platform, it will do the same for retailers and their investors.
This 500 Startups accelerator graduate funded by Dave McClure is already very well known. The platform provides faster access to commercial real estate information and earlier this year, they won the NYC Real Estate Expo Tech Challenge. Having proved the model in NY, they have grand expansion plans throughout the US for 2014.
Another 500 Startups accelerator attendee, this crowdfunding platform has already funded 2 socially good real estate projects that were part of the National Community Stabilization Trust Program. The platform has also raised $200,000 for 2 separate investment properties in less than 24 hours. Try doing that the traditional real estate fundraising way with phone calls. Yup.
I’m a sucker for being environmentally responsible and the best thing about this business is that it helps investors save money also by increasing the energy efficiency of buildings by decreasing the cost of their utilities bill. They even have full blog with case studies on how to do all this, which is another thing I’m a fan of – education.
Paperless property inspection reporting. What more do I need to tell you? This business just makes sense. If you’re not using this app, are you really still doing your inspections on paper?
What’s interesting about this crowdfunding platform? They put their own money into their real estate deals, before publishing them on their website. It also helps that they have raised $1.2M+ worth in angel rounds this past summer and since launch in mid October, they’ve already returned $130K to their investors. Nice.
8. 42 Floors
The Airbnb for office space. They’re set to expand into other cities. There are a lot of office space listing services now. Why does this platform lead the way? Their user interface and experience is, well, beautiful and seamless. I like logging onto their website when I’m looking for office space, the same way I like exploring Airbnb for finding somewhere to sleep.
9. Visual Lease
It’s a document management system, CRM, project management platform – all rolled into one. With all its technical capability, it has not compromised on user interface and user friendliness and let’s be honest, no one likes managing their information so the less time spent on doing this, the more time you could be out there doing deals.
There’s only one thing sexier than tech and that’s tech with data (yes, I’ve said it). Ask any savvy real estate investor or builder and they’ll tell you just how painfully difficult it is spending hours researching for accurate, up-to-date demographic info. This app is about to change all of that and their latest release even includes detailed school test scores for California, Texas and Florida.
What would make your top 10 list? Have I missed any that you think are noteworthy?
Please let me know in the comments below.