The Latte Vision: Key takeaway #1 from Inman NYC 2013

Produced by Inman News® in the U.S., Real Estate Connect® is an event for everyone who cares about the real estate industry and where it is going. Each year, thousands of real estate leaders (including many Canadians) gather to explore current trends and technology, and to learn how to embrace and leverage the change that surrounds our industry.

The conference, which was held in New York City from January 16-18, was filled with insightful and thought provoking conversations. My handwritten notes (I am still a little old fashioned) can be summarized into three notable takeaways that will featured over the next few weeks. Today’s post looks at takeaway #1: The Latte Vision.

Without a doubt, the theme of the conference was “paperless.” It seemed like every conversation revolved around paperless operations and transactions.

Brad Inman started the conference by painting a picture of his “Latte Vision” for the industry, which fueled an exchange of ideas over three days. In a few words, the “Latte Vision” is about making the mechanics of homebuying as easy as purchasing a latte.

“Today, the technology is in place to confirm identity, certify buyers and sellers, enable digital signatures, and mash up and process disparate data on a single transaction platform. The pieces are in place — what is missing is a bigger vision and a strategy to get there.”

Check out the following video for the full Brad Inman speech.

[youtube_sc url="8y89ffhMTuk"]

Slowly we are seeing pieces of the paperless vision taking shape, from REALTORS® running various facets of their business from their iPad to managing files with cloud-based applications such as Evernote (join the Evernote for Real Estate Facebook group for great tips). Initiatives are also taking place in Canada to enhance the customer experience, including the recent addition of eSignature to WEBForms®.

The exchange of ideas was refreshing. Although in reality there are many technology, legal and political issues to address to push the Latte Vision forward, the conversation focused on the big picture and the benefits for both consumers and the industry. No idea was shot down because of potential constraint X or fear of Y. Ultimately, the industry as a whole will need to figure out what experience it wants to create for a customer, and hold to a strategy to get there. Hopefully the Latte Vision is the start of “leap frog” innovation for our industry—on both sides of the border.

If you are interested in joining other real estate professionals and tech leaders from Canada and the U.S. who want to help push the industry forward, sign up to the Latte Vision Facebook group.

This is just one of many useful takeaways. If you attended the conference, leave a comment to share your thoughts and key learnings with fellow REALTORS®.

Patrick Pichette, Vice-President,, is responsible for the development and growth of Canada’s leading real estate website, and other technology services that help REALTORS® in Canada and their businesses. As the head of the Product Management and IT Services departments, he is constantly evaluating the latest technology trends. Patrick is also the staff liaison on CREA’s Technology Committee. Prior to joining CREA, he held marketing and product management leadership positions with MD Physician Services (a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association) and the Canadian Tourism Commission. When not at work, Patrick can be found at a local rink or baseball diamond coaching his favourite sports.

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