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Leaders Discuss the Growing Role of Technology in Home Ownership at NAR iOi Summit

While the use of proptech boomed during the pandemic to support virtual businesses, technological innovation has gone beyond simplifying real estate transactions to promote homeownership on a large scale. AND National Association of REALTORSⓇ (NAR) seeks to lead the charge. As CEO of NAR Bob Goldberg said, “We can’t just sit at the table. We must own the table. “

Goldberg shared his comments during a panel discussion at the Innovation, Opportunity, Investment (iOi) Summit this week in Dallas, Texas. He was joined by the President of the NAR 2021. Charlie Oppler and Managing Partner of NAR Reach Canada Lynette Kejovski during Leadership Live Q&A, moderated by Heather Elias, CEO of Artisan Consulting.

A longtime technology advocate, Goldberg is also president of NAR’s investment arm, Second Century Ventures (SCV), creator of the NAR REACH accelerator program for technology companies. During his 25 years at NAR, he argued that the association should take the lead in technology.

“How is NAR using our $ 5 billion brand?” Goldberg asked during a conference meeting. “Should we agree and allow third parties to promote the technology? We need to be fearless, not fearful. We are always worried that we will be deprived of intermediaries, but the idea for all of us should be how do we get ahead of her? We must be leaders in the proptech field. “

To that end, NAR has invested in 150 different technology companies, according to Goldberg, who praised NAR’s leadership for supporting investment in proptech. He added that more than 600,000 NAR members currently use one of Second Century Ventures’ products and services.

2020 and 2021 have confirmed the need for NAR to take the lead in technology for its members, Oppler said. “So many tools that we have offered have allowed our members to continue to run their business smoothly during the pandemic,” he said. “We have succeeded and we have gotten through it and we will continue through this.”

Goldberg stressed that foresight is necessary to provide the necessary technology during a pandemic. A recent NAR poll, for example, showed that electronic signatures were the # 1 most valuable technical tool for REALTORSⓇ during the pandemic.

“We put a few seven-digit numbers in DocuSign before anyone knew what DocuSign was,” Goldberg said. “Before the pandemic, we invested in Notarize. People were surprised that the non-profit trade association has become such a leader in the proptech field. “

This is why programs like the iOi Summit and its Pitch Battle for new tech companies have become an integral part of the NAR agenda, along with new companies that are attracted to the REACH program every year. “This would not have happened without the foresight of management to build infrastructure around the world,” she said. “This puts this organization and its affiliates in the seat of power to not only manage change, but to be themselves.”

Keyowski also highlighted the power of anchor technologies that can benefit larger homeownership initiatives. “Many new technologies are fundamental to home ownership. New innovations allow REALTORS to do what they do really well … to place people in their homes. “

“There are so many smart founders out there who are committed to helping solve many of the same problems that we aspire to as an organization,” Kejovski added. “Things have accelerated during COVID and REALTORS now see technology differently. It’s not just about making my business better, it’s about making a better community. “

NAR also relies on technology to achieve its goals of equitable housing stock and diversity, Oppler said, and these efforts have intensified since the 50th anniversary of the 2018 Fair Housing Act. Ⓡ certification and new NAR Spire a program in which mentors and mentees work together to increase REALTOR’s representation in underserved communities.

“We will continue to do our best to end discrimination and support fair housing,” Oppler said.

“We have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure fair housing in this country,” Goldberg added. “We need to make sure we provide the industry with the right tools. How can we leverage all of these great technical tools and data to build a fairer system? We will continue to push innovative technology companies towards us with the best products and tools that will make this country a better place. ”

Keyowski will also take on the mantle and develop technologies that will make the industry a better place. “We have the opportunity to unleash our capabilities in terms of technologies that can truly be beneficial to our industry… things that enable more REALTORS® to help more people access housing.”

Maria Patterson is the executive editor of RISMedia. Send her your real estate news ideas to


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