The first device to make a handheld mobile phone call (in 1973) was the Motorola DynaTAC. In 1992, Nokia launched its 1011 mobile phone and grew to dominate the market for mobile devices. Blackberry had its heyday, and so did the Sidekick. But in 2018, Samsung and Apple captured 54.67% of global market share — Motorola was the only original vendor still capturing any notable amount of the global market, with a relatively anemic 2.75% global market share in December 2018.
What happened to the mobile phone industry? Ron Suber, the Godfather of Fintech and an investor in more than 16 fintech (financial technology) firms, explains these massive shifts through a phenomenon he calls the golden age. At the HouseCanary Leaders Forum on March 7 in New York, Suber described the golden age’s significance and argued that real estate is currently in the midst of its own golden age, when incumbents can be overturned and the entire industry is poised for disruption.
In any industry, there are always winners who manage to capture the hearts and minds of consumers for a few months or years, but those winners almost never maintain longevity. The golden age is a span of time when companies can overtake competition due to widespread innovation and an industry’s preparation for change. Suber’s experience as a fintech expert and advocate has helped him understand how the real estate sphere — from transactions to the secondary mortgage market and the debt and equity spaces — is currently in the midst of its own golden age.
Consider the mid-1990s, when LoopNet and Realtor.com, were the biggest players in real estate technology, followed by the emergence of Q in 2002. Zillow, Airbnb, and Redfin are considered powerhouses today, and they all stepped into the real estate game in the mid-’00s. We’re not sure yet how companies such as Opendoor, Roofstock, LendingHome, or PeerStreet, all founded in 2013 or later, will impact the industry, but investors are betting that they’re going to have a big effect on how homes are bought, sold, and financed.
We are nearing the peak of the golden age of real estate, when it will become possible for both new and established companies to make their marks on the future of the industry — but that peak won’t last forever. According to Suber, 2019 will be the year that defines the real estate segment for years or even decades to come, so if you’re hoping to execute your brilliant strategy to change the industry in 2020, you’ll be too late.
Suber believes that HouseCanary will be one of the instrumental players in helping the industry make the golden-era shift. We bring transparency, clarity, and speed to the real estate valuation process, and our clients and partners will reap the benefits.
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