January 22, 2016
Connect Media spoke with Ten-X’s (formerly auction.com) Rick Sharga about his new role as chief marketing officer, and how he sees technology fundamentally changing the way real estate is bought and sold.
What are some of the biggest tech changes to occur that have had the most impact on the CRE industry? What’s next?
The most obvious change is the widespread availability of data, and how it has brought transparency and speed to the process. Buyers can do due diligence on their smartphones; sellers and brokers can pull up comps and estimate property valuations in minutes at their desks.
More buyers are searching for – and finding – properties online, along with much of the information they need to make an informed purchase. Having due diligence materials online, in advance of the sale, has helped us dramatically reduce closing times, and virtually eliminate re-trading. And we’re only scratching the surface.
How is real estate being marketed today, as a result of technological advances?
Online. Globally. On mobile devices. Technology has made real estate – especially commercial real estate – a global market. We’ve had buyers on our platform from over 100 countries. More than 50 percent of our CRE sales are to buyers outside the state where the property is located.
And our record-setting $96-million online sale in 2015 went to a Canadian investment firm, partially funded by Chinese investors. Sellers and brokers today need to find buyers around the corner, and around the world.
Describe Ten-X’s approach to real estate now and share some of the innovative ways the company is continuing to revolutionize the industry.
We try to use technology to find the right buyer for the right property at the right time. Our approach has been to leverage online technology, to help people buy and sell real estate.
Using online auctions was something of a revolutionary concept, and a successful one. We’ve sold more than $37 billion dollars of commercial and residential assets. We moved onto mobile devices over the past 18 months, and see our traffic increasing rapidly on both smartphones and tablets.
Next up will be products that don’t include auctions – online transactions that feel more like traditional, offline transactions, but feature the ease, speed, transparency and efficiency that the Internet offers. We’ll be expanding our online financing capabilities as well, to provide a more comprehensive, end-to-end experience for our customers.