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Over 400 innovators, investors and Realtors® gathered in San Francisco for NAR’s inaugural Innovation, Opportunity & Investment Summit (iOi), this week to debate, discuss and collaborate on real estate’s most pressing technology issues. During the summit, real estate technology companies, the investment community and business executives joined Realtors® to tackle key technology developments such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality.

“Technology is constantly changing real estate and the ways Realtors® and real estate businesses operate,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “The iOi Summit is integral to my vision to position NAR at the forefront of advocating for technologies that ensure Realtors® are essential to consumers throughout the real estate transaction. I am committed to embracing change and identifying technology tools and future advocates that are Realtor®-friendly and help us advance our members-first mission for years to come.”

On Thursday, NAR announced the winners of their startup “pitch battle” and hackathon, which were held at the summit this week. BoxBrownie.com, an on-demand, photo editing service for real estate, beat out 15 other companies in the pitch battle competition, which consisted of three-minute pitches. KW Labs, Keller Williams’ in-house software development arm, was named the winner of the hackathon. Read more about these two events here.

The first day of programming included California Attorney General Xavier Becerra who delivered a keynote focused on the pressing consumer protection issues in the real estate industry.

“My job is to protect 40 million people in California who are reaching for the American dream of being a homeowner. There are laws and regulations that are outdated that affect the opportunity for consumers to become homebuyers. I am excited to work with entrepreneurs, the tech industry and Realtors® to expand opportunities in the real estate industry and keep up with this ever-changing world,” said Becerra.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are impacting the ways consumers approach their real estate search,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. “Realtors® and innovators are also impacted by these technologies and need to stay in front of policy challenges affecting their businesses. It is critical to have this important dialogue with policy makers who implement the necessary reforms that protect consumers and real estate entrepreneurs.”

Realtors® will attend sessions and hear from TaskRabbit founder, Leah Busque, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, leaders in the technology and startup industry, as well as 2018 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2018 NAR Immediate Past President Bill Brown, 2018 NAR President-Elect John Smaby and NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

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