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Small Is Beautiful the Rise of Highly Specialized Highly Integrated Real Estate Start Ups

During the past 18-24 months, the number of software solutions in the marketplace has increased exponentially. “We’re at the point where we simply have too many solutions and disparate concepts and now chaos has erupted making it difficult to keep pace” asserts Realcomm.

Here’s an alternative thesis: the problem is not too many solutions, but that the market is offering too many solutions that don’t speak to one another.

Consider the prevailing consensus in Silicon Valley: today’s winning apps (and those securing big investment) are “highly specialized, highly integrated”. In other words, niche apps that are extremely good at solving the problems at which they’re aimed by adding value to data supplied by open APIs. Measurabl is one example of exactly this new information architecture and the success that is possible as a result. The $720MM+ in venture capital invested in the software targeting the real estate marketplace (including from the industry itself) is even better validation of this consensus.

“Small is beautiful” is the new coin of the realm and should be seriously considered as an alternative path to “unicorn” apps that do a lot of things poorly.

Real estate industry professionals are quickly coming to understand “highly specialized, highly integrated” is the right orientation for two reasons: (1) unicorn apps that “do it all” are neither reasonably priced nor efficacious and (2) personal experience with consumer technology has disabused them of their prejudice towards “bigger is better”. This is nowhere more evident that in the consumer market which has fled to the “highly specialized, highly integrated” approach (just look at every app on your iPhone) and is an indication of things to come in enterprise software, which is far more complex. Oxford Properties’ recent sustainability RfP explicitly validates that “they do not expect one app to solve it all…”

The massive, expensive, cumbersome enterprise-scale apps that are the supposed gold standard in the marketplace, then, are actually overachieving and failing to deliver value. They’re neither flexible nor affordable, and every attempt to say they’re customizable because they use a “module” approach is actually a covert admission that it’s a custom software deployment that will take 6 months… This misunderstanding of complexity in the solution space is now washing up against the quickly fading presupposition that “bigger is better”.

Realcomm’s webinar “BMS, BAS, EMS, BOS and CHAOS – 120 Solutions and Counting” is free to attend. For more information, including registration, please follow the link below.