Real Estate Connect brings attention to rental market and big data

Real Estate Connect, Inman, down payment, rentalWe always come back energized after attending Real Estate Connect alongside thousands of real estate leaders.  In this dynamic market, we’re continuously looking for the “blue ocean”…the untapped market opportunity. According to, rental searches and even rental leads outpace that of purchases…and it has for a while. It struck us that there’s an tremendous opportunity to reach millions of income-qualified renters who don’t know they could buy a home. Many are waiting it out to save for the down payment. Savvy Realtors see the long term opportunity in working with renters. In fact, Chicago Realtor Lauren Mitrick (recently named to Forbes Magazine’s and the National Association of Realtors “30 Under 30” lists) said she still handles volumes of rental deals to build relationships and referrals with future buyers, despite making little or no commission.

While renting can be an important option to consider when repairing credit, that’s never cited as the top barrier to homeownership. Year after year, saving for a down payment is noted as the biggest challenge. Today’s Realtors have an opportunity to embrace renters and point them to valuable information that may allow them to buy much sooner than they thought. Most renters are unaware of the wide range of homebuyer programs available in every community.

The consolidating of public data was another industry opportunity discussed at the conference. We heard about unique ways companies are aggregating data for future use. For example, a New York company is consolidating tenant feedback and complaints to provide services to the public based on the data, and to give corporations and governments insight into their own performance.

Realtors and buyers alike are expecting simple, user friendly access to data. That vision echoes our mission at Down Payment Resource – to provide all homebuyers access to up-to-date information about down payment assistance programs.

Check out our 360 photo inside the event.