For nearly half a century, Saul Klein has been a tech pioneer, evangelist

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For nearly half a century, Saul Klein has been a tech pioneer, evangelist

In the most recent edition of his Snapshot series, Brandon Doyle talks to Saul Klein about being at the forefront of technology and internet adoption in the residential real estate industry

Inman contributor Brandon Doyle made it his goal to interview 100 real estate professionals. Here’s a Snapshot of those conversations.

From being a member of the first Realtor.com team to creating one of the first online real estate communities, RealTalk, Saul Klein has been at the forefront of technology and internet adoption in residential real estate. His leadership and innovation have earned him the respect of the industry and a reputation as a pioneer and evangelist of technology in real estate.

“I’ve been a part of the real estate industry for 48 years,” Klein said. “It has been and continues to be my career. From owning and operating two real estate companies to being a Certified Financial Planner, certified tax preparer and serving as an expert witness, I have had the opportunity to view and understand the industry from various angles.”

Recognized with numerous awards for his industry contributions, Klein’s impact is far-reaching. These include the 2003 Realtor Magazine “25 Most Influential People in Real Estate” and being named in the Inman 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate for 10 consecutive years.

One of Klein’s significant achievements was his role in transitioning real estate listings from MLS books to the internet, a game-changing shift that helped propel the industry into the digital age. “There was resistance, but I was passionate about my vision of the future. We prevailed,” he shared.

On his role as an industry consultant for early-stage startups, Klein hinted at an upcoming announcement. “I’m excited about the potential for monetization of data through the capital markets, with revenues flowing back to MLSs, brokers and agents,” he said. “I also see considerable potential in blockchain, AI and evolving business models, particularly at the intersection of lending and real estate.”

Asked about his vision for a spot market and futures market in real estate, Klein noted, “Real estate has no futures market because it has no real spot market. If a spot market can be created, say through MLSs, that might just change the economic model of MLS, to the benefit of consumers and real estate practitioners.”

Klein’s commitment to education in the industry is evident in his contributions. He has created numerous technology certification programs for the National Association of Realtors, including its first social media course of instruction. “Education and training are critical to success. More so today than in years past,” Klein said.

His expertise extends into social media, boasting an impressive reach and knowledge of various platforms. Klein has over 30,000 connections and followers on LinkedIn and participates in at least a dozen real estate communities on Facebook, reaching over 500,000 real estate professionals daily.

When asked about his future predictions for technology in real estate, Klein said, “In the next 10 years, we will see more of the transaction process online. We will see extended use of virtual and augmented reality, AI and blockchain technologies … and more transparency with greater access to data by more people.”

Indeed, Klein’s legacy is interwoven with the evolution of the real estate industry in the digital age. His passion, commitment and pioneering spirit continue to shape the industry as he explores new frontiers in technology and the changing landscape of real estate.

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