Emerging Technology

Identifying and researching emerging tech with the potential to enrich or disrupt the real estate industry.

How Can Technology Streamline Real Estate Affordability?

For over half a century there have been major strides in increasing housing through government support and private investment in communities, all with the goal of providing opportunities for people to have decent, safe and affordable housing. The location of one’s home has direct and indirect implications when it comes to health, education, job access, transportation, stability and the opportunity for individuals and families to prosper. 

Technology Offers Accessibility

Technology is an integral part of communicating and giving people the power to excel in their lives. Whether it is connecting with friends and family on social apps, banking, video conferencing, shopping or finding a home, technology is critical and provides increased accessibility through its use. In fact, it’s near impossible to navigate even the most basic tasks without the internet or a smartphone.  

With construction costs increasing, inflation rising, median home prices at an all-time high, and the Affordability Index at an all-time low, technology can help streamline processes to minimize bottlenecks, reduce costs and provide broader access. From modular homes to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to construction efficiencies, technology is fundamental to increasing productivity and affordability.  

What Do We Mean by Affordable Housing?

There is a common misconception that affordable housing refers to low-income housing, subsidized housing or public housing. Affordable housing refers to housing that is manageable for middle-income buyers. Occasionally, this is referred to as attainable housing. Whatever you call it, we are talking about average, middle-class people–probably like you, your neighbors and your family.

To achieve broader affordable or attainable housing, leaders across the country must join forces. This includes everyone who can have an impact and advocate for laws and policies designed to increase access to housing opportunities. We need elected officials, investors, developers, PropTech partners, associations and industry practitioners to help remove legal, regulatory and systemic barriers that prevent access to fair and affordable housing.

Continue to Learn about Technology & Housing

Learn more about Innovation in Affordable Housing by joining the National Association of REALTORS® iOi Summit on Sept. 28 and 29 in Los Angeles. You will hear from impassioned leaders and innovators who have invested their time resources into making a positive impact on our national affordable housing crisis supported by technology. 

“I am excited to participate in this discussion with housing and technology leaders who can spur ideas and raise up potential solutions for how technology can be a positive driving force in the housing space,” said Laurie Benner, the moderator of this session and Associate VP at the National Fair Housing Alliance. “I’m even more thrilled that this is an all-woman panel. I applaud NAR for its efforts to be more inclusive in an industry typically dominated by men.”

Time is running out. The 2022 iOi Summit is almost at capacity, register today.


Real Estate Technology

NAR powers innovation in real estate. We champion it, we cultivate it. We support those who are going to change the future of real estate, the way we live and the way REALTORS® work. Learn more.

Additional Resources

Housing Affordability Index

The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home.


iOi 2023 will be held in Miami, FL, Tuesday, Aug. 29, & Wednesday, Aug. 30, at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Sign-up to receive event updates & iOi news.