And the Winner Is… NAR’s AI Contest “Homes In” on Phone Call Tech

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is on the hunt for “the next big thing in real estate tech,” says Bob Goldberg, the group’s CEO.

Last month, in our update on artificial intelligence for home searches, we saw NAR advertising a contest to showcase the best uses it could find for artificial intelligence in real estate. NAR invited 12 AI firms to its Innovation, Opportunity & Investment Summit (Aug. 29–30, 2023, Miami).

We tried to guess who’d win.

So… Were We Right?

While a dozen contestants prepared to compete in NAR’s “Pitch Battle,” we named two of the contestants as standouts:

  • Accacia: This software company enables property owners and investors to perform their own analyses of their carbon footprints — and then measurably reduce them. Pardon the pun, but how cool is that?
  • This software takes notes automatically when someone is speaking on the phone. It schedules and puts other pertinent information right into a professional’s client management system. A must-have for today’s agent, right?

And one of our two picks did, indeed, take the trophy. won the day. Congrats to the participants.

Now, we still want to see how AI can help property owners reduce their carbon footprints. The climate-supportive mission laid out by Accacia is just too critical not to follow. After all, the impacts of emissions on the climate are evident in real estate disclosures and the rising costs of property insurance.

With the AI Tool, Callers Have a Real-Time Support System Right on the Phone Call

In the Pitch Battle event, NAR pointed the spotlight at new proptech (property technology) concepts that could change real estate. The event’s champion tool,, can gather and organize key information instantaneously during phone calls.

A rep from got up on the stage and demonstrated this by acting out a call to a prospective customer. The audience watched the tool work. It even ran a search for available homes that the customer might like.

That live demo wowed the Simon Cowells of NAR., says NAR, deserves national recognition for the way its software will support agent success. won a $15,000 prize at the event. The new company will also get a free conference booth at NAR’s November conference in California, “The REALTOR® Experience.” (NAR defines itself as the nation’s largest trade association.)

AI Companies in a “Pitch Battle”: What’s the Backstory?

The Pitch Battle is a key draw for tech companies at NAR’s Innovation, Opportunity & Investment Summit (iOi Summit), a conference for agents, managers, investors, and business leaders. Innovative, mostly new companies flock to the event to have their ideas tested and promoted. (Got an innovation? Here are the conference details for 2024!)

A tech fund backed by NAR, called Second Century Ventures, runs the event. Second Century Ventures promotes insurance firms, title, mortgage, escrow, and various financial services, and businesses that concern properties and real estate.

Why does NAR’s strategic business arm back Second Century Ventures? Its reasons are multifaceted:

  • Influence matters. Second Century Ventures can influence the future of NAR’s industry by finding innovative creators and useful business tools for real estate agents.
  • If you can’t beat tech, join it. “By investing in new and emerging technology companies,” as NAR puts the point, the Association can help high-tech companies “access the industry in a way that is beneficial — rather than disruptive” to NAR’s interests.
  • Clients expect technological leadership. Buyers, sellers, and just about everyone who deals with a property transaction today is using technology to get it done. NAR wants its member agents to be tech savvy. The agents’ clients, in turn, will expect this.  

Some of NAR’s past picks are now household names. Do DocuSign or Notarize ring a bell? Let’s just say is in good company.

Supporting References

Brandon Doyle for the National Association of REALTORS® via REALTOR® Magazine: Named “Pitch Battle” Victor at iOi Summit (Aug. 31, 2023).

Spencer High, media contact for National Association of REALTORS® News & Events Newsroom: Media Release – NAR Announces 12 Tech Startups for iOi Summit’s Pitch Battle (Aug. 8, 2023).

National Association of REALTORS®: Technology – Second Century Ventures.

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More on topics: Real estate apps, Artificial intelligence

Photo credits: Andrea Piacquadio and Alena Shekhovtcova, via Pexels.