Tech Guide 2023: Fading Concepts

8 tech trends that went from ‘hot’ to ‘not’ and why they matter 

From blockchain to monthly per-agent pricing for brokerage tools, these “fading concepts” don’t shine like they used to but still have something to tell us.

December 28, 2023
3 minutes

Editor's note: The T3 Tech Guide, now in its third edition, provides in-depth research and analysis to help leaders understand the forces shaping residential real estate. This exclusive series of excerpts highlights takeaways from the latest Tech Guide, which was released in October 2023.

'Fading concepts' in tech: In an industry as dynamic as real estate, where technology is increasingly adopted into every facet of the business, it's not just what's new that matters — it's also what's losing relevance. This excerpt provides a look at eight formerly hot trends that couldn't deliver on their promise.

These fading concepts serve as a cautionary tale, demonstrating how once-promising ideas can lose their sheen. They could be practices that, while revolutionary a decade ago, have now been rendered obsolete by more advanced technology. They might also be trends that promised much but delivered little in terms of real-world applicability or customer adoption.

While it's essential to keep an eye on the horizon for new opportunities, it's equally critical to recognize when it's time to let go of the past.

Note: The following list is provided alphabetically.


Multimillion-dollar lawsuits in real estate related to violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act have hugely challenged the industry's use of auto-dialers and cold call solutions. Further, the biggest challenge is consumer behavior itself: fewer people answer calls from unknown numbers, and when they do, have become less receptive to these types of sales engagements.


For a few short moments, it appeared that blockchain would power major industry applications, especially in title. Progress has been slow, however, and the powerful technology's impact may take significantly longer, have a smaller footprint and remain limited to specific applications.

Closed technology systems

As technology systems get larger and more sophisticated, it has become even more critical that they integrate and work with other technology in a brokerage's ecosystem. Many companies have given up on the dream of a closed tech platform, and T3 Sixty firmly believes open platforms provide brokerages and agents with the most tech power.


The scandals and setbacks involving major cryptocurrencies and exchanges have dampened the immediate advantages of this technology in the real estate sector.

Mass marketing

The personalized marketing era in real estate has arrived. The recent advancements in AI have enabled even further developments of scaled, personalized content.

The metaverse

While virtual settings offer great potential for interaction and engagement, successful use cases are still narrow and specialized. Traditional, non-virtual interactions in real estate continue to be crucial and show no signs of becoming obsolete.

Monthly per-agent pricing

This is a call to action for technology vendors in real estate: Cease charging brokerages for agents who aren't using your tools. The industry has a common practice in which vendors charge brokerages a monthly fee for all their agents, not just those who use the product. Aligning fees with usage benefits both vendors and brokerages by encouraging adoption and highlighting true value; get ahead and charge for real use.

NFTs in real estate

The ability to secure rights to assets via non-fungible tokens (NFTs) remains alluring, but in real estate, where securitization of physical assets carries legal and regulatory challenges, this concept has not proven itself and is unlikely to revive quickly.

Read the full report: Digital copies are available for free at T3 Trends.

Note: T3 Sixty and Real Estate News share a founder, Stefan Swanepoel.

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