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Apartments are the hot new tech sector

Welcome to the land technology forgot. High-end leases negotiated and signed via fax. Millions of dollars in apartment inventory — in some of the hottest real estate markets in the country — tracked on whiteboards with dry-erase markers. Client histories recorded in longhand in legal notebooks and stashed in manila folders.

Multi-family real estate (i.e. apartment buildings) is one the fastest-growing sectors in the country right now. In fact, investment hit a record $43 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, and multi-family units now account for more than one-third of all new housing.

But the multi-family sector has long proved one of the most resistant to technological change. Owing partly to an old guard of landlords and owners, and partly to the relationship-driven nature of the business, the kinds of cloud-based apps and innovations that have transformed other sectors have failed to make inroads into one of the biggest.

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