Select Page

Greg Sax and Dave Conroy.

by G. Sax, Director of Growth Management, RESO

Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards with a goal of humanizing the tech side of the industry, fun included.

This week we spoke with Dave Conroy, Director of Emerging Technology, National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and current member of the RESO Board of Directors about licensee IDs, emerging tech and being on the board. Enjoy!

Q1: You were an early player in the proof-of-concept efforts toward the Unique Licensee Identifier (ULI). You used your personal time to come up with possible solutions. What was your motivation behind those efforts, and what can we do to truly get the ULI off the ground?

Dave: After spending a lot of time in the RESO Research & Development Workgroup and related Unique Licensee Identifier Subgroup (ULI), I recognized that we were having great discussions, but we had exhausted the theory of how it could work. It was time to build.

I spent a few hours per week for a month programming a working prototype, and then worked with RESO CTO Josh Darnell to open source it and set up some servers. Having something functional to show the committee helped open up new questions and advanced the discussions. Some design decisions from my original prototype are still in play, and that is rewarding.

We need more evangelism at RESO around the ULI. At NAR, I’m approached by industries like title and insurance, and we really need to keep working with those folks, because the worst-case scenario is that we end up with three identifiers for the industry. From what I’ve seen from others, the ULI is superior in terms of design, and we should be shopping it around.

We need to get out in front of the concept and plant our flag.

Q2: NAR has seemingly taken a larger stake in emerging technology. It started with Second Century Ventures, the REACH program and several hires like you, Alex Lange and others. What does it feel like to be in the centrifuge of all that, and how do you measure your success at picking worthy players that will drive the industry forward?

Dave: I feel incredibly lucky to be part of a group of forward-thinking people to do something I feel truly passionate about, which is emerging tech.

NAR was restructured to closely tie the emerging tech research with the investment arm and accelerator.

Emerging tech used to fall under IT, but now with it being under strategic business initiatives, I feel like we get the full life cycle of technologies before they are even companies to early stage startups to mature companies that we can offer as benefits to REALTORS®.

We make recommendations based on the technology and the technologists. It’s never just the technology.

Q3: You expressed to me at a conference over a year ago that you wanted to pursue a seat on the RESO Board of Directors. How did that turn out, and where do you go from here?

Dave: I got a seat on the board!

Having attended RESO conferences for ten years, and seeing all the incredible work that happens within the organization, I wanted to work more closely with those who further innovation in real estate. It felt right to accept the nomination.

I would eventually like to chair one of the RESO workgroups or subgroups. Getting more involved in the workgroups would be ideal for me, because I always like working with people who get stuff done.