This talk focuses on the rapid pace of computerization in the US residential real estate industry over the past decade, illustrating the social nature of economic activity

This talk focuses on the rapid pace of computerization in the US residential real estate industry over the past decade, illustrating the social nature of economic activity. I argue that increased access to information and the ability to more easily communicate has made the real estate agent’s role even more important to transactions. In addition, the take-up and uses of information and communication technologies in support of these changes reflects a different approach to computerizing, and leads to different types of effects than are commonly espoused. To illustrate this point I show how real estate agents construct personalized ‘computing ensembles’ to support their work, reflecting more general trends in the changing roles for computing in information-intensive work. The talk draws on ten years of studying computerization in the United States residential real estate industry: a living laboratory for insights into possible future forms of information-intensive economic activity.