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A Few Companies Worth Looking at from Inman Connect

As mentioned, I’ve spent the last week in San Francisco at Hacker Connect & Inman Connect.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and haven’t really been on a computer all week (which I’ve enjoyed). Before the weekend, I wanted to highlight a few of the companies I found compelling:

  • CompCurve – competitive intelligence on agents and brokers sales productivity to compare yourself to the competition (and recruit agents who are doing well).
  • First – Efficiently find listing leads from your existing relationships. They help you speak to those contemplating listing their home weeks or months ahead of the public by stack ranking your contacts’ likelihood to move based on a wide variety of signals. The particularly appealing aspect to me is their focus on the one to one touch points, which I believe are needed to win listings/business.
  • Quo – I like the product concept of coordinating the client-agent relationship via an app, though I do have serious concerns about how they’re going to get distribution. It seems they’ll have to compete with RealScout eventually using listing alerts, which will be no simple task.
  • Modern Stamp – simple & gorgeous digital invitations for open houses (50 free stamps for Geek Estate readers)
  • KardZee – They deliver personalized, hand written cards in the mail (using a clone of your handwriting). This is a product I can see every single agents in the country using. The question is the same though — how do they acquire customers cost effectively?
  • Box Brownie – Virtual staging at amazing per-image rates. I must be honest and say I think they should go through a re-brand.
  • Zavvie – They help you become the hyper local expert. This of course is a topic I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and working on (see here, here, and here). (disclosure they are a new sponsor).
  • Mapbox – A competitor to Google Maps for enterprise. They are working on some very cool visualization tools brokers and franchises (and agent web vendors) should be looking at.

For those who attended — what companies/products did you find compelling?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Thanks for sharing!

  • Eileen Romito

    Good info- I somehow missed a few of these companies. Thanks for sharing and great meeting you!

  • Good list. So the mind blowing offer-tracking app built during hacker-connect didn’t make it then 😉 Fair enough – it is far far from complete. But it is open source so if anyone wants to help in making it a reality do get in touch.

    • Unfortunately I didn’t look at the offer tracking app. Care to make a short video demo and write some details on the process as a guest post?

      • Sure, would love to! I’ll send you an email shortly.

  • Andrew Weinberger

    Mapbox offers an amazing product-much better than Google Maps for our needs. The only minor drawback is that it can be a bit glitchy on safari.

    • Andrew, could you let me know what the advantages are over Google Maps?

      Also do you use both or just Mapbox?

      Could I get a link to your website so I can see it in action?


      • Andrew Weinberger

        We’ve only used mapbox. It’s a lot smoother than google maps. It might not make much of a difference on mobile, but the user experience on desktop is a lot better with mapbox. You can check it out here…

        Turn scroll to zoom on and compare it to the maps on almost any other site and you’ll notice a huge difference.

        There are a lot of other interesting features for example allowing you to play around with the perspective or customize zoom in/out to a certain point like so…

        • Thanks Andrew. I see what you mean.

          For me though there are some features missing on Mapbox that my users really like.

          The first is satellite view. Second would be Street View. The 3rd is I love using the mouse wheel to zoom in and out on Google Maps, this does not work on Mapbox.

          The first two features are huge. It is so nice to be able to virtually walk around using street view, see what the road looks like, what you neighbor’s homes look like, etc.

          • Andrew Weinberger

            You make a great point about street view, Bryn. We thought about it earlier, but decided that we don’t have that great of a need for it in NYC. Reading your thoughts on it makes me want to implement it though as I do agree that users can benefit from walking around on street view. The user experience likely won’t be as good in NYC as it would be in a more suburban setting, but if users like it who am I to judge. Satellite view really doesn’t seem to be a need for us though, at least not until we expand to new markets.

            As for the mouse wheel zoom, I’m not sure what you mean. You can scroll to zoom in/out on mapbox. It’s actually much smoother than on google maps.
            We’ve disabled this on some pages though. You can enable it on our listing browse however. This has been something we’ve gone back and forth between as we originally had scroll to zoom as a standard feature, but some users didn’t like it and found it unintuitive. This is partly related to our design and not having margins on certain pages, particularly on listing pages. Some users would scroll down with the cursor on the right side of the screen the moment it hits the map it would simply zoom in/out like crazy instead of scrolling.

          • Right, the scroll to zoom can get tricky on certain pages, but I really like it vs. having to click a button to zoom in and out.

            I could see satellite view not being as interesting in NYC but the street view would be very interesting to me not knowing NYC that well.

          • pveugen

            > The first is satellite view. Second would be Street View.

            Hey Bryn. I’m Paul and work on our mobile & web products. We have great high quality satellite imagery for your maps. We recently bought 8.2 Million km² high-res satellite imagery.

            You can use one of our standard map styles or the satellite style (either with or without street labels). In addition, you would be able to customize your map style with our Studio Editor to highlight the data that’s most important to your customers.


            Unfortunately, Street View is not at the same quality of Google Maps yet. An interesting open source alternative to Google Streetview is Mapillary –

            Don’t hesitate to reach out of you have any questions.

          • Thanks for letting us know.

  • although I just stop by at the booth for short time, i found Rooomy virtual staging( to be very interesting – box brownie offer the same features.

    Disclaimer: I am a sucker with everything AR

    • Andrew Weinberger

      I think Archilogic is a better option to both rooomy and box brownie.

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