When Seth told me he had found someone to acquire the company, my first question was of course “who?“. The answer is a broker / entrepreneur in Boston, Stephanie Sullivan. Though I hadn’t previously heard of her, turns out she has quite the track record. I met her for about 5 minutes the other day in New York city, and got a great first impression.
Seth is truly one of the great technologists in this industry. I’m glad to see him find the right business partner to continue investing in, and selling, the great technology he’s built over the last few years.
Congrats, Seth, Stephanie & team.
The press release:
BOSTON, MA – Stephanie Sullivan, a long-time serial entrepreneur in the mobile high tech and real estate space, acquired CurbCall from founder and CEO Seth Siegler. With Sullivan serving as CEO and Siegler remaining on as CTO, the company is expanding product capabilities to be able to offer real estate brokerages and agents a real-time lead routing system that is significantly faster and less costly than the leading offerings.
“As former head of my own real estate brokerage, I am intimately aware of the problems with the way real estate leads are currently routed,” said Sullivan. “Leads are often delivered hours or even a whole day after they come in, with little to no vetting despite claims to the contrary, and providers charge a high cost per lead or even a percentage of the transaction. Inspired by the Uber model, I saw that we could use technology to connect buyers and agents instantly.”
The new CurbCall is launching with three products. ConnectIQ instantly connects homebuyers requesting showings or info to available agents in real time. The SafetyIQ smartphone app makes showings safer for agents by automatically sending alerts when showing begins, panic button pressed or leaving a defined safety radius. SafeConnectIQ is an integrated app that combines all the functionality of ConnectIQ and SafetyIQ in one. All will be available on both iPhones and Android phones, and ConnectIQ will also provide API (Application Programming Interface) functionality to allow for custom integrations with real estate brokerage or search websites.
“From the beginning, CurbCall worked to instantly deliver showing requests to available agents so that prospective homebuyers didn’t have to wait for a callback and CurbCall-enabled agents could move on a lead first,” said Siegler, “but our reach was always limited based on our available resources and having to educate consumers about our app. With a brand new API that brings CurbCall to already-existing home search apps and websites, we can easily plug our functionality into existing channels.”
CurbCall believes both agents and consumers are ready for innovation in the real estate space. “Over 90% of homebuyers now search online. We hope to similarly revolutionize the way leads are routed,” says Sullivan. Evidence exists that agents are ready. In a survey of over 200 real estate agents conducted by CurbCall, 99.5% reported owning a smartphone, 98% were interested in the ConnectIQ app, and 85% interested in the SafetyIQ app. Also, while the acquisition has only just been completed, the company is already in talks with a number of leading national brokerages and search sites.