[Editor’s Note: RealSavvy is a strategic sponsor for Geek Estate Blog, and this is a sponsored post. The company was first covered on Geek Estate Blog back in 2016. Since then, I’ve gotten to know their CEO Rick Orr quite well (he’s a Geek Estate Mastermind member). You’ll be hearing more about this company and products here on GE Blog going forward.]
Imagine the all-too-common scenario of a day in the life of a Realtor: a cluttered Inbox of links from clients to homes they’ve found on Zillow, Redfin and the like. A constant back-and-forth of checking which homes are actually still active in the MLS, sorting through multiple email threads to find the right conversation with the right client. It’s inefficient and yet it’s become the norm. Why? The answer is twofold:
- Homebuyers crave a modern home search experience that the national search portals provide them, which takes them off their agent’s website or MLS search.
- The lack of usable, enterprise-grade products to help agents stay connected to their clients with the ability to collaborate in an organized fashion.
Over the past 10 years, homebuyers have gained access to amazing amounts of data to assist in the home search leaving real estate professionals exposed to the whims of heavily-funded, publicly-traded companies. The relationship of the typical real estate professional and Zillow, for example, is an odd one. Zillow is, hands-down, the anointed winner for generating potential buyers and sellers, which means Realtors looking to grow their leads business will happily shovel cash towards Zillow for access to leads in select zip codes across the US. This is net-good for both sides – agents get access to people with some intent to buy/sell, Zillow makes billions. However, once a lead is captured, agents are highly motivated to move their new clients off of Zillow and onto their own branded platform. This is where real estate tech companies like RealSavvy step in to help provide real estate professionals with the sophisticated software they need to remain competitive.
Why do agents wish to move clients away from Zillow? There are two key reasons for this:
- In most markets, Zillow is an opt-in aggregator for brokers to share their listings. While most do, many don’t which means not all MLS listings are available to real homebuyers which leads to a misleading home search. However, with IDX providers like RealSavvy, brokers have 100% of the MLS available to them on their website, which gives them a decided advantage by presenting the most accurate data.
- Other competing agents (as with Realtor.com and most others) are advertised on each search and each listing. A media company (not a brokerage like Redfin), Zillow makes money by driving leads to agents. If an agent buys a lead for one zip code from Zillow, that agent doesn’t want her new prospect going back to Zillow where each search will have a new set of agent ads to the right of each listing.
For the average homebuyer, investor and portals like Zillow, this would seem to be all that’s necessary to maintain a symbiosis between advertisers (Zillow) and real estate pros; however, it’s only when consumers actually buy, list, lease and, most importantly, close that a real estate professional actually realizes ROI. With 66M online leads per year versus 5MM sold homes, Realtors have a daunting task trying to actually convert very expensive leads ($2500 for 130 leads per month for a decent zip code on Zillow; $2500 for 12 leads in hot areas, for reference). This is where the proverbial RealSavvy rubber meets the road for brokers and agents – the software is built for lead conversion and collaboration tools are the key.
RealSavvy launched in 2014 to bring enterprise-grade tools with a heavy emphasis on homebuyer experience to the real estate industry which had, frankly, forgotten to take care of the 100k’s of SMB’s and millions of agents left behind in the technology wake of Zillow. Agents are losing the trust of their clients because they have nothing great to offer by way of usable, simple search and collaboration tools. Consumers making life stage decisions want real estate professionals who know the market, neighborhoods and schools to help inform them about this major life moment. Agents need a company focused on their technology needs that will help them compete in a rapidly-evolving online realm so that they can win where they always have – relationships in the physical world of real estate sales.
To meet these fundamental technology needs, we built our platform to consist of five mission-critical technology elements:
- Collaborative IDX with “Pinterest-like” search capabilities to keep agents and homebuyers connected and collaborating in real time
- Websites with modern UX/UI for cost-effective lead capture
- Branded mobile apps (native iOS and Android) to make agents and brokers searchable in the App Store and Google Play Store
- Predictive CRM with client search analytics and automated lead routing
- Unrivaled and well-documented APIs to empower brokers and agents to bolt on valuable third-party software to build any type of business they desire (e.g. Salesforce and FollowUp integrations, direct mailer integrations, etc.)
Our vision is to be the operating system for real estate by bringing enterprise-grade digital marketing (think Hubspot) and productivity tools (think Slack for home search) to agents, brokerages, and teams who have been underserved by technology for too long.