After gracing the trade show floor, I discovered several new vendors and a few seasoned vendors that have improved their services and/or platforms over the years. Below you will find a list of companies that I believe were standouts from this years trade show.
Smart, big, or predictive data is likely a term you’ve heard tons of buzz about over the last 12 months. With technology getting far wiser than it was just a year ago, it is now possible to predict when a person in your sphere of influence, or even someone you’ve never met, will be in the market to buy or sell piece of real estate. These new data sets can predict these future events long before a potential buyer or seller picks up the phone to call their trusty REALTOR®, or even pulls together a home search on a real estate search site. The two companies noted below were in my opinion stand outs because while they offer a similar end goals, they take different approaches to arrive at the finish line.
Offrs gives their customers the ability hone in on who will buy or sell based upon certain parameters (census tracts). They employ staff within a call center environment to vet leads and distribute those leads into a dashboard allowing their customers to engage with those warm leads in a multitude of ways. If you are not one to focus on cold leads, but want to further cultivate your sphere of influence that too is possible as well within the Offrs system. The company will scrub data and will return to your dashboard any missing links you may need to cultivate future business from the folks you already know.
Revaluate is also a company that has mastered predictive analytics. The Revaluate founders realized a need to deliver hard to find details to tenants and buyers so they could make smart choices about real estate transactions. Recently, the company morphed into even a more robust operation utilizing their insanely rich data now allowing their customers to hone in on and maximize any future connections with their current sphere of influence. This rich data allows agents to identify those who have a current or future real estate need even before it is verbalized. The use of Revaluate’s smart data eliminates unnecessary spinning of wheels and allows agents to focus their attention on those who are mostly likely to have a real estate need.
RATINGS, REVIEWS, and REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
We, as real estate professionals, understand the need to maintain positive reputations and ratings to ensure a fruitful business. Until the recent surge of online ratings and reviews, the only way one could verify any agents reputation or rating was to poll a past clients or assume the agent was truthful in their marketing of themselves. With rating, review, and reputation companies surfacing left and right and even the ability for consumers to create online reviews in a whole slew of places (Yelp, Facebook, Google) without any influence from the agent, this allows those folks delivering phenomenal service to stand apart from those who many not deliver such first class service. The long term struggle with transparency is no longer an issue, but the ability to allow a consumers rating or review to be spread across multiple channels has been an uphill and time consuming battle. The two companies noted below have mastered allowing agents and companies to spread those wonderful reviews across multiple platforms.
BirdEye is a reputation management company not just for the real estate industry, but for small and enterprise sized companies. A quite beneficial perk of BirdEye is they aggregate online reviews into one dashboard giving the user the ability to respond in real time to reviews. Customers who have embraced BirdEye claim they now rank higher on Google, and can collect ratings and reviews on one platform and distribute them to multiple platforms in the real estate space.
RealSatisfied, an agent initiated and client delivered rating and reviews company, has been a friend to the real estate industry for many years now. Laura Monroe recently announced Encourage Reviews. This advancement gives users the opportunity to publish their ratings and reviews on websites, where they matter the most, not just in the RealSatisfied platform. Once an agent requests a client to submit a rating/review, the client will now have the opportunity to cut and paste the rating/review into several other websites. A big gigantic HIGH FIVE to the folks at RealSatisfied rolling out this system enhancement.
Every company needs a robust platform to help monitor transactions and help with risk management. A great transaction management system should not be complicated, and should be mindful of other tasks that come into play within the transaction. While there may be several other transaction management systems available, I believe if you are striving for the best you should affiliate with the best in the business.
BackAgent is a transaction management platform that I’ve spoke of before, and they are definitely not new kids on the block. If you currently use this platform or are in the market for a modern and updated transaction management platform, be sure to request a demo. While many of their bells and whistles have been available since they launched the platform and provide peace of mind, current users are in for a treat. A system redesign is weeks away from launching. One of their new features will be the ability to have live conversations within the platform with whomever you desire – an agent, broker, client, or lender. Hello time saver! Many brokerages likely have private Facebook groups for their office, and soon BackAgent users will be able to link their Facebook groups to the platform, giving users the ability to contribute to the Facebook group within the BackAgent platform. A broker’s dream is having a living educational knowledge base where agents can search for information, whether it be how to’s or even recent questions the broker has answered for another agent within the firm. With the update being released in a few weeks, this will be possible. This doesn’t even begin to cover the level of coolness that will be delivered in the next few weeks, so I encourage you to check it out for yourself.