Real estate app platform could disrupt real estate agent business

by Ephraim Vecina16 Mar 2016
An app designed to help real estate agents operate without the traditional brokerage model is gaining traction, as its promise of ‘greater freedom’ seems to be attracting users. Will it soon come to Canada?
 
Real, which has been touted by its makers and some industry professionals as “real estate’s answer to Uber”, is intended to be an open platform that would allow agents to work at their own pace and without supervision.
 
“We want to give agents the mobile tech they need to grow their own business and work from anywhere. It’s their business, that’s the idea behind Real,” Real CEO and founder Tamir Poleg told Curbed.
 
Poleg projected nearly 1,000 users by the end of this year, after $6 million has been added to their funding. The app is already licensed in 12 states including Florida, Texas, and New York, with more expected to come soon.
 
Disruptive technologies come and go, but users said that what sets Real apart is the ability to manage accounting and appointments. Besides providing  leads (sourced from Trulia, Zillow, and other similar portals) without referral fees, the app also allows agents to disseminate online marketing material and search the MLS.
 
“It suited me because at this point in my career, I want to be left alone,” Atlanta real estate agent Janie Slater said.
 
“I know the ropes. I don’t see a need for the broker model anymore, since the way people shop for homes is changing so fast,” she explained, adding that Real has ensured more reliable leads and sales—and thus greater revenue.
 
Independent contractors such as Slater enjoy the benefits of a more lucrative 85/15 split in the event of a successful sale (compared to 70/30 when working with brokers).
 
It remains to be seen whether Poleg plans on rolling the company out into the Canadian market. In all likelihood, he will measures its success south of the border before making that decision.

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