The real estate technology scene is red-hot, but the focus has been on the consumer.
Companies like Zillow, Trulia and RedFin have created solutions to help homebuyers and homeowners navigate the residential market. Two Alberta real estate agents are bringing a new solution to the market that will help their fellow realtors manage a major part of the business: sending and receiving referrals.
Real Referrals is a free tool for real estate professionals to tap into the ever growing network of fellow agents and brokers in different markets across the United States and Canada. The app displays an individual’s profile to other users who seek to send a qualified referral into a chosen local marketplace. The value of the system is in the exchange of referral business. The app does not use an algorithm; it is powered by real people making genuine referrals.
Cofounders Ed DePrato and Devin Stephens, who are real estate agents in Alberta, saw that there was a better way to manage agent-to-agent referrals.
“We took an action that both of us (and everyone else in the industry) were doing every day and streamlined the process by capturing the information collection, tracking, and execution into one place through the app,” said DePrato.
The Real Referrals app uses LinkedIn logins to create an account, which not only saves them time populating their profile, but also adds security and credibility to the platform, as users can trust that the agents they are dealing with are real people with real credentials. Real estate professionals can also make themselves more visible to their colleagues in other markets by customizing their profile with the neighbourhoods, clientele, or building type they specialize in.
Users are able to keep their profiles at the top of their market by sending or accepting a referral, or by inviting real estate colleagues and peers to activate a Real Referrals profile. Once an agent accepts a referral, he or she, along with the sending agent, are committed to the referral fee. The app helps agents avoid the long and tedious process of seeking out agents in other markets when trying to make a referral. Since every action on the platform bumps up a user’s profile to the top of their market, keeping their accounts active means they are more likely to receive referrals.
“By just being on our platform, your profile is exposed to the sending agent right at the moment that he is looking to conduct a referral,” said DePrato.
Real Referrals also has a built-in CRM component that can help users track their referrals, and send themselves reminders to follow up with their referrals in the future which helps them maintain their networks. Agents and brokers with growing teams can also use the CRM to run their business operations.
“With this app you can easily send those pieces of your business that you might be too busy to handle to a colleague. You can track everything, follow-up, and manage your business right from the app,” said Stephens.
Real Referrals is now preparing for a private beta and is accepting sign-ups from agents and brokers, as well as mortgage brokers and property managers.