Denver-based franchisor Re/Max is launching an updated version of its "Design Center" marketing platform, touting the revamped application as more intuitive and efficient than previous versions.

The updated platform, to be unveiled today in Las Vegas at the annual Re/Max R4 Convention, boasts an overhauled interface along with new features that the platform’s developer, Imprev Inc., has not made available to other brokerages that use its design products, said Bill Yaman, Imprev’s vice president of sales and business development.

The interface was built to "make ease of use paramount," Yaman said. In a demo session, the layout did appear to be cleaner than the application’s previous version, and some design functions, like adding photos and text, were easier to use.

Introduced in 2006, today the Re/Max Design Center is one of a number of platforms designed to help agents create marketing materials and disseminate them to prospects.

Keller Williams Realty International and Century 21 Real Estate LLC, for example, offer platforms powered by Imprev rival Market Leader Inc.

Market Leader provides lead management, contact management and marketing design components of Keller Williams’ eEdge platform, which became available in 2011 to 80,000 agents affiliated with the franchisor. Market Leader powers Century 21’s Business Builder CRM platform, which launched in October.

The approximately 70,000 Re/Max agents in the U.S. and Canada can use the Re/Max Design Center for free, but they’ll have to pony up another $299 for three new premium features that enable agents to generate single-property websites, video home tours and ready-made marketing campaigns.

The Design Center’s new premium features, announced in January, are also available individually for $199 each.

The "Premier Agent" single-property website enables an agent to generate a stand-alone listing website that adjusts its layout for mobile and tablet users. The website hosts a virtual tour, which an agent may stock with as many as 50 photos and accompanying descriptions, along with a Google Maps street view interface and sections for neighborhood information.

The Premier Agent Video tool allows an agent to create home tours with text and music soundtracks. The agent may publish the videos on YouTube and other websites, or embed them in emails.

A Premier Agent automated marketing campaign enables an agent to create campaigns that disburse promotional materials over set timelines. Using a campaign, an agent may target certain groups that are stored in the platform’s contact list. The function even has cookie-cutter promotional campaigns that send out pre-written copy on topics including disaster-preparedness, downsizing and rent vs. own. 

As with previous versions, an agent may use Design Center to distribute their promotional materials across a range of websites and platforms (depending on their medium), print materials from an affiliated printer, and view analytics for email campaigns.

Screen shot of Re/Max Design Center.

Re/Max uses a separate program, called "LeadStreet," to help its agents manage leads. LeadStreet is partially integrated with Design Center, allowing an agent to populate marketing materials in Design Center with listing information from LeadStreet. Still, the applications are distinct.

Yaman said Imprev, whose products are used by over 150,000 agents, is in the process of "evaluating partnerships with CRMs" that could bring more substantial integration.

That could mean that subsequent versions of its real estate design applications may fully integrate with CRMs, portending a future where more real estate agents manage prospects and market to them all from within one platform. 

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