Real estate startup Realty Connection has added a feature it hopes will help grow its agent recruiting platform exponentially: the ability for multiple-office brokerages and franchisors to easily create profiles for each of their offices.
First implemented in August, the free feature has already added 17 West USA Realty offices, 24 ZipRealty offices, 35 Nextage Realty International offices, and 31 HomeSmart offices to the recruiting platform — more than a third of the 286 profiles currently on the site. The startup is also currently negotiating larger uploads with other major brands.
“Realty Connection understands the value of featuring many brands and it is our desire to provide quality information to agents that are looking to make an informed decision about their career. Having great content on our website generates more agent interest, providing us the ability to generate more agent leads for participants,” said Linda Michelsen, Realty Connection’s co-founder and chief financial officer.
Denver-based Realty Connection launched last year with the aim of connecting brokers to agents who are actively looking for another place to hang their license. The site allows brokerages to post company profiles with features dependent on subscription level. Agents can browse companies, compare their features and compensation plans, and send brokers anonymous messages through the system.
The site is free for agents, although they must register in order to view company compensation plans and features. Agents are given an alias in the form of a number when they register, allowing them to remain anonymous for as long as they like — an important detail for top agents considering a move.
“Realty Connection is powerful product and definitely destined to change how how companies recruit. It also gives the agent population a way to engage with, compare and become clear about options in selecting their real estate company,” said Don Hobbs, Nextage Realty’s spokesman, in a statement.
He said the franchisor loved that it could get all of its offices up on the site in a few hours.
“The upload process of all our offices was super simple and seamless. Moving forward, we see Realty Connection, [CEO] Dan Gerlock and his dynamic team being a key addition to our national expansion efforts and a key to being able to compete in more markets across the U.S.”
Here’s how the new feature works: A chosen administrator creates a brokerage or franchisor profile on Realty Connection and then downloads and completes a spreadsheet with some basic information about each of the company’s offices, such as the managing broker’s name, the office address, phone number, email address and/or website, and the recruiting contact. The administrator then returns the spreadsheet to Realty Connection, which verifies the content’s accuracy and uploads the spreadsheet to the platform, which then creates individual profiles for each office.
The managing brokers for each office receive an email notifying them of the creation of the profile and the password to log in and add content specific to their office, such as management bios, photos, and number of agents. The administrator has already chosen which fields are editable and which are not.
For instance, if a compensation plan is the same nationwide, an administrator may choose to make that field unchangeable by each local office to maintain consistency, Michelsen said.
The resulting “enhanced profiles,” which include companies’ direct contact information, normally cost $99 per month per office, but are now free in order to boost the platform’s growth nationwide.
“We give the enhanced profile for free in order to grow the content on our site, and it offers a lot of exposure. Since phone number and email addresses are displayed, agents can reach out directly,” Michelsen said.
Enhanced profiles also include free marketing from Realty Connection via email, text message, Craigslist and social media once there are at least 10 companies from a particular area on the platform. For paying subscribers, the startup offers special, half-off pricing until that 10-company threshold is achieved.
While those with enhanced profiles are notified when an agent has viewed their profile or compared their profile with another, only those who have upgraded to a premium profile will be able to directly contact a lead. Those who use the new upload feature can get a premium profile on the site for a 50 percent discount, or $99 per month.
Michelsen stresses that there is never any obligation to upgrade, however, and companies who use the multiple-office upload can keep their free enhanced profiles forever.
The site’s analytics point to the important of creating a profile, she said — in the past year, the site has had 180,000 page views, 8,500 unique site visitors, and visitors’ average visit duration has been 12 minutes.
Inman readers are eligible for a discount on a basic profile on the site. Normally $49 per month, basic profiles can include a company logo, the office address, a company website link, one video, one photo, and management bios. In order to receive the discount, readers should email their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Inman offer” in the subject line.