The Inman Innovator awards will be presented Aug. 1 at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco.
Seven real estate brokerage companies will compete for the Inman Innovator award this year in the Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise category, which recognizes excellence, innovation and success in the real estate brokerage business.
The 2007 finalists for brokerage include @Properties, Coldwell Banker, The Corcoran Group, Foxtons, Iggys House, John L. Scott Real Estate and Real Living.
More information about the finalists:
@properties is a fast-growing real estate company based in Chicago. The company was founded by agents Michael Golden and Thaddeus Wong, who teamed together during the late 1990s. During its first three years, @properties earned three consecutive Golden Eagle Awards from the Chicago Association of Realtors, honoring Chicago’s top-selling agent. The company rocketed to more than 550 agents serving Chicago from four city offices.
With more than 120,000 sales associates in 3,800 offices across the globe, Coldwell Banker is one of the most recognized brands in real estate. In the last few years, the company has maintained a focus on ColdwellBanker.com as a focal point for its agents and consumers. The company has added multimedia features, enabling consumers to view a full library of streaming videos. Consumers also can use satellite mapping, widgets and RSS feeds to locate properties at the site. Coldwell Banker in 2007 became the first national real estate company to sell homes within the 3D virtual community Second Life, which has more than 7 million users.
The Corcoran Group
The Corcoran Group was founded in 1973 as New York City began an historic transition from being a market predominately composed of rentals to one of individual ownership. Corcoran grasped the implications of this change by targeting specific neighborhoods and concentrating on higher-end properties. Since inception, the company has acquired major real estate companies in Manhattan and Brooklyn, making it among New York City’s modern brokerage leaders. The Corcoran Group’s Web site, Corcoran.com, serves as one of the go-to places for listings information in New York City.
Foxtons is a brokerage company serving New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, offering “full service for less commission.” The company routinely includes virtual tours for every listing, floor plans, location maps, multiple photos and slideshows, and online exposure for sellers. Foxtons is headquartered in New Jersey and has about 500 employees in six locations.
Iggys House was launched in 2007 by BuySide Realty, a discount brokerage company started by brothers Joseph and Avi Fox to offer online services at lower prices. While BuySide is a buyers’ service, Iggys House is a free service for sellers. Home sellers can post property information, photos and videos at the IggysHouse.com Web site, and the company will enter property information in an MLS database that can be accessed by agents from other real estate companies. Both companies were founded by the creators of pioneering online stock brokerage company Web Street, which launched in 1996, went public in 1999 and was sold to ETrade in 2001.
John L. Scott Real Estate
Pacific Northwest-based John L. Scott Real Estate has 141 offices and more than 4,700 sales associates located throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The company’s Web site, Johnlscott.com, receives more than 1 million user visits a month producing more than 9 million listing views. John L. Scott’s site features Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping, comparable home sale information, high-definition home search and the recently added Neighborhood Wizard, which enables consumers to draw on a map the parameters of the neighborhood in which they seek home information.
Real Living is a Midwest-based brokerage company with nearly 4,000 sales associates and employees in more than 160 offices across the country. The company launched the MyRealLiving 2.0 portal, which enables agents and consumers to work together in real time. The portal replicates an in-person experience with an agent online, enabling consumers to organize, personalize, save and share properties with their agent, family or friends. Buyers can flip saved property cards and add personal notes on the back, bookmark articles, and organize appointments and open houses, among other things. Sellers can track online views of their properties and view online marketing materials from their agent. MyRealLiving 2.0 has about 85,000 members and grows at about 2,000 users per month, according to a company tally.
The most innovative real estate and technology companies will be honored at Real Estate Connect, Aug. 1-3, in San Francisco. Real Estate Connect brings together the top leaders from the real estate industry, including mortgage lenders, technology firms, industry analysts and news media.