The National Association of Realtors has invested in cloud-based telephone call tracking and routing services provider Ifbyphone, and plans to collaborate with the company in developing solutions that help Realtors manage, measure and automate voice communications.
NAR said it is investing in Ifbyphone through its venture capital fund, Second Century Ventures LLC, which last year purchased a 5.43 percent stake in DocuSign Inc. for $2 million. DocuSign rolled out a "Realtor Edition" electronic signature service tailored and branded for Realtors at a 20 percent discount in March.
The Ifbyphone suite includes solutions for call tracking, customer notifications, interactive voice response, and a virtual call center.
"NAR established Second Century Ventures to bring Realtor-focused solutions to the real estate marketplace," said NAR President Ron Phipps in a statement. "In Ifbyphone we’ve identified a partner who can help our members grow their businesses."
Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said Ifbyphone will help Realtors lower expenses and get the most out of their marketing and advertising dollars to generate increased sales.
NAR did not disclose how much it has invested in Ifbyphone, saying it was one of several investors in an $8 million secondary "B" round of funding.
Ifbyphone has raised $16 million in venture capital to date, with company founder and CEO Irv Shapiro, Apex Venture Partners, Origin Ventures, Spring Mill Ventures and the i2A Fund participating in both rounds of funding.