Market Leader says it’s acquired Denver-based SharperAgent and that the two companies "will immediately begin working together" on an integrated software platform for franchisors and real estate brokerages providing lead generation, customer relationship management, social media and blogging integration, online and offline marketing, agent and office websites, and other tools.
Kirkland, Wash.-based Market Leader is already providing lead management, contact management and marketing design components of Keller Williams’ integrated eEdge platform under a five-year agreement.
The acquisition of SharperAgent "represents the latest in a series of moves by Market Leader to create a comprehensive and integrated software platform for real estate professionals across the United States and Canada," the company said.
"We are responding to a clear and growing demand from leading brokerage firms and franchises for a single integrated, best-in-class solution that meets all of their technology and marketing needs," said Market Leader CEO Ian Morris in a statement.
Morris said SharperAgent is recognized "as the leader in providing world-class customized marketing solutions, and we are eager to combine the strengths of our two companies to better serve our collective customers and the entire real estate professional community."
SharperAgent’s 30,000 existing customers will continue to have access to their current subscription options, which will eventually be integrated with Market Leader products.
Market Leader is in the process of transforming itself from a company whose business model was based on selling leads generated by sites like HouseValues.com, to a provider of customized websites and tools for agents and brokers.
The company makes money by charging one-time setup fees and monthly fees for services, including websites, customer relationship management tools, marketing materials, training and support. Market Leader is also the majority owner of real estate blogging network ActiveRain.
During the first quarter, Market Leader added nearly 200 new broker customers, and revenue from its software-as-a-service products was up 61 percent from a year ago. Market Leader nevertheless posted a $4.3 million first quarter loss, as revenue grew 25 percent from a year ago, to $7.2 million.
Market Leader stands to earn at least $10 million during the initial five-year term of its eEdge agreement with Keller Williams, and expects to generate additional revenue by upselling premium services to the franchisor’s agents.
Keller Williams agents pay the franchise $15 a month for eEdge, and can gain access to additional capabilities by subscribing to Market Leader Professional Edition for $99 a month.