The deadline to apply for the National Association of Realtors’ tech incubator, REach, is looming, but the odds of success may be stacked against companies that are in the business of publicizing for-sale listings.

A noncompete clause in the operating agreement between Move Inc. and NAR means that companies that engage in the public display of listings are “likely ineligible” for REach, according to Constance Freedman, founder and managing director of Second Century Ventures.

Despite the limitation imposed by the agreement, “We encourage interested companies not to self-select out of applying to the program,” the director of NAR’s 5-year-old venture capital fund said.

“We work closely with, and if there is a mutually beneficial partnership opportunity that can be agreed upon by all parties, we would consider an acceptance in that case.”

The final deadline for applications for the 2014 class is March 1, and NAR plans to accept between six and 10 firms to the program in April.

Second Century Ventures announced the REach program in November 2012, with the stated goal of helping startups and established companies learn the ropes of the real estate industry.

(Inman News launched an “Inman Incubator” program in April 2013 as “a launchpad for companies that will define innovation in the real estate industry … by providing mentorship, promotion, access to specialized resources, business-building connections and ongoing support.”)

Firms that participated in REach’s 2013 class received access to 150 mentors, about 500 Realtors who volunteered as “beta testers” for their products, office space at NAR’s Chicago headquarters and networking opportunities at industry events. In exchange, the companies paid a marketing fee and handed over equity stakes of between 2 to 5 percent in order to participate.

The operating agreement dates to 1996 and references the “exclusive nature” of the relationship between NAR subsidiary Realtors Information Network Inc. (RIN) and Move subsidiary RealSelect Inc. in Article III, Section II:

“Except as provided in this Agreement, during the terms of this Agreement, Operator and RIN shall not engage, directly or indirectly, in the Electronic Display of Real Property Ads, and shall not, directly or indirectly, develop, market, sell, acquire an equity position in, be engaged or employed by, or endorse any service or enterprise, or authorize, appoint or engage any other Person for the purposes of the Electronic Display of the RPA Business.”

NAR does not disclose this restriction on the REach website or in any other public materials about the program. Freedman said this is due to the “complicated nature of the matter” and because there are cases in which the restriction may not apply.

“Clearly there are cases where exceptions exist, such as the investments NAR made in companies like (Realtors Property Resource) and that SCV made in Xceligent,” she said. “This is why we encourage companies who are interested to apply and not self-select out.”

RPR is a wholly owned NAR subsidiary and national property database for Realtors, but it is not public-facing. Xceligent operates a commercial listings site and is therefore not traditionally in’s wheelhouse, though the two announced a partnership in the fall that gave an expanded commercial search functionality powered by Xceligent.

Indeed, Freedman cited “compelling partnership opportunities” as something that companies that publicly display listings can offer that might better their chances of being accepted into REach.

Freedman said she was not aware of any other type of company that would likely be ineligible for REach. When asked whether the operating agreement would prevent NAR from investing in a company that engages in the public display of listings but also offers another product that has nothing to do with listings, Freedman said, “Potentially. It is a case-by-case issue.”

REach’s inaugural 2013 class included seven companies, none of which engage in the public display of listings:

  • BombBomb: a video-focused email marketing software provider.
  • Lumentus: a social media metrics provider that helps companies focus social media messaging on their brands and missions.
  • Planwise: a financial planning service for individuals to visualize, via real-life scenarios, how major life events affect their financial future.
  • Reach150: a referral platform that helps individuals manage their online reputations.
  • Treater: an app that lets users send “treats” from their mobile phone, to be delivered by Facebook, email, Twitter or LinkedIn.
  • Updater: a free online service consumers can use to easily manage a change of address.
  • Workface: a live chat — via text, audio or video — software platform that facilitates one-on-one communication with a client in real time at critical points in their decision-making process.
Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Network with CoStar, Redfin, Realogy, SERHANT., Divvy, and thousands more in-person at ICLV this October. Prices go up Sunday.Register Now×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription