Brokerage turns 'innovation' into a job title

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To stay on the cutting edge of technology and bolster its commitment to innovation, San Francisco-based Zephyr Real Estate has given one of its partners the title of “chief innovation officer.”

In his new post, Matthew Borland, a managing broker and sales manager at the 250-agent firm, will keep an eye on budding developments in real estate technology, including new trends and tools within the realms of transaction management and customer relationship management.

Matthew Borland.

Matthew Borland

Since joining Zephyr more than 10 years ago, Borland is credited with building an “impressive arsenal of collateral resources” for Zephyr’s agents, such as MLS Direct, Agent Metrics and the Agent Advance program.

Last year Zephyr partnered with mobile real estate app developer Urban Living Marketing to generate online leads by embedding itself in 20 of the developer’s San Francisco neighborhood-specific apps. The brokerage is also among those that have partnered with RealScout to provide a branded collaborative search platform to clients.

Some of the firm’s innovative zeal has ruffled feathers, however.

In January, eight artists banded together to file a copyright lawsuit against the firm alleging it used their murals in a marketing calendar without their approval. An attorney for the artists said it “rankles” that a brokerage “selling multimillion-dollar homes and really contributing to the gentrification of the city uses these beautiful pieces of public art for their private profit.”

Email Paul Hagey.