AgentBrokerage

Market Leader’s soon-to-be owner, Constellation Software, out to dominate real estate software

Firm has 3,000 broker clients, including Howard Hanna Real Estate and Coldwell Banker United, Realtors

Takeaways:

  • The Perseus Division of Constellation Software Inc. is poised to become a major real estate software provider with its pending Market Leader acquisition.
  • The company has been in the real estate space for six years; it owns four real estate software firms, including website provider Z57.
  • Perseus’ parent company is a large global software provider best known for its transit software, Volaris.

The Perseus Division of Constellation Software Inc., which entered into an agreement to buy Market Leader for $23 million last week, is poised to become a real estate software powerhouse. A few days before, the Toronto-based software giant snapped up another real estate software provider, Zurple,

Launched 11 years ago, Perseus is a subsidiary of Constellation Software Inc. and currently serves approximately 3,000 brokerages and 35,000 agents with a rapidly growing portfolio of real estate agent software, which includes mobile and desktop websites, mapping solutions, lead management and voice-response tools.

Perseus powers the websites for its two biggest brokerage clients, Howard Hanna Real Estate and Coldwell Banker United, Realtors, under the “Constellation Web Solutions” brand.

Real estate brokers and agents hungry for website, customer relationship management and marketing software will soon have a big new provider in Perseus and Constellation.

The firm’s recent acquisitions extend its goal for real estate software domination, said Perseus’ president, Dexter Salna.

6 ways empowered agents embrace disruption to drive success
Using technology to generate leads and win listings READ MORE

The company seems to be deploying a roll up strategy to fuel its growth.

Perseus rebranded from “Constellation Homebuilders Systems” last year and owns 34 firms that offer software to companies in eight different industries including paper processing, homebuilding, education and health care.

It has grown its homebuilder software into a market leader in 11 years; 40 percent of the nation’s top 200 homebuilders use its software, Salna said. He has similar hopes for Perseus’ real estate division.

Dexter Salna

Dexter Salna

Salna declined to delve into the specifics of Perseus’ Market Leader play, as the acquisition hasn’t closed yet (it’s expected to close early in the fourth quarter).

Market Leader — which provides real estate CRM, lead generation and marketing tools to a customer base of over 100,000 agents — has enterprise accounts with the nation’s largest franchisor and largest brokerage: Keller Williams Realty and NRT LLC.

Perseus first jumped into the real estate software game with its 2009 purchase of assets for Move Inc.’s real estate website firm, “The Enterprise,” which brought it vendor relationships with MLSs covering approximately 90 percent of the nation’s listings.

A year later, it acquired the real estate customer relationship management platform Birdview. In 2013, it bought Z57, which currently powers lead generation websites for 6,500 agents.

Although its real estate software holdings are multiplying, Perseus — following its parent company’s model — has no plans to merge them, Salna said.

Instead, it will grow them as separate units and support different client bases with different brands, even if there’s some overlap.

However, the firms share best practices and other resources, such as the MLS vendor relationships, he said.

Constellation Software is an international provider of market-leading software and services to a select number of industries.

Its mission is “to acquire, manage and build market-leading software businesses that develop specialized, mission-critical software solutions to address the specific needs of our particular industries.”

With its global reach, it has over 30,000 customers operating in over 30 countries, employing 9,200 workers and generating consolidated annual revenues exceeding $1.6 billion.

Constellation Software Inc. details

  • Launched: 1995
  • Went public: 2006
  • 2014 revenue: $1.2 billion
  • No. of divisions: Six
  • Total number of companies: 250
  • Best-known company: Volaris Group, which provides software to transit agencies around the world.
  • Global presence breakdown: 60% U.S., 25% Europe, 15% Canada & Australia.

Sources: Constellation Software Inc. and Dexter Salna

Email Paul Hagey.