- Houston brokerage Real recently moved its headquarters to New York.
- Real currently has 500 agents working remotley in 14 states across the country.
- The brokerage just announced $6 million in funding.
In what can be described as the “Uber-ization” of real estate, Real, a Houston brokerage, is setting up shop in New York — but the forward-thinking broker is doing everything remotely.
Despite its name, Real co-founder and CEO Tamir Poleg is adamant that his company isn’t just a real estate business.
“In a traditional brokerage, about 50 percent of their expenses go into real estate,” he said. “By not having that in every specific location, but being able to leverage technology in order to scale, we can save a lot of costs.”
Real has more than 500 agents representing the company remotely across 14 states. “We are a technology company,” Poleh said before revealing that Real’s investors are venture capitalists and technology investors. The company recently announced $6 million in funding.
The digital office
Real was originally based out of Houston, but as the firm grew (which it did quickly in its two years), Poleg could not deny the advantages of being surrounded by billboards and the people who make them work.
“At some point we realized that if we wanted a powerful marketing team, New York has a lot of talent to offer,” he said. “I think this was probably the main reason for us to choose New York as our new base.”
Real has real estate licenses in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, New York, Florida, Washington D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, Georgia, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
Through Real’s software, agents are essentially always in their own office. They can order business cards through the platform, chat with sellers and buyers and are provided with a personalized website hosted by Real.
Poleg has mapped out the direction he wishes to take Real, and that road leads to the agent. By providing a platform for agents to communicate with each other, Real is able to rely on itself for internal support — something he says is one of the software’s most popular tools.
A different view of brokers
“At the end of the day, we think that by solving a lot of small problems they have, we can improve both their productivity and performance and life quality,” Poleg said.
Again referencing the traditional brokerage mindset that the consumer is the client, he asked “Why not treat the agent as the client?”
Servicing the agent’s needs isn’t always easy, but Real passes on its lack of overhead expenses through 15 percent commissions and no annual fees. Again, similar to the “only get paid while you drive” model from Uber: if you want it, go get it.
This is also what is driving Poleg to push Real to be one of the biggest brokerages in the country (although with 500 agents currently, he’s going to need some serious marketing to top the 100,000-plus agents of Keller Williams).
“If you build it correctly from the technology point of view, and the agents understand that you get a great service, then we don’t have to spend a lot of money to provide a good service,” he said.