- RealScout, a collaborative search platform, now can help brokerages close more in-house deals by showing listing agents what coworkers have suitable buyers.
- It also now provides data that listing agents can use to help make the case for a price reduction to seller clients.
RealScout, a collaborative property search platform for agents and their clients, is the latest startup to automate the process. The goal is to help brokerages “close more in-house deals.”
“Traditionally, a listing agent will market listings internally by way of un-targeted marketing, e-flyers and weekly office meetings,” said RealScout CEO Andrew Flachner.
But with RealScout’s “BrokerIQ,” listing agents can view all agents within their brokerage who have potential buyers for their listing.
Agents provide RealScout to clients as a powerful search platform that offers lifestyle listing filters and a room-by-room listing comparison tool, among other features. Agents can see buyers’ search activity and set them up with email listing alerts.
The platform can collect a lot of data about a buyer, including the search preferences stated by both buyer and agent, their search history and property features they like or dislike.
BrokerIQ uses this data, along with a data feed from the local MLS, to match a brokerage’s buyers with in-house listings.
Listing agents who use RealScout see the names of coworkers with buyers that match each of their listings. They can then invite those buyer’s agents through a messaging system to show a listing to their buyers.
“During the whole process, the buyer’s information isn’t shared with the listing agent, so the buyer agent is always in control,” Flachner said.
This makes it easy for agents to promote in-house listings that are suitable for their clients, potentially increasing the share of transactions under which a brokerage earns commission on both sides of the deal (via a buyer’s agent and listing agent that both work at the brokerage).
“Every buyer-listing match is a transaction opportunity that routinely gets overlooked today,” Flachner said in a press release.
“RealScout is committed to uncovering opportunities like this for our brokerage customers, helping them better orchestrate their team, clients, and business.”
BrokerIQ is only available to RealScout’s brokerage clients, though agents can still sign up individually for its collaborative search platform.
Most brokerages can expect to pay $1,500 to $4,000 per month for RealScout, depending on listing volume. Subscriptions for individual agents range between $39 and $119 per month.
Other options and in-house debates
Buyside provides a similar buyer-listing matching service, but without the collaborative search platform. Brokerages also use Facebook groups and company-wide communication networks to incubate in-house deals.
Some agents are wary of offering preferential treatment to in-house listings, arguing that the practice puts a brokerage’s interests ahead of a client’s.
But Flachner argues RealScout isn’t suggesting that brokerages promote their listings over others. BrokerIQ simply empowers a brokerage’s listing agents to “better tap their own brokerage’s buyer pool.”
RealScout believes that “brokers and agents have the obligation to do whatever it takes to get the best deal for their clients,” Flachner said.
“Within this context, we think it’s crazy that brokerages don’t have the ability to present the lowest-hanging buyers (in this case, their own buyers) to their listing clients,” he added. “This should be the first, easiest part of the brokering process, that unquestionably benefits the seller.”
BrokerIQ also generates insights that listing agents can use to update a seller on interest in her home or in “helping with difficult situations such as negotiating price reductions with home sellers.”
It shows the number of buyers who have viewed or requested a showing for a listing while using RealScout, as well as how many buyers have liked or disliked specific features of a home, such as floor plan, kitchen, price and location.
BrokerIQ can also surface the number of buyers that RealScout has matched to a listing.
How it might work?
Flachner offered an example of how an agent could put such data to use:
“Hi seller, I did some research on RealScout BrokerIQ and found that if we lowered the price by 4 percent, we would immediately increase the number of buyers that are in-budget by 125,” a listing agent might tell a seller.
“Take a look at this chart [see below]. I’ll reach out to the buyer agents that represent those new buyers to make sure that they know the price was reduced, too.”
Making the case for a price reduction by citing BrokerIQ is “more scientific, feels less risky and demonstrates value of the agent and brokerage,” Flachner said.