Agent lead tool Agentology raised $12 million in a funding round made public Tuesday.
“We’ve had a lot of success with what we’re doing. We’ve clearly struck a nerve with the product-market fit,” co-founder David Tal told Inman in an interview. “We thought it’d be taken well but we’ve been flooded for business. We realized the more and more we’re growing, the more and more we can leverage technology to enhance the experience for agents and consumers.”
The venture firm Defy.vc led the round, and the firm’s co-founder Trae Vassallo will join Agentology’s board of directors. Vassallo is a prominent venture capitalist known for her years at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (and her connection to Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination lawsuit against that mammoth Silicon Valley firm).
With the influx of funding, Agentology plans to continue a hiring spree for engineers, product teams and designers. The company is hiring “ahead of demand,” Tal said, staffing up the concierge teams who respond to leads as well. The company hopes to up its response times and offer more services for some of the larger real estate teams that sign up for the service.
Along with the funding news, Agentology announced a marketing agreement with the franchisor Realogy, promoting Agentology to the 192,000 agents across Realogy’s brands, which include Coldwell Banker, ERA Real Estate, Better Homes and Gardens and Century 21.
Agentology screens online buyer and seller leads for agents and then helps agents milk leads for all they’re worth by squeezing referral fees out of the leads they don’t want.
The system syncs lead sources like Zillow or an agent’s website and customer relationship management tools to screen all incoming leads. A response team working for Agentology will then contact those leads on behalf of the agent and ask basic screening questions.
The agent then takes over if the online lead makes the cut, and if they end up not wanting the lead, they can click “refer,” which sends the lead back into the Agentology system and pays the agent a 25 percent referral fee on any deal that closes from that lead. Agentology always tells the agent why a lead was rejected, like if the person who reached out online already had an agent, didn’t respond or wasn’t interested in speaking with the agent.
Agentology has about 2,000 accounts signed up, but that means more than 2,000 agents since some of those accounts belong to teams of agents. Many of the agents who sign up are top-producing agents who have a wealth of online leads to sort through.
The service ends up costing agents between $4 and $6 per lead, Agentology told Inman this past June. About two-thirds of online leads make it through the Agentology vetting process, the company said.
“We invest in authentic entrepreneurs solving problems they understand better than anyone else,” Vassallo said in a statement about her decision to invest through Defy.vc. “David and his team understand the real estate market and agents and they also know that connection and empathy with the customer really matters. Rather than automate the human experience out of the system, they are using technology to increase agent productivity for a better customer experience.”
The $12 million will be the most funding Agentology has brought on to date, arriving less than a year after its last funding round. The company launched with a $4.5 million round of seed funding.
Tal attributed the rapid growth to venture capital’s interest in real estate tech startups right now.
“We weren’t expecting to raise this money this quick,” Tal said. “We were going to raise later this quarter or even in Q3. We just got a lot of interest because it’s a space that seems to be heating up and that VCs are trying to crack.”
Defy.vc has also invested in the smart home tech company Nest.