RE/MAX’s end-to-end real estate platform is centered around a new customer relationship management tool (CRM), and it is entering a beta testing phase imminently, with the first pieces of it trickling out to agents this summer, explained RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos on the company’s first-quarter earnings call this morning.
Contos said the platform, like all of the company’s tech offerings, will be free for RE/MAX agents to use. But he didn’t rule out someday down the road creating a premium version and charging for access.
The admission was prompted by an investor that asked Contos if product uptake, efficacy and pace of agent growth could impact offering the tech for free, or lead to RE/MAX seeking a way to monetize the platform.
“It’s a combination of all of those things as well as our comfort level in the marketplace as far as, do we want to offer a premium model of something or something of that nature,” Contos responded. “All of those things are up for consideration.”
Right now, Contos said the company’s commitment is to roll the platform out to agents for free.
“Our commitment to them is, we want to provide them some best in class tools in this tech space,” Contos said. “I believe we are fully capable of doing that.”
It’s not something that would be under consideration for 2019, Karri Callahan, RE/MAX’s chief financial officer said earlier on the call.
RE/MAX announced last year it would begin buildings its own end-to-end real estate platform to compete with similar offerings to come from competitors, on the heels of its acquisition of tech startup booj.
The company began alpha testing the new tech platform at its annual conference earlier this year, and gave Inman an exclusive preview of the forthcoming offerings, which included a CRM and consumer-facing websites and apps.
Alpha-testing started with a couple of hundred agents and is now being tested by well over 1,000. The early focus has been on specific workflows and Callahan said about 90-95 percent have rated the process easy to use.
In testing the platform, RE/MAX’s tech team has made real-time changes to the software to improve its overall usability, according to the earnings call.
The company will be rolling out beta testing to more than 3,000 agents in the coming weeks.
“Instead of having specific workflows, all of the parts will be connected together to give the user a little bit wider view of the system on a holistic basis,” Callahan said.
“Once its rolled out and we get past the beta phase, we’ll be continuously innovating on new features and really engaging our network of highly productive agents,” Callahan added. “It’s really been developed for them with a lot of their input and that will continue in the future.”
The aim of the platform is to improve agent efficiencies, according to Contos, who previously said the company’s goal was to be the best platform to market, as competitors such as Keller Williams and Compass work on building their own similar platforms.
“We’re really excited about this initial rollout starting this summer,” Contos said. “It’s predominately a CRM, but more than anything it’s an agent developed CRM.”
“I do believe that a good CRM gives the agents more time to do business with their customers as well as allows them to cultivate greater relationships with those customers in order to magnify that repeat and referral base that RE/MAX agents are known for,” Contos added.