Realm, a company that bills itself as a global luxury real estate collective and technology platform, has lined up a number of high profile partners in recent months as it prepares for a wide launch in the first months of 2020.
Julie Faupel, Realm’s CEO, told Inman that since bursting onto the scene in April the company has teamed up with Gary Gold of Hilton and Hyland, as well as with Ann Abernethy, an agent with Slifer Smith and Frampton in Aspen, Colorado. Gold and Abernethy are keeping their day jobs while also serving as founding partners in Realm.
Additionally, Brennan Buckley has joined Realm a founding partner. Buckley left his role as president of Home Service’s of America’s Iowa Realty for the Realm gig.
Other agents who have partnered with Realm include Chris Richardson, president of a self-named real estate company that operates in California, and Ruth Kennedy Sudduth, a principal at luxury New England brokerage Land Vest.
Adding all of these agents as partners represents something of a coup for Realm, which is designed to match luxury buyers, properties and agents across the globe.
“You just don’t get more iconic in real estate than Gary Gold,” Faupel said, referring to the agent who sold the Playboy Mansion in 2016 and who this year was involved in the record-setting sale of L.A.’s Chartwell mansion.
In a conversation with Inman, Abernethy said that she was drawn to Realm because she saw it as “a game changing technology.” She explained that in the past she has had clients who want to sell their high-end homes without a lot of publicity. Finding buyers for such properties was always a challenge, but Realm should help address that need by connecting them across a network of similarly well-funded people.
“Julie Faupel is brilliant and can do anything and it take somebody like her to create a game changing disruptive approach in the real estate business,” Abernethy added. “And she has done that with Realm.”
Realm will charge members either $5,000 per year or $500 a month. For that price, members get access to a database that currently includes information on 3 million high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals, Faupel explained. Using lifestyle tags and other features, Realm’s algorithms can then match buyers, sellers and properties from around the globe.
The pitch is that the system will give luxury-oriented agents access to a larger buyer and seller pool, while also fostering connections between real estate pros. Faupel also said that Realm is “very hands on” and pairs members with a concierge that can personally assist them.
“It’s all about making the relationship the center point of the transaction,” Faupel said.
“It’s aligning trusted advisor to trusted advisor,” Buckley added.
Realm is currently in a beta testing stage and a small group of high-profile agents have already begun to use it in listing presentations. Buckley told Inman that the response to the testing has been positive, with agents successfully using the system to tag properties and connect them to a potential buyer pool in real time.
“It’s amazing to see and agent or client’s eyes light up as you bring their property into Realm,” he added.
The service should become more widely available in the first quarter of 2020.
In the meantime, however, the company has a waiting list for would-be members. Buckley said that there has been significant interest from both brokerages as well as agents from Compass, Berkshire Hathaway, Sotheby’s, Coldwell Banker and others. Roughly 75 potential brokerage or C-level executives have communicated with Realm so far, Buckley added, though a number of additional individual agents have also reached out about signing up.
Real estate developers have also reached out about participating, according to Faupel, who added that during the first year “we don’t anticipate having many more than 1,000 members.”
In addition to scoring partnerships with high profile agents, Realm also this month struck a deal with Sandow Publishing, which produces Luxe Magazine. As a result, clients of Realm members can be paired with Sandow content; if the system’s algorithm thinks that an article might appeal to a particular high net worth client, for example, that individual’s agent can click a button and send the content directly to him or her.
Buckley said that the partnership with Sandow ultimately further enhances Realm’s mission of helping luxury real estate agents better serve their clients.
“It reenforces the idea that my trusted advisor knows me and knows what I’m interested in,” he explained, “and provides a more meaningful interaction.”
Updates and correction: This post was updated after publication with addition comments from Abernethy, who is with Slifer Smith and Frampton. Buckley is also a founding partner at Realm. This post originally misstated his role.
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