The nation’s largest real estate holding company partnered with Austin-based startup OJO to build a CRM and consumer-facing website that fits into its open-architecture tech ecosystem.
Realogy announced Tuesday it’s launching a proprietary customer relationship management (CRM) tool and new consumer and agent-facing listing websites dubbed “the productivity hub” through a partnership with the Austin-based real estate tech startup OJO Labs.
The new tools, which will be available to agents at both the company-owned brokerage and franchisees, are designed to fit within the company’s open-architecture tech ecosystem and with its other proprietary tools.
“Realogy’s productivity hub is our realization of our open eco-system that delivers upon the benefit of both Realogy’s scale and enables brand differentiation as well as broker and agent choice,” Chris Padilla, the vice president of product for Realogy Franchise Group, said in a statement.
On the agent-facing CRM, the company’s affiliated agents can see where their leads are coming from and manage their robust client lists, as well as managing communications with all contacts.
Agents can share a collection of listings available through the IDX-powered websites, with individual clients, that are viewable directly through the revamped consumer-facing websites. Agents and consumers can chat through the CRM and the conversations and save for later reference. Agents can also add multiple contacts to a collection, schedule showings within the CRM on each individual listing collection and tag consumers with things like, “first-time homebuyer.”
The company began with a holistic view of its tech roadmap last year and in the same year re-shuffled its leadership group to create a new product and innovation group.
Realogy began bolstering its tech offerings last year, delivering its Agent X voice assistant tool, revamped learning platform and social advertising engine, all of which will fit into the productivity hub. The company’s biggest focus, according to Dave Gordon, executive vice president and chief technology officer, is on offering its agents great propriety products, but also flexibility.
“We are hooking all of these products together via an API framework, which is rolled out now within Realogy at the enterprise level, which allows us to hook all our products together in an integrated way, but also connect other third-party products, whether it be other third-party CRMs or whatever the case may be,” Gordon told Inman. “If agents chose other products besides ours, some of them do, we’ll be able to connect them within the environment, so it creates that openness.”
The new CRM and web solution is the first step in Realogy’s technology roadmap to deliver a more comprehensive platform experience full of proprietary solutions, in the vein of what competitors like RE/MAX, Keller Williams and Compass are hoping to achieve.
“We’re hyper-focused, not only on the evolution of CRM and web, but also delivering upon a reimagined lead management and routing experience as well as transaction management and bringing those offerings across our affiliate base in our franchise network as well as our operating and owned area,” Padilla said.
But at the same time, Realogy is aware that driving agent adoption is difficult and despite their products being ostensibly free — they’re included in franchise fees — there will be agents or brokers that won’t make the switch, hence the open-architecture approach.
“We know from our experience and the breadth of Realogy’s scale, that one size does not fit all and that we know if we offer a product that is competitive in the space and 80-90 percent of the population of our network, we also need to enable choice for our agents or brokers,” Padilla said.
Realogy’s new offering was built in partnership with OJO Labs, an Austin-based real estate startup. Realogy has participated in multiple financing rounds of the startup.
“The real win is bringing together simple products that are consumer-focused and appreciate the role and the needs of agents,” John Berkowitz, the CEO and co-founder of OJO Labs told Inman. “That’s the beautiful thing about combining this across OJO, who is hardcore tech and consumer-centric, and Realogy, whose whole job is to enable agents and brokers.
The partnership between the two, up to this point, had been arming Realogy agents with OJO Labs’ AI-powered virtual assistant in more than 40 markets — which will someday down the road be incorporated into the new website and CRM — but after OJO Labs acquired RealSavvy, a maker of IDX websites and mobile apps, the fit for this product became natural.
RealSavvy, focused on building a product that emphasized usability, value creation and simplicity to create mass adoption. Chris Heller, the chief real estate officer at OJO Labs, explained that many companies are trying to fill every agent want and ultimately failing at that task.
“In the simplest form, if we can help agents build new relationships and deepen the relationships they already have, that’s probably the most valuable thing we can do,” Heller said.
The new CRM is currently in the pilot phase with Coldwell Banker and will soon be piloted with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and ERA Real Estate.