The goal of the tools, according to RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos, is to help agents scale their business by creating efficiencies, which in turn, allows the agent to help the consumer sharpen the edges of the transaction process. By consolidating the consumer and agent facing tools into one system, it improves the experience for the customer, overall.
“We believe technology in our space should be able to make good agents great and great agents amazing,” Contos said. “And we do that in order to help the agents scale and keep them from being distracted by some of the other stuff that we call disruption in the industry.”
RE/MAX’s search tools offer a number of new features, including in-person, live search that uses augmented reality. While walking through a neighborhood, consumers can open the app and view the neighborhood to see nearby listings with details about the property.
Consumers can also draw boundaries on their phone, through the consumer app to search specific areas. The app also features other functions like searching nearby homes or finding comparable homes. The app and website have all the functions of a modern search website, like local school information, weather, a mortgage calculator and other information on every listing.
Perhaps the biggest boost for both the agent and consumer is the connection between the website, app and RE/MAX’s new booj-powered platform.
Directly from the platform, which is branded to each individual agent, the consumer can communicate their favorite homes, hide others and add notes without leaving the app. The agent then gets notifications in the booj-powered customer relationship management tool (CRM) so they can respond directly in their own.
The agent will get key insights about that consumer delivered so they can create new searches based on their own local expertise and knowledge.
RE/MAX also envisions the platform as a powerful lead generation tool for agents. The sole goal isn’t to compete directly with listings platforms like Zillow and realtor.com, but it’s an added benefit, to have a slick consumer-facing website, in the hopes that consumers will find agents through the website.
Users of the app and website can find an agent directly through the contact agent links and they can also search and review agent profiles. Once they select an agent, they can view that agent’s specific branded app.
“The ability to brand the RE/MAX app is invaluable as it serves as a personal lead generator for agents and exceeds the consumer’s expectations of the value of a real estate agent by creating a platform where communication, scheduling, organization and task management are, in equal parts, controlled by the consumer and agent,” booj co-founder Ido Zucker said in a statement.
The team behind booj, the real estate tech startup that RE/MAX acquired in May 2018, built the platform with agent feedback. Angelica Olmsted, the RE/MAX project manger for booj, explained that the platform had to be flexible and meet the needs of all agents, rather than something out of a box, that wasn’t built with specific agent needs in mind.
“We heard the network,” Olmsted said. “We interviewed a lot of people, asked them what they liked, what they didn’t like and they gave us a lot of great feedback. We already had a tech platform but we were really able to customize it and create it for RE/MAX and it met the needs of all RE/MAX agents.”
Olmsted echoed some of Contos’ sentiments, saying the goal of the new website and app is to help the agents, who then, in turn, can better help consumers. To achieve that, the experience had to be seamless and transparent, Olmsted said.
“At the end of the day, the [customer experience] is the end goal,” Olmsted said. “If we can empower the agents and the broker-owners to have a good relationship and use technology to help facilitate their business and communicate with the customers, at the end of the day, the person that benefits is the customer and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”
The launch of the new website comes at a time when many of the nation’s top real estate brokerages and holding companies are doing the same. Realogy announced last week it was launching a new website and CRM, Keller Williams previewed a forthcoming consumer experience at Inman Connect and Compass launched a revamped website and search tools late last year.