Realogy has accelerated the development roadmap of its Social Ad Engine platform to launch new tools for agents at a time when many states are banning in-person real estate activity and making it more difficult to transact. The company is rolling out a number of tools and features that were still in the testing phase, or a few months down the road, for Social Ad Engine.
“We always had long term plans with Social Ad Engine to enable some things for agents that we knew would reach the right audience in a very unique way,” Christian Russo, the senior director of product management at Realogy, told Inman. “As with any product, it’s prioritization, it’s saying, okay, what’s gonna have the biggest impact and the most agents right now, given the circumstances we’re in.”
The company’s initial focus was to launch agent-branded campaigns for the platform, which autogenerates and disseminates advertising on social media platforms in minutes. Previously, the platform was only for advertising specific listings, but the company had been beta testing the ability for agents and brokers to run campaigns not tied to a listing.
With business for listings slowing in certain parts of the country due to COVID-19, the company opted to push the timeline for release up and get the updated platform to agents right away.
“We saw a need to rapidly get this out to our agents as quickly as possible so they can leverage that new functionality and reach their community and speak to their community in a more personal way than just promoting listings,” Russo said.
The company also moved up a few products that were a month or two out from being released, including video ads for listings and adding headshots in agent brand campaigns automatically.
“Enabling, video ads allow agents to do a one-time virtual tour, have a video of a home and load that up into Social Ad Engine so that they can promote it and do more with that listing than they would be able to otherwise,” Russo said. “We know this is on the roadmap, this is something we want to have maybe a month or two from now, let’s move it up and get this out as quickly as possible, because our agents are telling us this would be really impactful for their business right now.”
The company also has a number of things that are actively in development right now, including more and varied financial options to pay for shorter campaigns, brand-supported video content and monthly webinars.
Realogy, like many real estate holding companies, has made a significant investment in technology development, which is allowing many of these companies to be more nimble with their product roadmap. Compass, one of Realogy’s top competitors, for example, recently pushed up the release of its Compass Academy learning platform.
Chris Padilla, the vice president of product for Realogy, said the priority that the company gave tech, data and product in 2019, enhanced the company’s overall position to leverage its existing talent to change and react to the needs of the company’s agents.
“Realogy’s scale allows us to rapidly gather the necessary feedback to ensure we are enabling productivity during these challenging times,” Padilla said. “The work done with Social Ad Engine is a great example of how we observed a need in the marketplace, validated the need with customer feedback and quickly pivoted to deliver time-sensitive value.”
“By focusing on the market opportunities and hearing directly from our customer, we are able to prioritize all product development to ensure the biggest impact and value to our brokers and agents.”