J Kuper, the principal broker of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Texas, didn’t set out to become a software developer and vendor.
But after his dissatisfaction with new and legacy back-end brokerage software, he utilized Realogy’s open application programming interface [API] to build Brokerage Engine, which now boasts more than 45 Realogy-affiliated clients across the company’s entire portfolio of brands.
“We needed something that was modern in its approach, fast in its delivery and covered multiple disciplines,” Kuper told Inman, in a conversation about the technology platform.
“All the people that have put new stuff to the market, it doesn’t cover what’s needed in my opinion,” Kuper added. “And the legacy stuff doesn’t either.”
Kuper’s Brokerage Engine is a back-office management solution for real estate brokerages that includes accounting, commission schedule management, listing management, marketing management, compliance and task management tools.
It’s a web-based tool that bridges the gaps in a broker’s back office space, according to Kuper.
“We have used other solutions, but we really needed something that did more,” Kuper said. “[The other solutions] just weren’t meeting our needs as we were growing. So we set after the daunting task of creating a pretty big product, and now we’ve since started selling it to our friends, then it started getting past our friends. Now we’re fortunate to have several Realogy affiliates across multiple brands using the product today.”
Kuper explained that when he would detail a problem he needed solved to a technology vendor, there was always some nuance missing, because most technology vendors aren’t brokers by default.
He wanted something that, for example, could track marketing expenses in the field down to the individual agent level. On Brokerage Engine, when an agent puts down their credit card for marketing spend, that’s reflected directly in the accounting tools built into the platform.
Kuper built the platform on the open APIs provided by Realogy’s open architecture technology stack. An open architecture tech platform has public applications, so brokers within the Realogy system can build using those applications. APIs include Dash, the companies own back-office API, as well as data management and syndication tools.
“Realogy holds an insane amount of very important data that can come in the form of transactions, listing media or data,” Kuper said. “Their open API allows me to both access that data and make it available to brokers to use in different ways that they previously weren’t using. Or it allows them to use the interface we have at Brokerage Engine to do some really cool things at the push of a button and have all that feed automatically to Realogy essentially in real-time without having to do double entry.”
Data entry is one of the biggest pain points in the real estate industry, according to Kuper. So having Brokerage Engine built with Realogy’s data-based APIs is a boon to the entire system.
“This rapidly reduces or eliminates data entry points or multiple data entry points,” Kuper said. “Because of the speed of the technology, the speed of this API, it’s finally in a place where that’s a meaningful thing.”