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Fello, a hybrid iBuyer, keeps sellers engaged and agents front and center: Tech Review

Admittedly, Fello is somewhat hard to summarize, but know above all else, it is agent-centric and technology-driven. No one is getting left out of the deal here, especially the consumer
A new way to sell your home

Fello layers a direct-to-seller cash offer model over agent-integrated services, which collectively rest on a sophisticated data modeling solution for home valuations.

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Fello is a homeselling solution integrating traditional sales with an iBuyer model.

Platforms: Browser; mobile-first
Ideal for: All agents, teams and brokers

Top selling points:

  • Cash-offer lead-gen
  • Engaging consumer experience
  • Highly intricate home valuation modeling
  • Deeply integrates partner agents
  • Email engagement campaigns

Top concern:

They’ll have to overcome the stigmas of “iBuying” to gain traction among rank-and-file agents. However, in the end, that sector may not be Fello’s most productive audience.

What you should know

Fello layers a direct-to-seller cash offer model over agent-integrated services, which collectively rest on a sophisticated data modeling solution for home valuations. This is technology and boots-on-the-ground agent expertise melded into something new that provides agents with leads, nurture campaigns and smart consumer calls-to-action.

Admittedly, Fello is somewhat hard to summarize, but know above all else, it is agent-forward and technology-driven. No one is getting left out of the deal here, especially the consumer.

Fello believes the consumer deserves options but doesn’t in any way leave the agent off the list when acting on that belief. In fact, whereas Federa lazily dangles a “free listing” service as a carrot to upsell into its flat-fee agent offering, Fello commits impressive internal resources to provide its leads and its agent partners highly enriched property analyses.

This is a company that takes as much pride in building its own backend systems, drinking its own poison so to speak, as it does in building agent-facing tools and resources.

We spent the first half of our demo examining what it uses to monitor its own tools’ success. Every property that enters its system is internally tracked for evaluation accuracy, which involves multiple national real estate data providers, public sources and four of its own modeling algorithms. It’s awesome to see, but it’s clearly meant for the eyes of the data junkie, or in Fello’s case, its product head, who, based on our discussion, lives for this stuff.

Fello Connect is the agent-facing experience, the instant-offer request feed that sorts who’s looking to sell and how they want to do it. A consumer entering their home’s data can choose to sell it to Fello directly, traditionally with a partner agent or not at all. Any agent can choose to sign up with Fello, which was co-founded by a high-producing Keller Williams team lead in Ohio. Of course, he’s now mostly focused on his software startup.

Agents see the date each person submitted listing information, its location, and an expected final sale price range with the Fello offer. Agents can send the offer or use the integrated calendar tool to arrange an in-person visit. They can dive into each address to review a mapped breakdown of comps and metrics used to arrive at the offer price.

The software shows agents people who are “ready to list,” as well as direct referrals from Fello, meaning an unrepresented seller came into the system, and Fello’s “find an agent” module assigned you the lead.

Agents can quickly review a Fello offer and review all related costs in a content card with collapsible data fields that tell more of the home’s story. But the meat of the plot, the price, is displayed right up front, where most people like it to be.

The Engage feature is Fello’s included email outreach engine that enrolls your database into a stream of provided, or agent-edited, content. The first of which is the initial home value breakdown, aimed at pulling the lead into the system with consistent news about their home’s value and the market powers that impact it.

My initial concern was how Fello would reconcile its lead sourcing and follow-up activities with an agent’s existing CRM. Having lead activity tracked separately, and thus becoming redundant, is a poor business practice.

Before I could share my cynicism, the Fello team shared how it will integrate with existing CRMs in the same way any other lead sources do. A new seller lead alert will enter the system, tagged accordingly.

Fello will also accept existing databases into its Engage tool, cleaning it up to verify addresses and in essence, placing your entire database into its offer ecosystem. If any contact’s address is not present, Fello will deliver emails to encourage them to update the record and thus, hopefully, re-connect an older lead.

The seller’s dashboard is a sharp, visual breakdown of offer information and comparisons between selling outright and using an agent. It does a solid, consistent job of keeping the user engaged with their home’s value.

Also, if agents who happen to share some contacts become Fello partner agents, the company handles lead ownership according to who files first.

The email engine is straightforward, and Fello will be adding editing capabilities as it goes. For now, it’s a text-based, minimalist drafting experience, which is long-proven to be a more effective method for ensuring email marketing success.

Fello also has a staff of professionals designed to help with initial questions, agent and seller onboarding, walkthrough scheduling and other non-licensed issues.

Know that Fello was designed fully mobile-first, and the parity between the two experiences should leave little up for concern.

For a product that’s been “live” for only a couple of months, it comes across as something in a much later version, as if it’s already had a year of updates and user input. This, again, is an example of the freedom given to, and leadership taken by, Fello’s product manager.

In fact, I encourage all agents in the process of examining technology products to look into how this is addressed by potential tech-stack partners. Who’s handling the interface between executive management and engineering, and how well do they interpret what the user wants and needs? These can be business-defining decisions, and few companies do it really well.

Fello is certainly one of them. And as a result, a company that deserves the 500 agents already using it, a number I expect to grow pretty quickly.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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