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Inside Real Estate has acquired industry competitor BoomTown, company executives told Inman exclusively on Friday.
Financial terms were not disclosed for what can be considered the most significant proptech acquisition since Zillow purchased ShowingTime in 2021. The deal was finalized on Jan. 19, and the company name will remain Inside Real Estate (IRE).
The resulting company will boast 700 employees and a massive range of customers, spanning individual top producers to major franchise brands, many who at one time likely chose one company over the other.
IRE founder and CEO Joe Skousen and Grier Allen, co-founder and CEO of BoomTown, collectively agreed, in an interview with Inman, that the deal was a long time in the making despite formal talks happening for only a few months.
“We’re bringing these two industry leaders together, and we’re pumped about it,” Skousen said. “We’ve observed and respected each other for years, and it’s certainly not the first time I’ve thought these companies would make sense if together. The DNA of the companies really lines up.”
Allen said a number of companies have come calling over the years, but the fit was never quite comfortable until Inside Real Estate discussions started.
“After getting to know Joe and the team, this one clearly stood out to me,” he said.
Despite the current market dealing blows to a number of brokerages and the proptechs that support them, Allen said his company is on very solid ground, and the transaction’s timing was ideal.
“This was more or less an alignment of vision and strategy that led to this,” he said.
Skousen said the company’s No. 1 job has always been, and will be going forward, to be a technology partner to the real estate brokerage, team and agent. Technology and service have to combine to deliver that end result, he said.
“What was so attractive to us about BoomTown, what stood out to me for years, was that same shared [mindset],” Skousen said. “That’s the fundamental reason, the desire to create that end result.”
With the addition of BoomTown’s customer base, IRE will now serve more than 500,000 clients.
Salt Lake City-based IRE’s core business solution is kvCORE Platform, an enterprise-capable software that serves as the foundation for a multitude of sales, marketing and productivity products for the industry. It consists of website design and marketing, communications automation, listing marketing, transaction management, a back-office suite and a collection of value-add marketing tools, among other features.
The company’s most significant release of late is CORE Home, a proactive, integration-rich home information bridge between selling agents and their buyers meant to connect them throughout ownership and into their next transactions. The company calls it a “lifetime home ownership solution.”
IRE scooped up recruiting software company AmpStats in late October last year, echoing a trend in large proptechs wanting to compete in recruiting and retention. Chime and Lone Wolf announced products in the category last year too.
In 2020, IRE acquired the then-fledging CMA presentation solution, DashCMA. That product is now CORE Present, and an integral component of the company’s enterprise offering, enabling users to create creative, data-driven property evaluations to back sales pitches.
While individual agents can benefit from what IRE develops, the company’s last few quarters have been spent acquiring large brokerage accounts for enterprise white-labeling of its expansive suite of products. Among others, IRE signed RE/MAX, Royal LePage, The Keyes Company, Weichert, NextHome, JPAR, and at October’s eXp conference EXPCON, the two companies announced the Core HOME-powered 360 Home app.
The 2022 Inman Innovator Award winner for Best Technology BoomTown is known for its ability to help agents find and qualify new leads through its array of digital marketing provisions in both mobile and desktop environments. Like IRE, it scales products to serve individual agents, teams, brokerages and the enterprise.
Its Success Assurance program, made available to all agents in 2022, blends salaried account representatives with the software’s lead analysis algorithms to determine the quality of aspiring clients and help surface business from inactive contacts.
BoomTown purchased lead qualification concierge Real Contact in 2018 and back-office software company BrokerMint in 2021 to complete a “lead to close” ecosystem. The completed integration of BrokerMint was announced at Inman Connect Las Vegas in August 2022.
“This enhanced integration is closing the loop on the real estate transaction process, and fostering ‘clients-for-life’ for our customers by enabling offices to manage their client relationships from first click to close, and deliver more value at every step,” Allen said at the time.
Skousen told Inman he was also impressed by Allen’s vision for home ownership and “where that experience needs to go over the next few years.”
Both companies championing the idea of “clients for life” brings to light the glaring product redundancies the new company is going to face as its engineering teams come together under the same banner. The pair admitted a lot of that work lies ahead of them in that respect, but those decisions will not be made in a vacuum, they said.
“Taking customer feedback into consideration has been a part of BoomTown since we started innovating,” Allen said. “And we’ll keep them closely informed of the new enhancements in the months ahead.”
However, of the more immediate benefits they want to see is an evolved back-office, which will no doubt be given an ample amount of oxygen through BrokerMint’s integration.
“It’s time for this space to have a complete and modern back-office suite of solutions,” Skousen said. “There are some out there, but it now needs to be seamless with the front office experience, and be more than a cost center or a place where I manage transactions. It’s time for it to be a profit-center, and a retention center. We’re excited to pursue that vision together.”
Skousen said the company will also invest heavily in a marketplace and partner ecosystem.
“Brokerages and teams are feeling more pressure than ever to be efficient and profitable, and do that consistently, and have to deliver that value to their agents,” Skousen said. “Do I build around technology is no longer a question. The question is, ‘how do I make it a seamless part of my business?’ ”
Skousen will remain CEO of the company, Allen will be chief strategy officer and Nick Macey will serve as president.
Inside Real Estate was owned by private equity firm NexPhase Capital and sold in 2019 to Lovell Minnick Partners. In 2021, the company received a strategic financial investment from Genstar Capital.
BoomTown was founded in 2006 in Charleston, South Carolina, and will remain a company office, along with Carlsbad, California. The company is headquartered in Salt Lake City.
A public announcement will take place at Inman Connect New York on Tuesday, Jan. 24.