florida realtors

It’s real estate tech’s best sleeper story of super success. Tech Helpline, created and owned by Florida Realtors, is the real estate industry’s number one tech support service. By a county mile. I will bet you can’t even name who is ranked number two. Or three, or four, or any of their direct competitors for that matter. I can’t, and I am a consultant for them. Where else in real estate tech or proptech can you make that claim?  Where does a real estate related tech firm dominates a category so profoundly? Tech Helpline is currently available to nearly half the Realtors in North America – more than 600,000 in the U.S. and Canada. You can meet some of its staff in person at NAR Midyear, Booth 818. But take a look at the maps below to get a perspective on its massive physical reach.   So why has this story not been told more broadly? Is the story not sexy enough? Tech Helpline has flown mostly under the radar perhaps because the media sees it as too boring. They keep doing the same thing again and again. The same way. While they are doing it better, it’s not because they are improving their technology as much as they are increasing the skills of their people. How do you write about that? It’s easy to write about a tech product that adds an Artificial Intelligence feature as a cutting-edge improvement. That’s sexy. But how do you make the fact that Tech Helpline’s team, including its staff of professional tech analysts, with almost 300 years of combined IT experience, helps agents fix printers that won’t print contracts, smartphones that won’t text clients, and laptops that crashed and won’t start up? That’s pretty boring, right? Counter-argument: Tech Helpline is super-model sexy if you think of it from an agent’s or broker’s point-of-view. A shiny object doesn’t make their car payment or pay down their mortgage. Tech Helpline saves their bacon. Keeps them producing, gets them back to doing what they do best: making sales, closing transactions. Tech Helpline is a godsend for so many agents who are about to close a contract or run to a closing, but a piece of their tech fails. If agents didn’t have Tech Helpline to reach out to and save the day, they would be stuck and so would some of their transactions. Customer service ratings […]

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3 Takeaways From The Florida Realtors Convention

by Kevin Hawkins on September 14, 2016

In Orlando, Florida, the energy was electric, the attendance was impressive (several thousand) and the headliner was Jay Leno. Florida Realtors marked their 100th anniversary with a bash that will be long remembered, a hallmark salute to the accomplishments of one of the largest and most enduring state trade associations in America. For me, it was a return trip to a convention I knew well, having been an architect of a major sponsorship by my one time employer, Great Western Bank, many decades ago. The quick trip I took from Seattle to Orlando was well worth the investment, and it brought a flash flood of memories: the convention at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, the UM marching band opening the Trade Expo, with the Hurricane Cheerleaders adding their spirit. Great Western was doing private, by invitation only, viewings of its new free video, “Understanding the Home Loan Process.” There was a line for no-shows. Fast-forward to this year’s Florida Realtors confab. Same high energy, many of the same types of exhibitors, helping to illustrate the saying that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Here are my three takeaways from their 100th Celebration: Takeaway #1- Technology is making things good – and bad: The Trade Expo was free to anyone who could make their way to the Rosen Single Creek Resort (an awful name for a hotel by the way; a nice space, but a pretty mundane property by Orlando standards). The big bonus was the free offsite parking with a frequent shuttle service in air condition buses. That was really good. The technology at the Expo illustrates industry trends. Rebecca Silva Realtor in Cape Coral showcased its Realtor-built technology; both its Transaction Management solution – Form Simplicity (great new website, by the way) – and sister company Tech Helpline. Both had prime booth space in the main hallway right outside the main registration area, giving it non-stop traffic. Form Simplicity also hosted some hands-on training and their sessions were pretty packed, illustrating the thirst agents have for what has become a must-have versus a should-have. Tech Helpline had their own Apple-type Genius Bar open at their booth, and I watch their support advisors dive in to fix issues agents had, as well as teach them how to avoid problems in the future. That was probably the best thing I saw at the show. Zillow has a lot […]

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The state REALTOR Association of Florida, Florida REALTORS is among the most successful and innovative Associations in America. Real Estate Industry Solutions, a Florida REALTORS wholly owned for-profit company, has launched two products that are nationally recognized for their outstanding success at improving the effectiveness of REALTORS, TechHelpline and MLSAdvantage. Their formssimplicity product is currently embroiled in litigation it brought against their former vendor, Instanet. Instanet launched a website about the case called Transparency Is Good. It is a painful case. Today, Associations and MLSs around the country are keeping a watchful eye on the REIS case. Litigation in business is part of life, and real estate sees its healthy share. However, this case is unique because the court just added Florida REALTORS to a case involving REIS, a wholly owned for-profit corporation whose only shareholder is Florida REALTORS. There is one key issue in this case that may jeopardize similar for-profit and non-profit companies found nationwide.

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