nar reach

NAR REACH Panel Slings 8 New Products at REALTORS®

by Victor Lund on September 29, 2015

The NAR Reach program is interesting. It establishes a gateway where companies who wish to express their products and services to the REALTOR® family pay fees and often equity to the National Association of REALTORS®. Access Avenue is a loan finder product that is primarily aimed at helping Realtors introduce loan products to the investor community. As I went through the presentation, the first place I got stuck was the statement “Competitive rates as low as 7.99%.” The product shops property loans to institutional investors rather than traditional mortgage banks. I think that the product would be superior if it included traditional and investor backed funding sources. August SmartLock – My initial instincts are that a company offering a lock box solution will need to combat a lot of headwind against some excellent lock box providers like Sentrilock and Supra. Those companies offer great products already deployed in every market across the USA. However, when I watched the presentation, I learned that the August SmartLock is part of a smart home solution. When you are near the lock, it works with Bluetooth to open the door. When you are away from the home, you can manage entry and access via an app on your phone. Installation on a deadbolt takes about 10 minutes. Each unit costs $250. As a backup for the inevitable “technology failure” problem, as a backup, your existing keys still work. I am a gadget guy, so I may consider this for personal use, but not as a replacement for our current lockbox system. BoostUp – a product that helps consumers with down payment assistance by matching their down payment. The idea is that there is a structured savings plan that the agent provides to their buyer. As the buyer saves, the REALTOR® matches the savings by offering discounted commissions on the sale. Realtors can offset their discounts by getting service providers like the Brokerage, a lender, or a title company to contribute funds to the boost. The company offers a landing page where people seeking down payment matching can get started in the program. I am pretty neutral on this one. Guardllama – a personal security solution that offers a button on your keychain to call for help. It calls the police. Realtor security is an important issue today. The NAR PAG is addressing it. I am aware of this system. It’s kinda like “I have […]

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Product Overview of BombBomb for Real Estate VMail

by Victor Lund on August 28, 2013

BombBomb is a video mail program. You can record yourself talking on your computer or mobile device and send that recording as an email. It is a streaming email, so you are not sending a large file. Beyond vMail, BombBomb allows you to vLog or video blog. You can publish the recordings you make in newsletters, on your blog, website, or social media page. Suffice it to say, once the video is created, you can ship it anywhere. Using BombBomb for the first time was quick and easy. I entered a little bit of profile information and was off creating my first video within less than a minute. However, there are a few areas where I believe there could be improvement. The good news is that they are all very fixable. Suggestion 1: Don’t Change My Password – When I registered it asked me for my password. In the registration email confirmation, there was a password which was system generated that I did not set up. Suggestion 2. Promote the Mobile App – I feel like vMail is something that is more impactful and more efficient on mobile. I would rather talk into my phone than try to type – especially when I am on the go. None of the registration pages or confirmation emails mentioned anything about support for iPhone, Android, or Windows Mobile. Fixing this is a simple matter of dropping in some icons and linking those icons to the application stores. Suggestion 3. Contact Sync – Once I set up my account, I would expect to be taken directly to add contacts. They do support uploading a CSV file – but agents will not do that unless they have a burning desire to adopt vMail or vlogging. Even those that do will be constantly challenged to keep contact records in both places. As a company that consults with enterprise business, I would tell you that without Gmail Contact Sync and Microsoft Exchange Sync, it would not be licensed for all agents. Again, this is not heavy lifting for any skilled development team, so I would expect that BombBomb may be able to add this functionality inside of a month or two. My guess about the reason that they do not do contact sync is because they bill by the number of contacts you add, which I believe is a mistake. I would counsel them to bill on […]

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NAR REach Program Logo

For those of you who do not know, there is a derivative initiative of NAR’s Second Century Ventrures venture capital fund called REach. The REach program has a grand board of advisors, and a board of mentors. The program requests submissions from companies who are looking to enter the real estate industry. If selected, the REach programs provides support and advisory services to these businesses so that they hit the ground running with some industry awareness. Here are the top 6 BombBomb – Provides a complete e-mail and video marketing platform for developing, sending and tracking results of traditional and video e-mail campaigns from any device. Lumentus – Gives companies a measurable edge in identifying, understanding and engaging social media communities keeping social media communications on brand and on mission. Planwise – Offers a financial planning service that enables individuals to plan for major life events by simply and visually testing real-life scenarios. Reach150 – Provides a turnkey referral platform for service professionals to quickly build a positive reputation online. Updater – Provides a free service for anyone who is moving to easily forward mail, update accounts, transfer utilities, and sign up for home services in a single location. — Workface – Offers a unique, quick-to-deploy live chat (text, audio and video) software platform for real time one-on-one conversations at a customer’s moment of interest. It will be very interesting to track the progress of these companies over the next 12 months. As with all new NAR initiatives, there is always a draft of scuttlebutt and water cooler critics. I encourage people to belay judgement until they have been provided with time and opportunity to launch and tune the program. It is great that NAR is making an effort to support industry growth – an initiative that is clearly within the purview of a trade organization. Press Release: WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 26, 2013 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — REach(TM), an Accelerator program developed by Second Century Ventures (SCV), the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors(R) to introduce innovative technology companies to the real estate marketplace, today named six companies to join its 2013 class. SCV developed REach(TM) to offer technology startups premier access to the more than 1 million Realtors(R) driving the $1 trillion U.S. real estate market. The companies selected to join are BombBomb, Lumentus, Planwise, Reach150, Updater, and Workface. “After a careful selection process, we are honored to announce the six companies that […]

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