The way technology has evolved our day-to-day capabilities are, without question, a difference between night and day.
Now more than ever, we're empowered to think outside of the box and expand our comfort zones to do, say and try new things. It's only every once in a while where the people that are doing and trying those new things can actually create something worth sharing.
RESAAS is doing just that - creating something worth sharing... all in real time.
(It was nice to not have to leave the office to interview a real estate tech company for our 'RESAAS Talks Tech' series, here's my interview with RESAAS...)
Me: Who are you?
Danielle: I'm Danielle Sissons.
Danielle's the VP of Operations at RESAAS, a business-to-business communication platform tailored to real estate agents.
The company's name forms an acronym - Real Estate Software as a Service. Though, you could argue that RESAAS is offering more than just a "service" - they're offering a much needed solution for the real estate industry.
Danielle: At the root, RESAAS is a platform where real agents create an account to network, communicate, form business connections and most importantly, generate referral business. But, what we offer to our users and clients now has evolved into much more than our initial roots.
The original idea was simple - to create a platform where real estate agents could grow their own network.
Danielle: The idea itself formed after realizing that unless an internal communication system was put into place within brokerages and firms, agents to agent communication was a bit discombobulated. They would rely on emails and phone calls solely but that was for agents who already knew each other. What we wanted to do was create a unified space where any real estate could logon and suddenly connect with hundred of thousands of agents that they would otherwise never have known existed.
Me: How many RESAAS users are there now?
Danielle: Today, we have about 400,000 users on the platform.
Me: How was RESAAS able to acquire users to a relatively unknown platform?
Danielle: We had existing relationships within the industry. We also acquired users through large marketing campaigns to drive traffic to sign up. In addition to digital advertising, we focused on direct sales and word-of-mouth spreading throughout the real estate community.
It wasn't before long that founders - Tom Rossiter (President), Cory Brandolini (CEO) and Cam Shippit (CFO) - knew that they could evolve RESAAS to meet a rising need.
Danielle: We started to develop a solution based on some feedback we had received from MLSs and franchises in the U.S.
But, before we jump into details of the solution, let's explain the issue:
In white hot markets like San Francisco, listings sell fast, often with multiple offers over the asking price. In this situation, many properties change hands before the listings ever hit the MLS. Pre-market transactions are hard to track and measure, and can lead to a large percentages of sales not being recorded in the MLS records. This results in incomplete sales data, making the Comparative Market Analysis (CMAs or "comps") inaccurate.
Now, back to the solution...
Danielle: Knowing this, we developed RealTimeMLS - a software that would be able to give MLS's all transactional data regardless of if the property sold before hitting the MLS or after.
After careful planning, RESAAS decided to present their solution to one of the largest and most progressive MLS's in the U.S - the San Francisco of Association of Realtors® or SFAR for short.
Danielle: They [SFAR] saw the potential - that was almost two years ago. Since then, we've been able to build the solution and provide it to four more large MLS's.
In addition to the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, RESAAS is now working with the Miami Association of REALTORS®, Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR), East Bay Regional Data® (EBRD) and the San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR).
Just last week news hit that the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® and East Bay Regional Data® are sharing their pre-market listings via the solution provided by RESAAS. (You can read the news release here).
Outside of the RealTimeMLS product, RESAAS still keeps their initial vision of a platform where real estate agents can network and generate more business.
Danielle: We created a solution for franchises to help facilitate a place where referrals can be send and received, manage communications amongst their entire franchise and share resources and training materials. RE/MAX was our first large franchise client.
Me: It sounds like there's been a lot of head way to break into the industry. I'm sure RESAAS hasn't been able to do it with just yourself?
Danielle: Definitely not. When I started with RESAAS we were a team of only 10. Mostly developers, the founders and myself. Now RESAAS has grown to over 30 software engineers, creative marketers, account managers and a remote sales team operating out of the U.S.
Needless to say, the confines of a small office in Gastown just wouldn't do. The company recently made the move to 401 West Georgia, along side some of the most progressive tech companies drawing more attention to Vancouver's growing tech scene.
Me: So, a recent move to a new office and a few new clients - what's next for RESAAS?
Danielle: We just launched a new cool solution for brokers - BrokerOS. The solution will allow brokers to communicate with their team, recruit new talent and share resources, all in one place. We're also always continuing to build the RESAAS Marketplace and partner with more companies to offer our users exclusive discounts.
The RESAAS Marketplace is just another added bonus of signing up for a RESAAS account.
Agents and now brokers looking to purchase industry tools can do so within the marketplace.
Danielle: These are tools that agents are using every day. We wanted to create one place where our users could go to benefit from these discounts. Whether an agent is looking for marketing tools to schedule social media posts, rent a car or declutter a client's home before a showing, they can access the Marketplace and receive discounts from companies we've partnered with.
From an agent and broker platform to a solution for pre-market listings and a new office space, RESAAS is showing no signs of slowing down.
It'll be interesting to see what new solution they'll come up with next to meet the desired needs of the real estate industry.
If you're a tech company providing a new, innovative solution for the real estate industry, we'd like to hear from you!