Industry

Friday Flash: Market Leader CRM, mobile only, and Kenny G

Author
Brian Boero
No.
819
Please excuse the mess. This page is currently under construction.

Market Leader launched a broker version of its CRM application. The company has previously focused on agents, teams and small brokerage shops, so this is a notable shift.

There are some good CRM/lead management systems out there, but given the idiosyncratic nature of the brokerage beast (and real estate software vendors’ understandable unwillingness to execute customizations) it’s good to see more options.

This Market Leader product lets brokers see which agents are acting on leads (e.g., by setting them up with email alerts, or a drip campaign) and which are asleep at the switch. It also presents a nice visualization of the conversion funnel that ties activity to dollar figures.

I like these things.

The look of this product, however, is… well, let’s say “retro”. I suppose brokers and agents have become desensitized to fugly software, but, man, I’d like to see more progress here. A big open door for new entrants.

Thanks to retargeting, products we view online stalk us across the internet. If I check out a shirt on Nordstrom.com, that sucker’s going to be staring back at me from other sites for a while, hoping there’s a sometime that’s the right time. Ads from Zillow and Trulia follow me across the web too, and even into Facebook. Soon they will follow me to Twitter.

Why aren’t homes following me?

If I am a brokerage, I know most consumers are going to hit Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, my MLS’s public site and perhaps others along with mine. But it is mine where I really want the conversion. So why am I not showing listings a user views on my site to them on other, non-real estate sites? Or new listings like the ones that user viewed on my site?

Yeah, IDX. I know. But let’s assume I’m a big broker playing with my own listings.

What I am missing here?

In the last week, I’ve looked at two really good real estate software apps built not only mobile first, but mobile only.

I can’t talk about them yet, but it made me think that while consumers’ digital real estate experience has clearly tipped to mobile, most agents still live in a desktop software world.

This makes no sense. The smartphone finds perhaps no better practicality than in the hands of a real estate professional.

Big opportunity.

In 1997, the coolest thing going in real estate technology was “virtual tours” done with fisheye lenses. It was clunky (think plugins, long load times) and the companies that did this (Ipix, Bamboo, etc.), mostly went away.

Which is too bad, because there was something there.

For the past decade, a “virtual tour” has come to mean stitched together (read: blurred) photos locked into an interminable zoom in/zoom out pattern and set to something like the Muzak version of Kenny G’s Greatest Hits.

Craptastic.

We are now beginning to emerge from this hell to a point where we can glimpse the future of real virtual tours.

Floored hit the scene earlier this year with a great application for truly immersive, 3-D tours created with the magical Oculus Rift headset.

Another company in this vein emerged at TechCrunch Disrupt this week, InsideMaps. Their twist, though, is allowing users to drop furniture into the space they’re touring to get a preview of what it looks like when they move in. The results aren’t as mindblowing as Floored’s, but users can create tours themselves using an iPad or iPhone.

Cool stuff I hope we’ll see more of.

Enjoy the weekend.