Oh my…. It is the battle of the big franchises to create end-to-end internal solutions for their agents, and both RE/MAX and KW are already claiming victory.
- This is in the US and both are global brands. What I do notice is that few franchise CRM platforms actually seem to work in other countries (with the exception of Hartcourts H1 perhaps?). Most rely on local vendors to do the job for a more local solution.
- There seems to be a sudden tech race the last 1–2 years. AI, big data and end-to-end solutions is the new kool-aid.
- Local vendor solutions (like Entegral’s) still works great as they compete in an open market at economies of scale. If your product sucks, people won’t buy or use it. This drives innovation and in many cases these solutions are superior to ‘inbred’ systems. I’ve seen many expensive attempts over the past 15 years. Many also start off on a great foot but then stagnate over time and turn into legacy systems as you need a clever team and enough money to drive it forward.
- Inbred systems does however provide comfort in terms of data ownership, potential lower cost and having full control over customization to facilitate the unique selling points of that real estate business. What I do see is that it seems to work better with well funded technology 1st real estate companies like Redfin that models their business around their tech and makes it the primary driving mechanism for efficiency. This shows by way of Redin sales per agent stats. Others like Compass are also making noise but I’ve only seen an expensive illuminated for sale board so far ;)
Needless to say these 2 companies are successful global brands and the tech battle is on to compete with new startups, other franchises and now portals, most notably Zillow who made this profound statement last week:
…We are at a transformative time at ZG the world is finally ready for the seamless real estate transaction and no Company has better positioned to deliver…
They referred to their iBuyer platform. But Zillow also made over $100 million extra on their premier program in 2018 which helps drive eyeballs to their website to make the iBuyer work:
Portals are taking more of the agent’s commission and getting closer to the transaction. Zillow also bought a mortgage company and their investment in the iBuyer model perhaps posses the biggest threat to traditional real estate yet (at least in the USA).
Others have joined in on the tech platform race, but there is a lot more PR from KW through a very (over?) confident CEO, Gary Keller. Who will win the real estate tech platform race?
BTW check out our Base CRM system that now offers Google Apps integration (for automatic leads import and calendar sync) and works in any country. A new Base API will also be released soon that offers custom integrations.