Every time our team at The Close attends a real estate conference, the topic of the economy is a silent, uninvited guest. And at Inman Connect in New York this January, that low-key attendee had everyone wondering if a transitioning market will slow down the emergence of real estate tech companies in 2023. The answer? Not even close.
The latest and most disruptive real estate tech companies were on display in the famous Start-Up Alley portion of the expo floor. The Close team was there to investigate all of them, separating the hype from “holy sh*t, that’s cool.”
Here are our favorites:
The Close’s Top 5 New Real Estate Tech Companies to Watch Out for in 2023
|Real Estate Tech Company||What They Offer|
|Agently||A virtual real estate coach that provides real, actionable advice|
|Final Offer||A platform that dramatically increases the quality of offers, benefiting both buyers and sellers|
|North 7th||A services marketplace similar to Fiverr, but specifically designed for real estate professionals|
|ReUp||An innovative way for sellers to improve their properties before selling in order to get a better price|
|Rocket Rewards||A new program from Rocket Mortgage that gamifies the home loan process (saving money in the process)|
Agently is a real estate tech company harnessing the momentum of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence to launch what I would consider the first real, worthy-of-conversation, virtual real estate coach. When you log in to the Agently interface, you’re not met with a static dashboard or repetitive list of things to do, like you’d find in other customer relationship managers (CRMs). Instead, you see a customized list of tasks selected by Agently based on your current successes, shortfalls, and opportunities.
Agently isn’t offering static, unilateral advice day to day, and that’s a good thing.
Why Agently Is on Our List of Real Estate Tech Companies to Watch
Agently offers virtual coaching and direction in just about every area of your real estate business. From marketing to lead generation and nurturing to referral creation, this platform offers some really exciting options for agents looking for personalized help without paying Tom Ferry prices.
And there are some very compelling team and brokerage features that allow leaders to check in on individual contributors to understand their progress against Agently’s advice.
Agently is on our list because they are, without a doubt, the most interesting player in the virtual coaching space right now. I’d venture to say that they might be the most interesting company in all of real estate coaching, which is a pretty big deal.
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2. Final Offer
Savvy real estate professionals know that when it comes to writing or accepting a real estate offer, it’s more than just a discussion about a single number. There’s often a range of prices involved that would be acceptable to both parties, as well as the value of terms like closing time frames, possession, the inclusion of furniture and appliances, and more.
Real estate tech company Final Offer created a platform that brings together all of these different elements, showing buyers and sellers what matters to one another through an absolutely gorgeous and easy-to-use interface. Better yet, it makes the job of advising your buyers and sellers on making or accepting offers so much easier.
Why Final Offer Is on Our List of Real Estate Tech Companies to Watch
Final Offer came up with a better way for buyers and sellers to communicate what’s important to them when it comes to the purchase and sale of a home.
And, maybe most interestingly, they’ve created a feature called the “Final Offer Price.” Here, a seller can select a price that, were it offered to them, they’d automatically accept. Think of this as the “Buy It Now” button on eBay, but instead of used sneakers, you’re securing your dream home.
This real estate tech platform is all about transparency and prioritization. With Final Offer, you don’t have to guess at what’s important to the other party, which makes negotiating easy and more efficient.
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3. North 7th
North 7th is a real estate tech company that is solving the industry’s freelance problem. Never heard of this issue? I bet you have—you just haven’t heard it described as such. Let me break it down:
Do you ever find yourself needing enough help with your real estate business that you’d be willing to hire someone for very specific tasks, say, just to touch up your photos, write your listing descriptions, or load data into the MLS? Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire only for the things you need?
Of course you have, and that’s why companies like Fiverr exist. But, if you’ve ever used those marketplaces, you know almost no one there is trained specifically to handle real estate business-specific tasks. Until now.
Why North 7th Is on Our List of Real Estate Tech Companies to Watch
North 7th is a part of our roundup of real estate tech companies to watch for three reasons:
- They seem to have a good understanding of the specific needs that real estate professionals have—needs that more generic platforms aren’t meeting.
- They have a bunch of really great resources live and available right now, including Courdoroy (a transaction management platform), Pixlmob (a digital editing platform), and N7 Media (a full-on content company that will take photos of your listings, do video, and more—currently only available in South Carolina).
- They are working on launching a full-spectrum marketplace that will cover just about every need a real estate professional could have.
I like this company because it allows users to quickly and easily scale up and down in terms of how much freelance help they want with the confidence that their specific needs will be met.
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I’ll be honest—when I approached the ReUp booth in Startup Alley at Inman Connect this year, I was skeptical. I’ve heard this pitch before: Sell your listings for more by doing the needed renovations before it hits the market. We’ll supply the cash to make it happen, then take half the profit after the sale closes.
The problem with this pitch is that there’s simply no accounting for taste. No matter how charming your choices are, it’s a one-in-a-million shot that a buyer is going to love every renovation decision you make. And that’s where ReUp is different.
Focusing only on projects that can be done in 30 days or less (think flooring, countertops, backsplashes, painting, etc.), ReUp follows the pitch above, but pauses work at about 80% completion. Then, they let the buyer choose the final touches (colors, finishes, patterns, etc.). This means the renovation you’re doing will match exactly what your buyer wants, giving you a full 100% return on your renovation investment.
Why ReUp Is on Our List of Real Estate Tech Companies to Watch
ReUp isn’t doing anything revolutionary; they’re just making common-sense business decisions and using a slick and easy-to-use platform to do it.
It’s true that ReUp isn’t a fit for everyone. If you don’t have any 30-day-or-less projects that could force some appreciation in your listings, this isn’t much help. But for the rest of us (the majority of us, I’d wager), this is a 3x win: The seller gets more money for their home, the buyer gets a home with the finishes of their choice, and the agent makes more in commission.
5. Rocket Rewards
I know what you’re thinking; How in the world is Rocket Mortgage considered a real estate tech company, let alone a top five to watch?!
Well, to put it simply, I was pitched, and it was a good one. Good enough that I want to share it with you. (Full disclosure: Rocket Mortgage is not paying for this—they don’t even know I’m including them in this roundup.) Here’s what I heard:
Getting a mortgage, in a lot of ways, sucks. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and unreliable. In the last 10 years or so, the remedy to these problems was almost always the same: Go with someone local. A local mortgage officer will know your community, the agents who work there, and the typical timelines for business. But doing so means you miss out on the benefits of scale, something Rocket Mortgage is now leaning into.
Buyers who use Rocket Mortgage get access to Rocket Rewards, a surprisingly fun and easy-to-use digital platform that gives users a ton of different ways to save real money at the closing table, all for doing things they likely are already doing. Here’s how it works:
Why Rocket Rewards Is on Our List of Real Estate Tech Companies to Watch
Rocket Mortgage is on our list of real estate tech companies because, in short, they have a platform that can help a lot of buyers. And for better or worse, not a lot of agents know about it. It’s true, Rocket Mortgage doesn’t have the best reputation in our industry. In fact, there were years when they were downright embarrassing.
But the fact is, I’ve been watching this company turn the ship for the last year or so: bringing on a bunch of locally based regional loan officers, rolling out programs like Rocket Rewards, and generally improving the consumer experience, click by click.
I’d venture to say that if you wrote off Rocket Mortgage as an unreliable provider for your clients years ago, it might be time to give them a second look.
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Were you at Inman Connect New York this year? Which real estate tech companies were you intrigued by? Tell us in the comments below. Also, if you have a suggestion for a tech company that wasn’t at the conference you think we should check out, let us know!