The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and its investment arm, Second Century Ventures (SCV), have long recognized the growing need for innovation in the real estate industry—particularly now as real estate is making a comeback and consumers have never been so sophisticated or had so much information at their fingertips. NAR and SCV launched REach™, a technology accelerator program, this year to help real estate agents stay a step ahead and provide their clients the best possible service, and to offer technology companies premier access to the more than 1 million REALTORS® driving the U.S. real estate market.
After receiving more than 130 applications from technology companies last January, REach™ selected six companies to charter the first class this spring. The companies were selected after a comprehensive review of their business models, their ability to execute their business plans and potential to penetrate both the real estate and other industries.
Announced in late March, the REach™ Class of 2013 is comprised of six innovative technology companies with products or services that can benefit both REALTORS® and the real estate industry. They include:
• BombBomb: Provides a complete email and video marketing platform for developing, sending and tracking results of traditional and video email 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.
Companies recently met with more than 30 REach™ advisors and mentors at NAR’s headquarters in Chicago as part of the education and mentorship program each class receives. There, the companies received an intense overview on the real estate industry, advice and best practices for connecting with REALTORS® and consumers, and a chance to network with some of the most influential real estate and technology leaders in Chicago.
While some traditional accelerator programs are only three months in length, the REach™ program was designed to offer companies nine months in order to provide the greatest opportunities to develop targeted products or services to best meet the needs of the industry and introduce those solutions to the marketplace. REach™ participants will receive additional exposure throughout 2013 as they participate in various industry events and meet with some of the most influential people in the real estate industry. Companies will have high visibility when they are introduced at the Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo this month in Washington, D.C., where they will be exhibiting and conducting demos throughout the Expo, as well as at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo this November in San Francisco.
For more information, visit www.secondcenturyventures.com.