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making_connectionsIn a traditional off-line real estate transaction, an agent usually acts as a communication hub among the multiple parties involved. XomeSM, which launched in June 2015, was created to make agents’ daily lives easier by facilitating communication and building smart workflows and apps that allow them to focus on higher-value activities, like fostering strong relationships with customers.

“Xome aims to make the real estate transaction experience more transparent and less complex for both real estate professionals and consumers,” says Xome CEO Kal Raman. “We estimate that an agent will facilitate between 20 – 40 interactions with as many as seven different parties during the transaction. That’s a lot of phone calls and emails.”

Today, Xome is the only real estate platform that focuses on a complete consumer and agent experience, going beyond the agent-selection phase of online residential real estate to provide a true one-stop shop for buying or selling any home in the U.S.

“We also know that agents have been sold a lot of technology solutions in the past. At Xome, we believe in a pay-for-performance model with agents; if we don’t perform, agents shouldn’t have to pay,” Raman says. “Since launch, over 14,000 agents have signed up for the Xome Agent Network. When agents realize they are being handed qualified referrals without having to pay up front, it doesn’t take much convincing to get them to sign up.”

Once agents use the tools and receive referrals, they become the company’s biggest recruiting asset.

The Benefit to Agents
Raman shares that by meeting the future generation of homebuyers where they already spend a majority of their time—online—Xome reduces the effort and cost of customer acquisition for real estate agents who join the Xome Agent Network.

“Xome helps funnel interested buyers and sellers to Xome Agents to allow them to take on more high-value volume without wasting time on individuals uninterested in transacting,” he says. “Xome also gives agents the tools needed to take their business into the digital age and improve the speed and convenience of the transaction process. Our tools help make agents more productive by digitally integrating the major parts of the real estate transaction that an agent would normally have to arrange off-line and in a manual manner.”

Allison Cornia, Xome’s senior vice president of Marketing, notes that for agents, Xome offers software and tools designed to make them more productive and remove some of the heavy lifting involved in real estate transactions. Xome also offers agents growth and revenue opportunities through the Xome Agent Network.

“For consumers, they get increased transparency and visibility to the entire real estate transaction process, access to real-time transaction status, 1 percent or greater savings, and a 24/7 concierge to help facilitate,” she says.

Launched by Pros
Xome, formerly known as Solutionstar, was formed about three years ago to provide solutions to residential mortgage servicers and lenders throughout the entire loan lifecycle. The company grew very rapidly through acquisition and organic growth.

“In 2013, we introduced to address the market’s growing need for alternative methods of real estate liquidation,” Cornia says. “In May 2014, we acquired Real Estate Digital, a leading provider of real estate technology, data, and media services to brokerages and agents.”

Raman, a leading technology executive who worked at Groupon, eBay, and Amazon, joined the company in the fall of 2014 as CEO.

“As the company began to integrate these disparate parts of the real estate transaction process, it became clear that an opportunity existed to provide an end-to-end platform to the different constituencies in the real estate ecosystem,” Raman says.

The Xome website and app were launched in June 2015, creating the first truly integrated digital real estate platform to connect every major touch point in the home-buying and -selling process, from finding or listing a home all the way through closing.

Making It Mobile
This month, at the annual National Association of REALTORS® Conference in San Diego, Xome will be launching Xome Pro, an agent-focused mobile app designed to facilitate the agent’s duties in the real estate transaction process. At press time, this product was being piloted with several large brokerage firms.

Agents will be able to use the app to share property listings and schedule tours with their clients; create, review, and accept offers; schedule property inspections; order title and settlement services; deposit earnest money; and complete the close process all from the mobile app.

“Xome Pro allows them to manage their client base, integrate leads from Zillow, communicate with in-app messaging to their clients, and facilitate the sharing of documents with all parties to the transaction,” Raman says. “For an agent, it’s essentially a client relationship manager and a transaction manager all in one app, and the agent is able to customize the app with their branding.”

At Your Beck and Call
The Xome Concierge is a 24/7 service that allows users instant access to concierge staff via chat, email or phone. With Xome Concierge, users can take control by asking questions about any part of the once daunting process and Xome’s experts will always point them in the right direction.

“The Xome Concierge is a key ingredient to differentiating the customer experience,” Raman says. “Homebuying and selling are the most expensive and personal transactions a consumer will make in their life, and having a resource to reach out to, no matter what time of day, is key to having consumers feel empowered in the process.”

Agents get the benefit of using Xome Concierge and are able to leverage them as a virtual assistant to help with their Xome transactions.

Looking Ahead
According to Raman, the company’s near-term focus is to bring more consumers and agents on board, get their feedback and adjust the Xome experience as necessary.

“Our priority is building a base of happy, satisfied customers who want to evangelize this ‘new school’ way of buying and selling a home,” he says. “We also want to continue to build a strong base of partner agents who are as committed to giving the consumer a great buying and selling experience as we are, and to help those agents build their business. We will continue to develop innovative applications and solutions that help improve the real estate experience for all parties.”

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