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BackAgent drives growth at Fathom Realty

When Fathom Realty launched in 2010, its mission was clear: bridge the gap between the traditional, full-service brokerage and the 100-percent commission models that were gaining in popularity at the time. For CEO Josh Harley, the solution came in the form of a full-service model that combined the training, technology and support of a traditional brand with commission-plan options that outshone anything else out there. How to pull off the seemingly impossible? With a technology-driven online brokerage model.

“Having brick-and-mortar locations is costly and eats up a huge percentage of a brokerage’s revenue,” explains Harley. “By eliminating this unnecessary cost, we are able to keep our costs low and pass those savings on to our agents in the form of low or no fees and awesome commission splits.”

Clearly, the plan is working. Today, Fathom is home to 2,400 agents operating in 19 states; according to Harley, the company continues to bring on more than 120 agents per month.

Key to the success of the Fathom Realty business model is a well-run technology engine. That’s why Harley launched with BackAgent as its transaction and agent management system from the get-go.

“BackAgent allowed us to centralize and streamline our business while significantly reducing our overall administrative costs,” explains Harley. “Having BackAgent has allowed us to grow at a rate that would have been extremely difficult and costly to do without.”

What’s more, says Harley, BackAgent helps Fathom keep a careful eye on compliance, allowing the team to easily review and approve or deny contracts, automate the commission disbursement forms and track commissions paid. The BackAgent system also helps manage the agent force and their licenses, and assists with setting up local meetings and events through a calendaring system.

“I recognize that we cannot build culture in a vacuum and understand the importance of bringing our agents together,” says Harley. “We bring our agents together for monthly training events, mastermind meetings, and good, old-fashioned fun. You do not need offices to accomplish that.”

BackAgent is also a critical tool for helping agents streamline and stay organized. “It allows our agents to easily upload their transactions, track important details as they move through the transaction workflow, and feel confident that they did not miss anything,” explains Harley.

While similar technology offerings continue to pop up on the real estate landscape, Harley feels that BackAgent is in a class of its own. “There are many transaction management companies available today, but BackAgent was one of the first, and I believe they are still the best,” he says. “Most companies provide pieces of what BackAgent provides, but I have not found one who provides everything we need to run our business the way BackAgent allows us to.”

Ultimately, this gives Fathom and its agents an important competitive edge. “BackAgent allows our agents to focus more of their time on serving their clients and less time on the paperwork. This equates to a higher level of service, more productivity and closings, and, therefore, happier agents. It’s good for our agents and great for our bottom line.”

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Patterson_Maria_60x60Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark