BackAgent transitions to real estate powerhouse
Shaking up the real estate technology space as we know it, software leaders Propertybase, Boston Logic and BackAgent recently announced a new unified Propertybase product that simplifies the entire process of acquiring, nurturing and closing real estate transactions.
“Our team has been hard at work for over a year to bring this new brand and unified platform to market,” says Vance Loiselle, Propertybase CEO. “Our recent acquisition of BackAgent just adds to what was already going to be an unrivaled set of innovations.”
In this exclusive interview, the team at BackAgent discusses how joining forces will position them to become the leading global provider of technology for real estate professionals.
Real Estate magazine: How did BackAgent’s foundation push the digital revolution in real estate?
Ryan Missman, Director, Engineering: When talking about the real estate industry’s digital revolution, an obvious early concept was the transition from paper to digital files. Taking this one step further, the digital revolution now extends beyond files that are merely digital to those that are available in the cloud.
Frankly, anyone can make a system that allows you to type in text about a real estate deal, link to an MLS listing and upload any number of forms and call it transaction management. In fact, it seems that every time we look up there’s a new transaction management system available. And while many have attempted to create systems on their own, there’s nothing really unique here, as it’s not true innovation.
BackAgent was created with embedded business intelligence from day one. The system guides the transaction lifecycle, predictively suggesting the next steps for agents, which helps make closings easier—especially for the broker.
Melissa Davis, Director, Client Service: We pioneered the concept of structured compliance and dynamic requirements per transaction in order to remove guesswork and create efficiency. BackAgent transactions provide the correct document requirements, actions and client communication points as agents complete a simple question-and-answer workflow. Additionally, critical dates are automatically added to calendars, giving everyone in the brokerage full visibility.
In the end, fast, efficient closings help the broker attract and retain more talent. Nothing spreads faster in the agent community than an operation that’s slow on the disbursement side.
RE: What makes BackAgent different from other back-office tools that are available on the market today?
Scott Schafer, Managing Director: When brokers use other transaction management systems, big holes remain in the full back-office tech stack. Brokers are left to look elsewhere for solutions that include components such as agent on-boarding, event registration, training and resource scheduling, and inter/intra-office communication. BackAgent allows brokers to serve their entire agent base—when they’re working a transaction and when they’re not.
The print and vendor marketplace is another unique avenue where brokerage-approved partners and vendors can showcase their products and services. This creates revenue-generating opportunities for offices to sell ads and sponsorships, as well as offer incentives to agents using the system.
MD: The biggest difference with BackAgent is our approach to client on-boarding. New clients, large and small, often tell me that the process feels like a personalized consultation session. They feel as though we truly care about their operations and aren’t out to just get their head count on our platform.
We don’t start with making clients learn the mechanics of the admin and operating interfaces, nor do we worry about getting all the agents on-boarded and trained.
Instead, the on-boarding process begins with addressing the transaction workflow. What do you want to happen at each stage of the deal? What information and forms are necessary? What happens when the answer to a question triggers a whole new set of questions? Getting this right and reflective in the system makes agent on-boarding a breeze. As they work their first deal, the intuitiveness of the platform does the training.
The output for the broker is a predictable and compliant review process.
RE: You recently joined forces with Propertybase and Boston Logic to provide a new unified product that simplifies the process of acquiring, nurturing and closing real estate transactions. What was the ultimate motivation behind this decision to join forces?
SS: To take the BackAgent platform to the next level. The acquisition fast-forwards us on our roadmap to where we always wanted to be. We lead the industry in our ability to streamline transactions, and the unified product offering seriously enhances the acquiring and nurturing components for agents and teams with the most powerful real estate CRM and world-class IDX websites.
RE: What does the unification mean for the product? What are the benefits for real estate professionals?
SS: Brokerages large and small now have a complete range of systems that can seamlessly work together, providing ready-to-go technology that covers all the bases.
The new pillars of the Propertybase platform put all brokerage assets in one place and include:
- Fully configurable real estate websites with embedded themes and intelligent SEO
- A smart, goal-driven real estate CRM with lead routing, portal syndication and fully integrated IDX data
- A modern marketing center that engages customers with proprietary mass email and drip campaign functionality, brandable templates and Quicksend emails that are easy to automate and track
- Configurable dashboard and reporting engine to provide meaningful insights across the entire organization
- A platform that’s powered by the most scalable and secure cloud in the industry, which can support many variants of team, brokerage and franchise organizations and business models
RE: How is this move to join forces going to shake up the real estate technology space?
Vance Loiselle: Many real estate tech companies are talking about future innovations and business models. We’re delivering that innovation today, so our customers can focus on empowering agents and driving long-term business success.
SS: There are several other operations claiming to offer the holy grail of real estate tech—a complete lead-to-close solution. What’s motivating these companies to deliver this? Is it to truly deliver an excellent experience and empower the industry to operate better? What are they doing with all that data? We aren’t owned by a lead-generation company or financial institution, so our clients’ data remains private and secure.
RE: How will BackAgent by Propertybase continue to push the envelope for real estate professionals and tech companies?
RM: Now that we have the full support of a world-class business operations team, we’ll be exclusively focused on our product and making it sing like never before.
MD: Customer service will continue to evolve and grow.
SS: For us, it’s all about merging the skillsets of the real estate professional with the right technology. At the end of the day, we pride ourselves on providing customers with the most intelligent tools to grow their business. As we look to 2019 and beyond, it’s going to be an exciting time for the real estate industry, and we’ve positioned ourselves to be a leader in this space as we head toward the future.
For more information, please visit www.backagent.com.