Tech Bytes: News and moves in real estate tech
Wise Agent adopts AI, Realtor.com debuts insights tool, Opendoor partners with Lower, zavvie gets a boost, Georgia MLS signs on with CubiCasa.
Editor's note: Technology is a driving force in real estate. From startups to established players, tech companies are constantly innovating, growing and forging partnerships. Here we highlight some of the latest news about the companies that help power the industry.
Wise Agent embraces AI with new writing assistant
ChatGPT can't open a real estate lockbox or offer a warm handshake at a property showing. But the AI tool may very well hold the key to operational savings and efficiencies for agents and brokerages by writing listing descriptions, blog posts and more.
Wise Agent, the CRM software company, recently added a version of ChatGPT to its platform. Called the AI Writing Assistant, the software will help members "create high quality marketing content quick and easily," the company said.
Wise Agent members can access the new tool through the CRM's content library. By simply entering a prompt, the AI Writing Assistant can produce a text message, email for a drip campaign, and other types of marketing and lead generation content. The content can then be edited, used as-as or provide inspiration, giving time back to agents.
Realtor.com debuts insights tool
Agent platform updates launched by Realtor.com promise to give predictive insights into the shopping behaviors of potential buyers, according to Donna August, vice president for B2B marketing for the listings portal. Other new features include:
Information on potential buyers and their searches on Realtor.com.
Performance reports on individual property listings and recommendations for improving traffic and engagement.
Automated emails to sellers with updates about their listing that include information on home sales in their local market.
"The new enhanced listings intelligence in the listing manager of the dashboard will bring even more value to users," August said. "We are making these new features available to agents at no cost to help sustain and grow their business."
August noted that "hundreds of thousands" of agents already are using the Realtor Pro dashboard to manage their listings and their Realtor.com agent profile, access Realtor.com lead and marketing solutions, and get free tools and training.
Opendoor partners with digital lender
Pledging a "digital first" financing experience for buyers, Opendoor and the online mortgage company, Lower, will collaborate to offer access to lending products through the real estate company's portal.
Mortgage services at Lower will be included on Opendoor through an application interface. Opendoor piloted the program with Lower last year before making the partnership official.
The digital match indeed seems like it was made in heaven for the two proptech companies. Opendoor said that scaling up an in-house mortgage service is too costly and complex to do on its own.
Opendoor customers will have access to a suite of mortgage products, including VA and FHA loans. Heather Harmon, who heads Opendoor Finance, says a goal is to make home lending "a much more pleasant experience."
"We believe the demand will be high for this product as a new, easily implemented offering for companies," said Chelsea Wagner, vice president at Lower.
Zavvie is on a zipline with investors
A startup that offers customized "marketplaces" for the real estate industry has attracted more than $3.5 million in private funding. Called zavvie, the Colorado-based company is bringing in more dollars from incubator investors, including Second Century Ventures.
The company also announced that Tyler Thompson, managing partner at Second Century Ventures, has joined its board of directors.
Zavvie emphasizes digital transactions such as power buying through cash offers and modern bridge solutions that enable consumers to buy before homes before they sell existing properties.
The interest in zavvie underscores the demand by consumers for online solutions for buying and selling homes, according to the company. The new funds include $1.5 million in cash and $2.15 million in convertibles, the company said.
CubiCasa partners with Georgia MLS
CubiCasa — a software company that creates floor plans for appraisers and other real estate professionals — had found a new partner in Georgia MLS, the company announced earlier this month. CubiCasa said that Georgia MLS, one of the country's largest MLSs, will be able to tap its digitized property information to disseminate to agents and brokers.
CubiCasa also provides free floor plans for users of its app, which scans properties. Users also have access to the CubiCasa directory of real estate photographers who register with the company.
"We're thrilled to be working with such a technology-forward partner to deliver more property data to our customers and ultimately serve them better," said Richard Boone, CEO of Georgia MLS. "The CubiCasa app has the power to expand access to property information and provide homebuyers and real estate professionals alike with more value in the homebuying process."