Tech Bytes
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Tech Bytes: News from Second City Ventures, RentSpree, more 

REACH members named; RentSpree partners with ABOR; Listing Media Services expands; Evocalize adds channels; SkySlope launches app; zavvie hires product leader.

April 12, 2023
6 minutes

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. 

Second Century Ventures announces 2023 REACH accelerator program cohort 

Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors, has accepted seven companies to the 2023 REACH program.

REACH, launched in 2013, is a unique technology scale-up program created by Second Century Ventures, the most active global fund in real estate technology.

The technology growth program is designed to help tech companies launch into the real estate vertical and its adjacent markets. The program provides education, mentorship and market exposure to one of the world's largest industries.

The companies selected this year "represent some of the most promising and innovative solutions in the real estate technology space," said Dave Garland, managing partner, Second Century Ventures. "By supporting and investing in innovative small businesses through the REACH program, we can ensure that Realtors have access to the latest and most effective tools and technologies, enabling them to better serve their clients and stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry." 

The seven companies accepted to the 2023 REACH are:

  • Flock: Offers a seamless and tax-deferred exit from rental property using the 721 Exchange.

  • HighNote: A drag-and-drop presentation and proposal platform to help agents pitch and sell listings, offers, neighborhoods and themselves.

  • Plus Platform: An asset management and trading platform for residential mortgages.

  • Prisidio: a digital vault to capture and securely share your information with key people.

  • Real Grader: Measures, manages and maximizes digital reputation for real estate professionals across search, social media and real estate platforms.  

  • Summer: Simplifies finding, buying, designing and monetizing a vacation or investment home through a non-fractional approach.

  • Tongo: Private card-based product for agents to draw against pending commissions ahead of closing, and only repay when they get paid.

RentSpree partners with Austin Board of Realtors to automate rental applications

Rental management software provider RentSpree has partnered with the Austin Board of Realtor and its MLS, the Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service, to provide access to its tools to member agents.

The more than 20,000 members of the MLS will now be able to instantly automate the rental process during listings.

"Over half of Austin households are renter-occupied, and our region's rental market is just as fast-paced and in-demand as residential home sales at large," said Emily Chenevert, CEO of ABoR and ACTRIS MLS. "It's imperative that the agents we serve have the tools needed to work smarter, not harder, and provide a seamless experience for their rental clients. RentSpree is that tool for us."

"Our mission is to be an ally, partner and supporter to progressive MLSs such as ACTRIS," said Michael Lucarelli, RentSpree co-founder and CEO. "RentSpree's MLS integration makes it easy for agents to opt in for an automated rental process during listing input. That ensures that all ACTRIS subscribers can easily access the service without ever leaving the platform."

ShowingTime+ photography service enters new markets

Listing Media Services, the ShowingTime+ digital photography service, is now available in  seven new markets.

Austin, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Sacramento and Sarasota are the latest cities with access to the service, which lets agents schedule a professional photographer with on-demand booking. 

In addition to listing photos, the service offers interactive floor plans and virtual tours, and recently added "virtual twilight photos" in response to agent feedback.

Listing Media Services and the other tools included in ShowingTime+ are part of Zillow's effort to create an agent "super app" that can help agents navigate all aspects of a home purchase or sale. It's currently available in 20 markets.

Evocalize expands digital marketing tools across all Google applications

Collaborative marketing platform Evocalize can now be used in more channels including Google Display Network and YouTube.

The expansion allows Evocalize users to reach 800 million active users across all of Google's applications.

This new addition enables franchisees and local operators to launch multi-channel local marketing programs over Google Search, Google Display Network, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, all via Evocalize's platform.

"Adding these new channels to our offering is a huge win for franchisees," says Matthew Marx, CEO of Evocalize. "Now, they'll be able to expand their reach even further with our product, without adding any additional work for them. "

Evocalize's EVOLVE technology uses advanced machine learning algorithms to target customers based on interests, behavior and browsing history, and then serve up ads that are integrated with their audience's personalized content feeds on YouTube, Gmail and other Google applications through its Collaborative Marketing Platform.

SkySlope releases mobile app to let agents manage transactions from anywhere

Transaction management provider SkySlope has launched its new iPhone app for SkySlope Forms, making it simple for agents to to prepare and manage forms and keep deals moving forward — even while agents are on the go.

"We live in a world where mobile solutions are critical to our agents' success," says SkySlope CEO Tyler Smith. "With agents' work locations becoming more flexible, the Forms app allows them to evolve their workflow and take their work anywhere."

SkySlope Forms includes libraries licensed to SkySlope by Realtor associations and MLSs. Every form is mapped with editable fields that can be adjusted by agents directly in the app.

The app allows agents to keep transactions up to date, organized and moving forward. Using the app, agents can edit transactions at a moment's notice without having to return to the office.

Founded in 2011, SkySlope serves over 650,000 real estate professionals and manages almost 3 million transactions annually. 

Zavvie grows team with product manager

Software technology company zavvie has hired a new leader to oversee its power buyer program.

Marc Kaplan is the company's new Product Offering manager and will drive the development and growth of zavvie's power buyer offerings, including cash offer and modern bridge services, which help homeowners purchase a new home before selling their current one.

Kaplan previously worked at HomeLight where he helped introduce power buyer solutions to mortgage lenders.

zavvie's focus on power buying comes at a time when limited inventory and high prices have made home purchases more challenging for buyers. CEO Lane Hornung said that makes zavvie's offerings all the more valuable: "Right now, Power Buying may be the hottest area for real estate brokerages to help their agents win new business, with more opportunities for buyers and sellers than ever before."

"Marc is uniquely qualified to help us accelerate our reach," Hornung added.

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