Tech Bytes: News from REcolorado, Earnnest, FBS, CoreLogic
REcolorado adds listings to Alexa, partners with SkySlope; Global MLS integrates earnest money service; FBS adds Local Logic tech; CoreLogic app hits 1M users.
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.
REcolorado improves home-search accessibility, begins development of 'Offer Insights'
Colorado's largest MLS recently announced two new partnerships: One will make its listings more accessible to visually impaired homebuyers, and the other will help agents complete real estate forms.
REcolorado, which powers more than 75% of the state's residential real estate transactions, has embraced voice technology in partnership with Lundy.
Agents and buyers can now use Amazon's Alexa products to search for REcolorado listings by adding the "skill" to their device or mobile app. Lundy worked with REcolorado to analyze listing attributes and create short listing descriptions, which home shoppers or agents can search via Alexa using voice prompts like "Find homes for sales near me," or by requesting for-sale info on a neighborhood or address. Users can also filter by price, bedrooms and other features.
"We believe home search should be accessible to all," said REcolorado President and CEO Gene Millman. "When Lundy presented a way to make the home search process easier and more accessible we wanted to take action and address this issue for our large population of visually impaired individuals in Colorado," Millman added.
"This alliance with REcolorado is an example of the proactive role MLSs are taking to address difficult, pressing issues like fair housing and accessibility, particularly for the visually impaired population," said Justin Lundy, co-founder and CEO of Lundy, Inc. "Our technology, with the data provided by REcolorado, revolutionizes ADA accessibility of data by accommodating consumer search obstacles such as being able to access information through voice commands while multi-tasking or driving."
REcolorado has also teamed up with real estate transaction manager SkySlope to co-develop a product called Offer Insights which aims to facilitate the completion of real estate forms.
The new product will streamline the paperwork process and boost compliance by "delivering market-aware suggestions to agents, using real-time data to signal when any information entered on a form falls above or below accepted industry standards," the companies explained in a news release.
Offer Insights — true to its name — will also give agents local market insights.
"When co-developing Offer Insights, we wanted to improve compliance, but we also wanted to provide REcolorado subscribers with essential market visibility," said SkySlope CEO Tyler Smith. "Agents who use it will have access to beneficial information that's not available anywhere else," Smith added.
"This strategic partnership will develop a service that keeps our subscribers' needs squarely in focus," said Millman. "These types of collaborations are essential to creating innovations that will give agents a competitive advantage as the industry shifts."
Earnnest locks in deal with Global MLS
Global MLS, based in Albany, NY, is partnering with Earnnest to facilitate earnest money transactions for homebuyers and real estate professionals in its region. The deal marks the third MLS integration for the digital earnest money service.
Earnnest's service, which is free for real estate agents and escrow holders, allows homebuyers to electronically deposit funds directly into an escrow holder's account, eliminating the need for paper checks and in-person deliveries.
Al Picchi, VP of Global MLS and president of Howard Hanna's New York District, said "Earnnest has been a partner to Howard Hanna, so I am excited about this integration for Howard Hanna agents in Upstate New York, as well as all agents who utilize Global MLS," adding that the collaboration "enhances the real estate transaction process, making it more efficient and secure for all parties involved."
Since its foundation in 2017, Earnnest has completed more than 300,000 transactions cumulatively worth about $2 billion, the company noted in a news release.
FBS adds Local Logic technology to Flexmls
MLS technology company FBS is adding more neighborhood data into its Flexmls platform via a new partnership with Local Logic.
FBS will integrate Local Logic's location intelligence and neighborhood insight platform into the mobile version of its Flexmls platform. A desktop version will be launched soon, according to a news release, and the new capabilities will initially be available to members of Florida-based BeachesMLS and California Regional MLS.
The integration will incorporate more comprehensive demographic, lifestyle, transportation, education, and amenity data into the MLS's active listings.
"The Local Logic integration is the latest example of FBS' ongoing promise of greater data-depth and more choices for commonly used products within the Flexmls platform to enhance the MLS, the real estate professional, and the consumer experience," said Tyler Decker, director of product management at FBS.
CoreLogic's MLS-Touch app hits a new milestone
Property data company CoreLogic announced that MLS-Touch, a real estate app, surpassed 1 million users in September.
The user milestone came within 18 months of the app's launch. MLS-Touch compiles information on a variety of data points, including listings, client activities, property and neighborhood intelligence, automated valuation models and flood zone analysis, into a single source.
The app can be customized to meet the needs of individual MLSs by incorporating local market data and is integrated with other CoreLogic products including its OneHome client collaboration platform and Prospects CRM. MLS-Touch comes with the company's Matrix MLS platform but can also be used by non-Matrix accounts.
MLS-Touch users include members of Florida-based Stellar MLS, the third-largest MLS in the U.S. In a release, Stellar MLS CEO Merri Jo Cowen said MLS-Touch "dramatically improves agent efficiency and daily workflow."