The Hub is Your Communications Center

Moxi Works Hub: Brokerage IntranetA brokerage intranet is the glue that keeps everything together and the filing cabinet that keeps it all sorted. They increase efficiency, boost productivity, reduce information overload, enable true mobility, and drive engagement.

Moxi Works Hub is the ultimate brokerage intranet. With over 1.5 million agent sessions, brokerages use it as a center for announcements, multi-media, documents; the one stop shop for all of their communications.

Search

Quickly find the agents, staff, documents, and client presentations with one search box. That’s right, through keywords, Hub is able to pull up all the relevant information from the agent’s search. No more time wasted searching for something you could find in ten seconds. Sounds like a productivity booster!

Documents library

Every document within your brokerage is organized within the hub and is searchable in one central location. Set permissions for each document, ensuring the right people see the right information and documents. This helps when you want your managers and higher-ups to have different information than your agents.

Host multi-media

Sure, it’s nice to have a place to store all of your documents, but what about your multi-media? Your videos, photos, and other brokerage collateral you’ve spent precious time on. The Hub is your communications center for it all. Have a new TV commercial coming out or an online ad campaign running? Give your agents a sneak peek inside the Hub!

Agent roster

Find contact information for every agent and staff member within your brokerage. The roster allows collaboration among agents and staff. It even makes referrals within a brokerage very simple.

Tools & services

All the tools and services your brokerage provides are found in one place. Everything from marketing to transaction management to your MLS. This is the power of the Moxi Cloud, integrating everything a brokerage needs in one place, with Single-Sign On (SSO). Provide links to tools and services that agents use every day, so they have to click around less.

Announcements

Post announcements you’d like all your agents to see or remind them of ones they’ve received in email form. Notify when upcoming events are around the corner or when their taxes are due. Your brokerage value proposition can get a lot more attractive when an agent only needs to log into one place to see it all.

Want to learn more about Moxi Works Hub? Click here and watch the video below.

 

Posted on September 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works | Tagged , , , , ,

Why You Should Be Concerned About the Redfin IPO

York Baur – CEO, Moxi Works

Redfin went public last week, raising well over $100M at a valuation of $1.5B. That’s what all the media is focused on, but what does it mean to you the brokerage owner?

 

Wall Street

 

The bad news is that you should be concerned. Redfin has deep pockets, deep technology, and now has access to the public markets to raise more capital as needed to grow further. They invest tens of millions of dollars in their technology annually, have a great website, and spend lots of time and money driving traffic to it. Like it or not, they’ll be a factor, and they’re going to put pressure on you to deliver better technology and a slicker experience for both your agents and their consumers.

The good news is that you have everything you need available to you to compete successfully. How can I be so sure? Because Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate has had Redfin operating in its home market of Seattle for 12 years with $200M of capital, and despite all the hype, tech and money, Redfin still has only 2.6% market share compared to Windermere’s 21%. Even more important, Windermere did 38% more transactions last year than 5 years ago in the tightest inventory market we’ve seen in a long time.

How can Windermere continue to dominate in the face of Redfin? And Zillow for that matter (also based in Seattle’s tech-centric market), supposedly siphoning away business by selling leads to the highest bidder? And how can you do what they’re doing? The answer is:

  • Continue to focus on agent’s sphere of influence – the people that already know, like, and trust their agents. Sound obvious? It is, but I’ll bet you’re not doing it enough. We talk to brokerages across the country every day who are distracted by chasing a lead generation battle that they can’t win. How are you seriously going to compete with the billions of dollars of capital that Redfin, Zillow, and Realtor.com spend every year driving consumers to their sites? You can’t. Period. Lead gen will continue to be a small piece of your business, but that’s it – a small piece. The biggest piece of your business is the core business, which is transactions coming from consumers an agent already has a trust relationship with.

 

  • Quit focusing on buyer leads. Every realtor and broker wants a seller, not a buyer if they have the choice. Redfin generates buyer leads. Zillow generates buyer leads. What’s the overwhelming source of seller leads? It’s an agent’s sphere. Control the inventory in your market by concentrating agents on their sphere, and you make money. There are only around five million homes transacted every year no matter how many buyer leads are generated – don’t you want to control the seller side of that equation?

 

  • Control and centralize your data. Windermere decided years ago to put an open platform in place. It’s like a power strip where they can plug in all their agent tools and have them work together. How? By putting all their property data, agent and brokerage data, and consumer data in one place. Windermere currently has over 2.6M consumer names in that platform, allowing agents and the brokerage to market to those consumers to generate listings, using dozens of tools in various markets to do so. Do you have a centralized database of your agent’s contacts? What are you doing to help them stay in front of their sphere of influence?

 

  • Quit creating islands of data and technology. Windermere has taken the platform concept to heart, and has solved the problems of tools that don’t work together, redundant data entry, and not being able to get a comprehensive view of their business. A technology platform allows them to save millions of dollars annually in office staff time, custom software development, and management overhead. This is in sharp contrast to most brokers, who don’t have a technology strategy. They buy the latest shiny technology object, and don’t even ask the question of how it works with the other technology they have now or might use in the future. Agents are demanding a better experience, and that means not having to start over from scratch with every new tool you provide them, upload their database for the 17th time, or having to rekey data.

 

  • Training, coaching and sales discipline. Redfin has made much out of the fact that they hire agents and support staff as full-time employees, not contractors. But that’s not the big difference – we hire contractors in the tech world all the time, and they contribute just as much as our employees do. So what’s the difference? It’s not the person, it’s how they’re trained, coached, and held to a standard of how to do business. That means having a training program, providing good coaching (which means training your coaches), and having a technology (specifically a CRM system) that reinforces the sales discipline every day as agents do business. Windermere has trained over two-thirds of their agents in the Windermere sales discipline (heavily influenced by Larry Kendall’s Ninja Selling), puts an emphasis on managers doing agent coaching, and has built their discipline into their CRM to provide ongoing reinforcement.

With Redfin beating its chest on Wall Street, you need a response for your agents and your consumers – now. Do nothing and you’ll lose agents, because they won’t tolerate inaction. And don’t forget the Millennial agent who isn’t just comfortable with tech, they demand it as a necessary tool for doing business. But despite all the hype and money spent, Windermere did eight times as many transactions in the greater Seattle market last year than Redfin did. With performance like that, we’d all be well served to look at what they’re doing right.

Find out more about brokerage open platforms and how they work by clicking here

Posted on July 31, 2017 at 6:08 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works, News | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Using Neighborhood Recaps for Lead Generation

As a real estate agent, you’re always looking for lead generation tips that produce high-quality leads while remaining cost-effective. Staying relevant and reaching new audiences can be challenging. It’s easy to get caught up using the same methods, even if they aren’t working for you. So, why not mix it up and try something new?

Try this: Put together a thorough neighborhood recap and promote it via your go-to channels.

 

Listing Averages

 

Create a neighborhood recap of the transactions in a given area over the past quarter or year to date. The best part? This can all be done quickly and easily for those agents using Moxi Present. All you need to do is create a new presentation, fill in the parameters, and the MLS data will auto-fill. Select a handful of home sales that happened within your chosen area and timeframe to give a market snapshot, comparing properties and showing trends. This ease is what makes neighborhood recaps possible as an efficient lead generation source.

Check out this neighborhood recap presentation to get an idea of what you could include for your local area.

 

Price & Size

 

Be strategic about the area you choose as this recap positions you as an expert. Homeowners appreciate the feeling that their realtor knows their aimed neighborhood like the back of their hand. It’s a token of comfort in a taxing process.

Once you’ve created a robust neighborhood recap, it’s time to promote it through multiple channels for lead generation. The presentation can serve as its own landing page using Moxi Present, or you can post it to a blog post. Then drive traffic to it through social media (both organic and paid), paid search ads, and email marketing. Different agents prefer different channels, so select which ones work for you and your audience. Find where your strengths are and where you generate leads most effectively, and leverage those channels with the valuable piece of content you’ve created. If you like more traditional marketing methods, you could also choose a local printer to print a handful of presentations onto fine paper and mail out hard copies.

If someone looking for a home in an area sees your neighborhood recap online, finds it valuable, and learns from it, you instantly become a trusted advisor. You are then someone who can guide them through a thoughtful, educated decision making process because you’ve already proven that you have the know-how and expertise that they need.

It’s a perfect scenario: they’ve been thinking about making a move, are entering a new stage in life, or have been chatting with their spouse about moving, you present the information they need to move the conversation forward. Who should they contact if they want more information? You, of course. So, you meet up with them to discuss the market, the neighborhood, and ultimately, the opportunity for you to find them their dream home.

Posted on July 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , ,

Update: Moxi Present

Moxi PresentWe’re excited to announce that we’ve made some updates to Moxi Present, the presentation builder designed specifically for real estate agents. Moxi Present is unique in that it’s completely customizable and is integrated with the MLS, pulling property data directly into an agent’s presentation. It can be used to create any type of presentation, from CMAs, buyer presentations and open house presentations, to neighborhood tours and more.

 

This tool consistently earns high adoption rates, which is why making it available for all agents within client brokerages is of high importance to us. As of mid-December, we’ll be sun-setting the TouchCMA iPad app. Why? Because the web-based version of Moxi Present is completely responsive and even better. We’ve found it has a better user experience and better integrates with the other Moxi tools.

Don’t worry… the presentation builder you know and love isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s only improving.

If you currently have the app, it won’t be disrupted for the foreseeable future. The iPad app will still be available, but will no longer be updated or supported. Come December, the iPad app will no longer be available in the app store. This will inhibit any new downloads or updates, but will have no effect on existing installs.

For agents who currently use Moxi Present, they’ll still have the same Moxi Present tool, but only the web app version will be supported in the future. The tool is entirely responsive and can still be accessed on an iPad, but instead of having to download it through the App Store, agents can simply log in online.

Moxi Present Responsive

A few months ago, we officially changed the name of TouchCMA to Moxi Present. The product didn’t change, it just started coming in better packaging. Now, we’re streamlining the tool even further. In order to continue the necessary support and updates, it makes the most sense to focus on continuing to optimize the web-based app to be used by agents on any device.

It’s no secret that we’re committed to integration. These are just a few steps we’re taking to simplify and enhance the user experience for agents – making them more productive and successful.

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 4:07 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works | Tagged , , , , ,

Why You Must Use Video in Your Listing Presentations

With the rise of social media and digital marketing, video is becoming a consistently effective form of communication online. The real estate industry is buzzing with reasons why you shouldn’t skip video marketing, so how can you seamlessly add video to your current marketing routine? We decided to explore why and how agents can add video content to their listing presentations. Leveraging multimedia can create a much more engaging listing presentation and set you apart. Here are some listing presentation tips to get you started! 

 

Why should real estate agents be thinking about video?

85% of buyers & sellers want an agent who uses video marketing.
55% of people consume videos thoroughly – the highest of any content type.
43% of people want to see more video content in the future.

Agents are always looking for tips on how to make their listing presentations stand out. Differentiate the property by adding engaging video content highlighting the home’s unique selling features.

Testimonial Video

Here are four listing presentation tips for how to incorporate video:

1. Home Tour / Listing Videos

Create a listing video to add visual interest to your presentation. Focus on the property features and unique selling points of the house. If you don’t have a professional camera, no problem. Most smartphones have cameras that will produce videos with high enough quality and resolution for your presentation. You can add a voiceover, narrate the video, or edit it to play to music.

2. Neighborhood Tour

Consider that your clients aren’t just buying a house, they’re joining a community. A neighborhood tour video can put the neighborhood on display in an engaging, personal way. Talk about local businesses, local activities and events, and community amenities. Buying a house is an emotional decision, so giving clients a taste of what it will be like to live in their new neighborhood can add a lot of value to your listing presentation.

3. Testimonials (Client Interviews)

Use video to put a new spin on testimonials. Show client interviews, with clips of them talking about what it was like to work with you and what their experience was like. Hearing a testimonial straight from a past client can be incredibly valuable.

4. ‘About Me’ Introduction Video

Instead of a generic ‘about me’ overview or a list of bullet points, try out a bio video to add a personal touch. Introduce yourself and talk about what your process is like and what it’s like to work with you. It’s an opportunity to not only show off your experience, but also let your personality shine through.

These listing presentation tips for adding video are just the beginning. Video can be leveraged in buyer presentations, open house presentations, CMAs, and more. What type of video will you try out in your next presentation?

Moxi Present allows agents to include video, along with other rich media, into their presentations. Adding a little visual interest, personality and emotion helps agents win more business.

Posted on July 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Meeting with Clients, Moxi Works | Tagged , , ,

Why You Should Use Open House Presentations Every. Single. Time.

Open house presentations are the new standard. Gone are the days when you could put out a plate of cookies, sit back, and reap the benefits. Markets are crazier than ever and the competition couldn’t be vaster. Stepping up your open house game will ensure success and help beat out the competition.

Here’s why you need to use open house presentations moving forward:

 

Better Chances of Converting

Open house presentations allow you to have a better chance of converting a buyer for your listing. How come? With automated marketing sending out your presentations to open house guests, you’re reminding them of the house they saw, and why they loved it.

Since home buying is the largest and most emotional purchase in a client’s lifetime, chances are they’re going to need constant cues and reassurance of why they should take the leap. Open house presentations remind them it’s there and allows them to fall in love with the home over and over again.

Check this page out for open house presentation samples so you can get an idea of what agents are providing to potential buyers.

Open House Presentation Sample

Lead Generation

There’s a new way to “Open House” and it involves killer lead generation, tying into buyer conversion. Spacio is a lead catcher tool that allows agents to host paperless open houses and turns them into powerful sales opportunities. They do this with a few simple strategies.

Spacio, a Moxi Cloud integrated tool for paperless open houses.

Simple and Paperless Lead Capture: A modern and inviting sign-in form collects visitor information and leaves them with an unforgettable first impression. Spacio verifies the accuracy of visitors’ contact information so agents can focus their efforts on the highest quality leads.

Follow Up: Spacio automatically sends a follow-up email to prospects after they sign in. Through our CMA tool, Moxi Present, the follow-up email can include agent’s customized interactive presentations for the listing. Spacio also gives agents access to all the open house leads in their Moxi Engage CRM.

Get Insights on Your Most Likely Customers: Spacio gathers social insights on visitors and surfaces the most likely customers based on the agent’s Ideal Customer Profile. Lead Quality Scores are based on the agent’s preferences and a variety of factors, including how visitors answer questions on the sign-in form and public data available on leads.

Learn more about Spacio and how they’re changing the game.

 

Millennials

If those aren’t good enough reasons to convince you why open house presentations are a must, then how about this. Millennials, who are now the largest generation buying homes, are a different animal. In fact, millennials represented 45% of all purchase loans in 2016.

They’re not the only ones that expect more from real estate agents these days either. With articles like this coming out all the time, it’s getting more and more vital for agents to have an indisputable value proposition. Older, tech savvy generations expect more now as well, and you can make your worth obvious with your expert open house. But still, don’t forget the cookies.

Posted on July 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , ,

New CRM Feature: Facebook Ads Made Easy for Agents

Advertise Your Listing Allows Agents to Create Facebook Ads in Under Five Minutes

 

Social media advertising has become a major player in real estate marketing. With over 1.94 billion active users on Facebook, it’s a channel that consumers expect agents to capitalize on.

The problem is, there’s a big barrier to entry. Since the system was built for digital marketers, a significant number of agents find it intimidating and cumbersome, and therefore never get around to trying it. And although they are expected to be doing great and consistent social media marketing, rarely do they find time in their busy days to do so. That’s why Moxi Works stepped in.

Advertise Your Listing allows agents who just won a listing to create a Facebook ad for said listing in under five minutes. Not only that, but it sends reports directly to their clients with the click of a button.

Facebook Ads

Greg Sundberg, VP of Marketing, said, “It’s important to be a digital savvy agent to compete and win business. Facebook is an obvious choice for us to help agents to do that. We believe this is the absolute easiest way to advertise online.”

By simplifying the ad creation process, we are able to offer an easier, better way for agents to delve into Facebook ads. “We have high quality brokers as our clients and they get a disproportionate share of listings, but in an ever-competitive environment it’s critical that they demonstrate value to their sellers. Advertise Your Listing helps them do that, while also being a big agent convenience,” said York Baur, CEO of Moxi Works. “The Moxi Cloud already has all of the info we need – listing info, brokerage info and brand, agent info, photos and a landing page, all of which are automatically created in the Moxi Cloud – so literally with the click of a button and a credit card, an agent can deliver value back to their seller.”

Homeowners want to know that you’re taking a competitive approach and actively reaching new prospects. Advertise Your Listing helps agents show clients that they are willing to go the extra mile for them, and can be another reason for referral and repeat business.

Here’s the thing. We know that many professionals are hesitant to use their personal Facebook profile, we would be too. That’s why we made sure they wouldn’t need to. Any agent can use Advertise Your Listing, regardless if they have a Facebook account or not. So now, there’s nothing standing in their way! 

Advertise Your Listing is set to launch next month, July 2017.

Find out more about Advertise Your Listing, other products, and the Moxi Work’s open platform known as the Moxi Cloud, here & watch the video below!

 

 

 
Posted on June 19, 2017 at 4:47 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: In The News, Moxi Works | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Zestimate Accuracy Far Cry From Power of Professional Consultants

While the idea behind Zestimates® seemed awesome for homeowners, it’s entirely frustrating for agents and often ends up disappointing their clients with inaccurate pricing forecasts. Even though Zestimates know a home’s approximate size and location, there are many factors they don’t take into account. That is why homeowners need to hire a real estate agent that can be their trusted advisor through every step of the home selling process, because Zestimate accuracy doesn’t cut it.

Zestimate Accuracy Backlash

What happens when Zestimates are seen without proper context or guidance? A lawsuit. While this is the first lawsuit of this kind, we are not surprised to see it come to light. It states that, “Homeowners, realty agents and appraisers have been critical for years about the valuation tool, citing estimates that too often are far off the mark — sometimes 20 percent or 30 percent too low or too high — and misleading to consumers. Zillow itself acknowledges errors.” That’s why we empower agents on our platform to be true consultants.

The outcome of Zillow Accuracy issues

 

“The idea of an AVM (automated valuation model), an algorithm, that determines the price of a house is flawed from the very beginning,” said York Baur, CEO of Moxi Works. “There’s no such thing as standard housing product. If I buy a car, it comes off an assembly line, and they’re all the same. But every piece of property is different.”

Baur went on to say that, “Zillow has been very clever to give consumers a ballpark idea of what their house is worth, but it’s just that: A teaser to get them onto the website. So, why would anyone leave the most financially and emotionally charged transaction in someone’s life to a computer? You wouldn’t. Like with any large investment decision, you would seek professional advice, and that’s what realtors give you.”

The problem with Zestimate Accuracy

Empowering Agents

Our CMA presentation tool, Moxi Present, encapsulates the relevant information about a house and enables a professional agent to consult and advise their client with accurate information, and information that can give true context to a Zestimate. “A realtor using modern tools like Moxi Present, has access to a wealth of data beyond what some computer algorithm is using and in particular can access things that no algorithm can,” said Baur. He means things like the details of a home’s interior or the exact character of a given neighborhood, which only an agent, a human, can speak to.

The importance of using a trusted advisor cannot be overlooked. As we all well know, this is one of the most important and personal transactions in someone’s life, and it needs to be treated accordingly. If you were to get a surgery, would you consult a professional first?

Posted on June 12, 2017 at 7:52 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works, News | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Moxi Works Already Delivers Upstream for Brokers

The pivot heard around the real estate world

 

When news broke of Upstream’s strategy pivot, we all stopped to see how they shifted because this not only has implications for brokerages, but for the industry as a whole. For many, Upstream’s movement represented brokers taking back control. This pivot means the power stays in the hands of the MLS.

 

What Happened With Upstream?

The original plan was for Upstream to stick themselves before the MLS organizations, granting brokerages much wanted control where they hadn’t before. Now instead of trying to get brokers to input listings with Upstream first, they will have brokers input listings into their MLS, and later can push said listing through a dashboard to Upstream if/when the broker chooses to. It’s not just a pivot, they flipped a 180 and it has major implications.

York Baur, CEO of Moxi Works, weighed in on the topic and said, “The point of Upstream was for brokerages to get control of their data. We were fans of the idea of upstream. If we had a magic wand and Upstream existed, then our team wouldn’t be spending their time chasing MLSs around, we would just be writing to the Upstream API and be done with it. The problem they were solving for the software companies and brokerages was a fantastic idea. We understand why they had to pivot – trying to change agent behavior at the MLS level is a huge challenge.”

There has to be a better way, right? We’re here to say: There is.

 

 

A Solution

Moxi offers an alternative that gives more control to brokers. But before we explain how, we need to back up and look at the original goal of Upstream.

To give you some perspective, “The idea behind Upstream is to give brokerages the ability to store and distribute any information they deal with, not just listings. This includes information related to salespeople, employees, customers or clients, vendors, accounting and historical property data.” This is from a 2015 Inman article. They didn’t just set out to fix the control of property data, they set out to fix the brokerage control of all data.

So, what’s the alternative? The next best thing are open platforms like the Moxi Cloud. The end result for brokerages in our case, is the same. The brokerages data is all in one place and all the tool and services integrations can get to it. It’s a power strip where brokerages can plug and unplug all the best-in-class tools and services they want, while remaining in control of all their data.

Baur added, “There is good news to all of this, and that is that the Moxi Cloud open platform does what Upstream promised today, allowing property data, brokerage data, agent data, and consumer data, to be used and updated by more than 30 industry leading tools and services. Until the time Upstream or something like it exists, this is the best brokerage solution.”

The most common question we get is: “What if we commit to the Moxi Cloud and then Upstream happens… then what?” The answer is simple. We have already cultivated these tools and services, we would simply take the Upstream feed into our services and everything would work the same. It’s not the Moxi Cloud or Upstream, it’s the Moxi Cloud AND Upstream.

 

Final Thoughts

Our goal, why we do what we do, is all in order to strengthen a brokerage and give them control of their destiny. “The desire for brokers to have more control won’t go away and it will probably be filled by MLSs, brokers, and platforms like Moxi Works, that already build tools that give brokers that control,” said Cass Herrin, Director of Data Services at Moxi Works. “We will continue to focus on tools that give brokers control over their own listings.”

Baur added, “Brokers funded Upstream with the goal of gaining control of their data. While that’s been diluted by this pivot, brokers must realize that the vendor community and the open platform Moxi Works provides, aka the Moxi Cloud, has already solved this problem.”

Learn about the open platform and how it can benefit your brokerage here.

A glance at the Moxi Works Open Platform:

Posted on June 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works, Open Platform | Tagged , , ,

A New World of Platforms for Brokerages

The difference between closed and open platforms exposed

By Mike McHenry, VP of Channels and Partnerships, Moxi Works

 

Takeaways:

  • A platform is like a power strip; it lets you plug and unplug tools
  • An open platform differentiates a broker’s tool set, aiding recruiting and retention
  • The difference between a closed and open platform is monumental

 

A “Platform” is whatever you want it to be

Platforms have existed in technology for ages. Most industries have already adopted them, but it’s a relatively new idea for a residential brokerage. I’ve noticed that the word “platform” is being thrown around heavily right now – it’s the 2017 buzz word and because of that, it’s starting to lose its meaning.

Some of these vendors that are calling themselves “platforms,” however, don’t actually do what they should and because of that, you’ll need to know what to look for. There are five basic services that a proper platform should have and offer:

  1. Property data that can be shared across all tools eliminating redundant entry
  2. Brokerage and agent data that’s up to date
  3. Consumer data so technology can help agents manage their SOI
  4. Integration with both Microsoft and Google cloud environment to easily and securely share data across tech companies
  5. An API (it allows other tech companies to integrate and share common data)

Let’s also put some rumors to rest. Just because you use a platform doesn’t mean you need to embrace the entire platform. It would be insane for a single brokerage to use every single one of our 30 integrated partners. A platform is whatever you want it to be for your brokerage.

Also, Security isn’t an inherent problem in open platforms just because a system is open, doesn’t mean it’s insecure. YouTube for instance, is an open platform site. No one is afraid to use it.

Closed vs. Open Platforms

I have to shed light on how important the distinction between a closed vs. open platform is. Many vendors that call themselves “platforms” are just products that sit on a database with no API – meaning they have no way to communicate effectively with one another. Here are some examples:

Open platform: Microsoft Windows. Windows is an operating system that allows you to download whatever you want, whether that’s QuickBooks for your taxes or Adobe Photoshop, and delete the apps you no longer want or use. If apple is more your speed, think iPhone and the AppStore.

Closed platform: Video game consoles. If you buy a game for Xbox and you get a Sony PlayStation, you have to buy your games all over again. The choice is not up to you if you ever decide to switch.

As a broker, this means with a closed platform you have to go with whatever tools the vendor chose to work with OR the vendor built it all themselves and can’t afford to evolve it over time at the same speed as competitors. Either way, it can be a disastrous future for a brokerage.

The reality is, no one can be great at everything. An open platform allows a brokerage to get all of the best tools out there, have them work together, and can change tools at will – hassle free.

Open Platform Benefits

If you’re a broker and you’ve already invested in some tech solutions over the past three or four years like a digital transaction tool, gifting, or lead partners, you don’t have to change them to get on an open platform; you integrate them and preserve your investment in agent training. That’s why an open platform is so dominant: the power and tools stay in the brokerages hands. They help companies retain the tools they love and find replacements for the ones they aren’t jiving with.

If you choose a platform provider for those benefits today, that provider can help you flawlessly transition as new tools come online in the future. At the end of the day that’s what everyone wants right? No headaches and a shorter list of items for a brokerage to worry about.

If those are not good enough reasons to use an open platform, then how about this: money. Maintenance and support are cheaper on an open platform because it leverages the entire community that makes up the cloud. Development time also decreases. Boeing doesn’t make aircrafts, they assemble them.

What’s an Ecosystem?

This is another term used in the platform realm. An ecosystem is a collection of complimentary applications all working together, sharing data, that make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Each platform has its own ecosystem that makes up the cloud.

Again, think of your iPhone. You can have all of your applications together so that the device becomes an indispensable business tool. You get to pick à la carte whatever applications you need and don’t have to worry about how they work together. If you find later you don’t like an application, you can delete it and install a different one.

Why a Brokerage Should Care

It’s no secret that the pace of change for real estate technology is accelerating. We know that there are hundreds of companies making technology for residential real estate, which makes for thousands of applications available for use today.

What this means to a brokerage owner is that there’s no way to predict which companies and applications are going to succeed or even to envision what technologies will come into the market in the future.

Having a platform and ecosystem of applications that run on it is the key to agent productivity and retention. If you don’t think that having a complete integrated technology platform and applications to offer your agents is important, talk to a broker that just lost an agent to Compass.

If you choose the right platform, you’re going to get most of the benefits that Upstream promises for your brokerage today and will future-proof your brokerage for what’s to come in the future.

Posted on May 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm
Tam Nguyen | Category: Moxi Works, Open Platform | Tagged , , , , , , , ,