The pandemic has changed the way the world communicates, from remote work to Zoom meetings to social media. It has also affected the efficiency in which many industries operate, including real estate. For better how agents promote themselves and their properties, Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing alum and founder of Douglas Elliman’s top-producing brokerage, D’Eklund | Gomes team, Fredrik Eklund recently founded new social real estate app REAL together with entrepreneur Thomas Ma.
REAL is a social app for real estate that fuses an Instagram-style platform with WhatsApp-style chat capabilities, allowing agents to promote themselves for free and create another stream of revenue. Thus, it allows agents to take better control of their business. How REAL works is that agents and consumers create profiles and curate their feed of listings. Sellers, buyers, and other agents can follow each other to get a more in-depth sense of an agent’s offerings, personality, and style that they can’t get from an ad. Not only could this improve an agent’s income, but consumers can also find their ideal agent who specializes in a particular region, price point and ore. Agents can curate their featured images, content and chat topics that best reflect their personal knowledge and experience. The app also has a range of price points for home sales.
The REAL app improves the business of agents with a special social platform for real estate.
“Those in the real estate industry traditionally use social media to market properties, which has been a trend for years and years,” Eklund tells Forbes. “However, with Covid-19, everything has moved into the palm of your hand. With so many properties being sold over WhatsApp and over FaceTime, this app allows you to scroll through something very beautiful and aspirational, but also curated to your needs. With Instagram , Facebook, and of course TikTok, which are very quickly turning into video platforms, this app is exclusively for real estate agents on the one hand and consumers, like buyers and sellers, on the other. I call our app, REAL, a combination of Zillow, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
With home sales moving so fast, the app allows people to communicate in real time and get in touch with an agent directly via the chat capability to get instant information on certain listings. Not only that, but agents can also promote properties that are not yet on the market. Sellers and buyers can follow and interact with multiple agents simultaneously, whether they are buying a property or listing one. The high-speed accessibility of the app also makes the user experience seamless and efficient.
The free app uses advanced AI technology to perform specific searches for a specific need. People can perform very detailed searches, whether they want to look at kitchens or living spaces, or look for specific home conditions such as a gym, home office or swimming pool. The app then matches your content to what you’re looking for.
The app makes it easy to message many agents at once to find the perfect fit.
Agents can also communicate directly with each other at lightning speed to join transactions and share information. The Eklund | Gomes’ team, which has 92 agents in five states, uses the app’s chat capabilities via text so information isn’t lost.
Eklund teamed up with Hong Kong-based Ma, a licensed real estate agent and successful entrepreneur, to address current problems in the real estate market, which include agents charging too much for their properties, excessive follow-up of clients, slow response times, ineffective cold calling, and so much more.
“Agents are getting licensed in many different states and there’s a complete crossover happening, especially in the luxury market,” he says. “Current real estate apps, like Zillow, don’t offer quick answers and MLSs are slow. I run a big team and see all facets of the market, and all price points, and how fast it is. People want to use their cell phones for that, they want it to be fun and they want it to be FAST At the same time they see what the people around them like and watch.
Agents can easily create a better revenue stream through the real estate focused app.
He says agents have to pay sites like Zillow to display their ads, and those platforms ultimately retain control over how their listing looks online. This app allows agents to post their ads for free and control the aesthetics of their site. It also allows agents to position themselves as leaders in their market. For example, Eklund recently opened a brokerage in Stockholm, and its agents use the app to promote their properties and become an ambassador in that city.
“With so many properties being sold over WhatsApp and over FaceTime, this app allows you to scroll through something very beautiful and aspirational, but also curated to your needs,” he says. “You can use the functions of the app to find your home, or just sit there and dream away as you look at a beautiful magazine with the most beautiful properties.”
The global app can be downloaded in different languages and in any city or town. Since its soft launch 11 months ago, it has had over 147,500 downloads and continues to grow. He says that unlike Instagram, REAL is a real revenue stream that he hopes will eventually entice real estate agents to adopt the app into their business.