RESAAS (CSE:RSS) is taking the real estate market by storm with its online platform that is bridging the distance between agents worldwide, brokerage by brokerage. The social networking platform is being adopted at an increasingly fast pace by an assortment of real estate clients and shows no signs of slowing down.
The company has added over 70 large brokerages in Canada and the U.S. since opening for business in February 2013, as well as signed on several real estate associations and franchises, including a groundbreaking deal with RE/MAX, the largest real estate franchise globally.
“RESAAS is a place for real estate agents to bring their existing workflow online,” says president Tom Rossiter in a recent interview with Proactive Investors discussing the Vancouver-based company’s growing momentum.
“Almost all agents add their listings, but we’re seeing the natural use of the platform that agents have adopted is focused mainly on the business of referrals. In real estate, a referral is the closest you can get to a closed transaction.”
The company provides a social media platform for real estate agents to showcase their listings, answer questions from potential homebuyers, communicate ideas on their market to followers online, as well as refer and network with each other. It is designed to sync with other social networks such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), allowing listings and photos to be shared, and industry news to be posted, all of which helps generate leads for the agent.
The business has gone international quickly, with the company having built its own proprietary translation website in order to allow the platform to reach a truly global audience. It first translated the platform into Spanish in March, and has since added French, Turkish and most recently, Portuguese. It has plans to release another 20 languages over the next two months.
The international expansion has no doubt been fueled in part by its partnership with some of the largest organizations in the real estate industry, the biggest being RE/MAX with 95,000 agents in over 100 countries, which has accelerated interest from overseas.
RE/MAX’s agents are now connected through a global referral network powered by RESAAS.
“RE/MAX has a vast global physical footprint, which is one of the main attractions for agents to choose to work under that franchise. Until RESAAS released the Global Referral Network, there was little in the way of infrastructure that facilitated that on a digital basis or a way to leverage the benefit of being part of such a strong global organization.
“We’ve created a digital and self-serve way for any RE/MAX agent anywhere in the world to discover other RE/MAX agents online and conduct the business of referrals using a global network,” said Rossiter.
The company’s president points out that RESAAS has and always will remain independent, working as a platform to support the entire industry, and paving the way for similar deals with other big franchises.
This is certainly a pattern that RESAAS has become accustomed to, with the company first seeing the adoption of its platform by individual agents in the early days, which then piqued interest from a growing list of brokerages, leading to franchise head offices wanting to make a company-wide move.
“The feeling is that the more adoption there is at the broker level, the greater the appeal is at the corporate level. The value you get from a social network is directly related to how many quality connections you have. With all agents from one company in one pot, it’s a more valuable resource for them,” explains Rossiter.
While agencies and franchises are one side of the market, real estate associations are another which are leveraging RESAAS’ services. Associations exist to benefit their members, but they all have different goals, whether it be improved communication between members, better networking, or driving awareness of the brand and attracting new members.
“RESAAS is a network. It’s very flexible. Associations love that they can get their name and brand out there on a platform that is purely for real estate agents, and empower their constituents to achieve more with the value from a private member-only activity feed.”
At the end of last year, the company signed the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), a trade association dedicated to promoting sustainable home ownership opportunities in Asian American communities. The deal provided its 14,000 members in North America with access to an exclusive AREAA social network delivered on RESAAS’ platform, allowing members to not only communicate with each other, but also with the existing network of professionals on RESAAS.
RESAAS also recently revealed a deal to provide its services to members of the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS. The Council is a professional network made up of more than 30,000 residential real estate professionals within the U.S. and overseas.
This followed an agreement in March with Clareity Security, a data security and ecommerce solutions provider --- a deal that facilitated single-sign-on access to RESAAS’ network to more than 550,000 REALTORS from over 100 North American Multiple Listing Services (MLS) that use Clareity’s products.
Expansion is certainly on the horizon for the budding Vancouver-based company, whose stock price has almost tripled in the last 12 months on the back of a series of client additions. It has plans to capitalize on the fundamental differences of how real estate markets work worldwide, for example, the fact that no MLS listing service exists in Europe.
“Real estate agents are inherently social people, and with RESAAS they have the ability to supplement those social qualities digitally. RESAAS is a place to discover, connect, learn, market, refer and network with other agents, locally, nationally and around the world," affirms the company’s president.
“RESAAS is not a social network for social’s sake. It’s a social network for the sake of generating business.”