Richard Silver, a sales representative with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Toronto, appreciates being a member of REALM, an emerging international network of top-performing real estate professionals. “We were in competition for a high-end listing,” Silver says. “When we showed the client REALM’s worldwide reach, we secured the listing. It gives you an extra credential that sets you above your competition.”
REALM is the brainchild of Julia Faupel, who began building a lifestyle-oriented platform for top-performing agents in 2018. As co-founder of Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates in Wyoming, she was looking for a way to differentiate the brokerage, while giving high-end clients access to real estate opportunities around the world.
After selling the company to Compass last year, Faupel has focused on building the REALM network, while leading the eight-person Graham-Faupel-Mendenhall team in Jackson Hole to $300 million in 2021 volume. “We have clients all over the world, and wanted to provide them with access to opportunities, such as a new development in Grand Cayman or the Waldorf Astoria Towers in New York,” she says.
Brand agnostic referral network with benefits
Launched in 2020 with new features still being added, the REALM platform is an internal tool that creates relationships among agents who have never met or connected. “We are brand agnostic, and care more about the ethos and the excellence of the individual members,” she says. “Within the REALM ecosystem, we have 110 different brands. Agents like being able to connect with whomever they want, rather than having to lead with the brand.”
To support that sense of community, Faupel recently hosted an annual meeting in California and holds video calls every week for the 500-plus individual or team agent members in 37 states and 11 countries. Members pay an annual subscription fee of $7,500 and have the flexibility to work out the referral fee or commission structure.
REALM’s technology platform focuses on the lifestyle preferences of members’ clients. Each member signs a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before posting a client list into REALM. “No one else can see that information, but our algorithms can build a unique lifestyle profile for that individual,” Faupel says. “It helps our members with marketing, as well as referrals, putting great professionals together, as real estate is still a very human business.”
Alan Canas, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker, Burlingame, California, says REALM gives him the opportunity to share listings and referrals with like-minded agents. “Using the proprietary REALM platform tools, I created a powerful expired listing campaign program, and had the opportunity to be a creator and host of the first season of ‘Location Luxe: The Great Lifestyle Migration’ for DesignTV and Sandow Media,’ which had more than 2 million views.”
Faupel says a recent poll of members found that one in three had done a referral with an average transaction value of $4.7 million. “There isn’t another platform out there that does what REALM offers,” she says. “We want to take down the barriers to communication and include impact investors and wealth managers as well. “ So we are looking beyond the real estate industry in order to collaborate and serve high-net-worth and ultra-high-net worth people.”
Richard Westlund is a Miami-based freelancer real estate writer who contributed to this article.