Real estate is all about systems to make your life as an agent or broker easier. However, building those systems can be time consuming and frustrating. Just ask Tom and Lara Gabriel, a husband and wife team with Vince Young Realty in Austin, Texas. “I’ve been in some aspect of the real estate industry for 20 years—mortgage banking, loan servicing, etc.,” says Lara. “But, when I got my real estate license, I realized that real estate does not have a process of set of processes like banking does.
It was very frustrating for me to set up my own processes.” She started taking notes about what in the process wasn’t available to her. “We have lead gen, CRM, cold calling, marketing—that front-facing portion is what brokers have down,” she says. “As for the actual process of my day and what I do as a real estate agent with a client, there wasn’t anything. So, I had to stitch together things like Excel spreadsheets, emails, text messages, Salesforce and it never felt right.”
Finally, she and Tom decided to do something about it and developed Homewayz, a program that allows agents to simplify, automate and organize workflow tasks and communications. Right now, they have about 200 agents using the system in Texas. “We’re still ingesting the data. We have some clients who signed up and we’re moving into new markets. We’re staying pretty focused in terms of enrolling clients here in Central Texas,” says Tom. “We’re getting a lot of interest from brokerages in California, Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando. But, first we have to get those data feeds. We’re a bootstrapped startup right now,” says Tom.
Homewayz is more than a super scheduler. It offers predictive analytics, sphere of influence lead gen, a collaborative search platform and route planning for showings as well as other efficiencies. “Agents are valuable, but they're valuable as trusted advisors like an investment banker is between an emotional business owner and a company wanting to buy them,” says Tom. “How do I advise them not only to get the right price, but how do I walk them through this process so that the deal doesn't get blown up? Those are the things we’re trying to answer with this program. So, the advisory component is really important to us,” he adds.
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