On its website, real estate brokerage and tech firm Compass says that “to lead the industry requires the smartest tools built by the brightest minds across engineering, design, and strategy." After its most recent fundraising round, the company said it planned to double down on its technology investments to build its platform.
On Monday (Feb. 25), Compass made headway toward this goal when it acquired software company Contactually, maker of a cloud-based CRM used by numerous brokerages. In 2018, Contactually announced collaborations with CLIMB Real Estate, Semonin Realtors, Alain Pinel Realtors, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors, and multiple Sotheby's International Realty brokerages. It also rolled out the Compass CRM.
“We have a good relationship with Contactually, which is how the idea for the acquisition came about,” said Compass spokesman Jason Post, noting that in a survey of Compass agents, Contactually was ranked as the top CRM in real estate.
Contactually’s team of 30, 20 of whom are engineers, will join Compass, Post said.
“By bringing Contactually’s software and talent onto its platform, Compass is accelerating the development of Compass CRM, which is designed to help agents increase sales by offering a unified view of an agent’s pipeline and prioritize outreach with intelligent insights,” said a press release from Compass.
Contactually also announced the acquisition on its site: “Like us, Compass has a deep appreciation for how strong relationships lead to growth and success. Compass has expanded its business by building a national community of entrepreneurs with expertise in technology — and provides agents with a leading suite of digital tools that work in the hyper-local real estate industry.”
REAL Trends President Steve Murray said that the partnership makes sense for the two organizations, adding
“Certainly this will concern Contactually brokerage customers as to real or imagined conflicts, and may cause a shift by some. However like the RE/MAX acquisition of Booj a year ago, it is part of the drive by national real estate enterprises and real estate related technology firms to assemble all of the pieces necessary to provide end to end tech solutions to the housing consumer and the brokerage industry.”
Contactually assured customers in a Q&A that data and contacts would not be accessible by Compass, noting that the Compass CRM is a separate product from Contactually and has its own product roadmap and unique features.
“Data from the Compass CRM and Contactually are stored on separate servers and the Compass team only has access to their data. For all clients and partnerships, it’s Contactually’s policy to never sell, give, or trade data without prior consent from all involved.”
In a 2018 guest post for REALTrends, Contactually CEO Zvi Band said there are some great reasons for vendors to want to embrace brokerages, from addressing churn to creating economies of scale.
“Brokerages want reliable vendors that deliver consistently for their agents and have programs that can be easily integrated into their existing tech ecosystem,” he wrote. “Vendors who provide brokerage-level services are best-equipped to provide this level of service.”
Whether rivals of Compass will still consider Contactually to be best-equipped to help them manage their book of business remains to be seen. Compass is valued at $4.4 billion and has raised $1.2 billion to date. It was founded in 2012 by Ori Allon and Robert Reffkin, and currently operates in 28 U.S. metro areas.