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Tech Roundup: Rechat, Zillow, zavvie, Planitar, and eCommission

The latest technology news from around the real estate industry.

Rechat’s Mobile App Promises One-Stop Solution for Brokerages

Real estate technology company Rechat last week launched its digital platform, which is “designed to empower on-the-go real estate professionals” by offering “intuitive, fully integrated tools that add unlimited value to an agents’ or brokerage’s brand.” 

The Rechat platform features an integrated MLS system, marketing and social engagement management, sales flow automation and other operations designed to provide a full suite of services from a single, intuitive app. Rechat founder Shayan Hamidi said he developed the platform in response to challenges he experienced personally when creating and operating his tech-enabled real estate brokerage. 

Hamidi introduced Rechat in 2015 as a way for real estate professionals to optimize all aspects of their workflow. Rechat offers help organizing contacts, targeting and marketing listings, networking with other agents, building personal brands and more. 

You can learn more about Rechat’s new mobile platform here.

Zillow’s Zestimate to Include Cash Offers

Online real estate marketplace Zillow last week announced it will begin including initial cash offers in its Zestimates for eligible homes.  

Zestimates—first introduced in 2006 and improved in 2019—marked the first time consumers could instantly access free home value estimates. The announcement of the cash offer option is a major shift for Zillow and its business model. The company says it hopes the new feature underscores the Zestimate’s reliability and accuracy.

Zillow first began making cash offers in 2018. The process allowed some homeowners to answer questions about their property and selling preferences and receive an initial cash offer from Zillow within days. The new cash offer feature allows eligible owners to skip that process and receive the cash offer right away. Then, a Zillow employee inspects the home, provides an adjusted final cash offer, and the seller chooses a closing date. 

Markets with homes eligible for this program include Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside and Sacramento, California; Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Atlanta, Georgia; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Learn more about cash-offer Zestimates here.

Watson Launches All-Digital Marketing Platform

Watson Realty Corporation last week announced the introduction of Prolink+, a marketing tool for agents and brokers.

The product promises comprehensive analytics for in-depth market research and advance marketing automation. It’s offered by Watson, a full-service brokerage firm with 48 offices in Florida and Georgia, and partner Delta Media Group. Prolink+ also features blogs, videos, custom landing pages, and other tools designed to attract business and provide high-quality service.

The new technology will offer improved daily workflow for agents via customizable and automated features, web layouts and social media postings. Prolink+ also offers streamlined print advertising, seller reports, new listing alerts, market watch reports, newsletters, and updated contact lists.

For more information, visit Watson Realty Corp.’s website here

Latest Seller Preferences Report Available from zavvie

Information about nationwide iBuyer activity, market locations and business volumes and trends between October and December 2020 is now available in zavvie’s latest Seller Preference Report. The report looks specifically at iBuyer activity and buy-before-you-sell bridge providers. 

A “bridge loan” is a short-term loan taken by a borrower against their owned property in order to buy a new property. Typically good for six to 12 months, they allow some homeowners to purchase a new home before their existing home sells. According to the report, the bridge offer acceptance rate during 2020 Q4 was five times higher than the acceptance rate for iBuyer offers during the same period.

Other highlights of the report include: 

  • iBuyer purchases fell 57% last year from 2019
  • iBuyer and bridge provider “buy boxes” (their targeted purchase price range, age, and other conditions) continued to widen in Q4
  • iBuyers’ offer strength is down 3.1%, year-over-year, falling from 98.6% of market price in 2019 to 95.1% in Q4
  • Offer acceptance rate for iBuyers continues to rise to 6.1% in Q4, a 45% increase from 2019

You can read zavvie’s entire Seller Preference Report here.

New Buy-Now-Pay-Later Option Available for Real Estate Agents

Real estate capital provider eCommission last week announced a new program that allows agents to pay immediately for goods and services with money from future commissions. The platform, called Access, provides agents with immediate access to commissions that can be used with partnering vendors as a payment method at checkout.

Agents who use Access can select the platform as their preferred payment method and receive instant approval with no credit check on purchases. Once a payment is made, the agent has 90 days to bring the transaction to close and repay the amount. Beta testing results from current partnered vendors indicate that using Access results in increased sales, customer conversion rates and average order size. 

You can learn more about eCommission’s Access payment alternative here.

Mapping Camera Scans Property Interiors for Virtual Tours

Planitar’s new mapping and touring 3D camera can scan an average-size property in less than 15 minutes, using the data to create floor plans, produce accurate measurements, and publish immersive 3D tours and high-quality photos.

The technology uses a time-of-flight laser scanner and an integrated 360-degree camera to gather the data in record time and produce high-quality virtual tours. Agents who use the iGUIDE PLANIX system will schedule a time for a professional photographer to capture and transmit the information to iGUIDE. The information included in an iGUIDE tour includes basics like floor plans and square footage, and also offers perks like arial photos and information about the neighborhood.  

Listing agents receive the finished product within one business day, which contains virtual tour links, downloadable image galleries, individual room dimensions and total square footage, options for social media sharing, and an embed code generator, as well as information about the neighborhood and local area. 

The iGUIDE camera system is being offered for pre-order starting March. Learn more here.

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