Browse Tag: reach

Presenting the REach Class Of 2015

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Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of REALTORS® has announced its newest crop of startup technology companies for the 2015 year. Narrowed from a field of hundreds of applicants, these eight companies have been recognized as this year’s most promising ventures to impact our industry. Represented are platforms, products and services that promise to redefine how technology can support and extend real estate practice.

“This year’s REach class is made up of truly phenomenal organizations that are innovating both within and beyond the real estate space,” said Dale Stinton, president of SCV and NAR CEO. “The entrepreneurial spirit and energy that this class embodies will resonate greatly with the NAR community. We are looking forward to introducing the new class to NAR’s 1 million members while providing the companies with access to experts and influencers in the real estate, insurance, mortgage and financial services industries.”

What’s REach?

The REach Growth Accelerator is a nine-month program that provides companies – some startups, usually technology – with education, an insight panel and mentorship and exposure to lead them into the real estate marketplace. It’s a way to attract top tech innovation into a giant segment of the US economy — 15% of the entire US economic picture is taken up by real estate in all its facets. REach Growth Accelerator matches promising companies with industry veterans in order to clearly define market needs and the most successful means to deliver solutions.  You can learn more about REach by visiting NARReach.com.

The Class Of 2015

Welcome the newest crop of NARReach selected companies and browse their offerings right here:

  • Asset Avenue – An online peer-to-peer lending platform for the commercial real estate industry, it provides borrowers and brokers with quick and reliable access to competitively priced loans financed by accredited and institutional investors who lend up to $25 million for any single property.
  • August Home – August is a technology company building products including smart locks that make life simpler by allowing physical environments to seamlessly respond to people’s behavior.
  • BoostUp – Helps people save for a down payment on their next car or home by offering a dollar-for-dollar match on their savings from brand partners, family and friends.
  • Guard Llama – A mobile personal security system that expedites the 9-1-1 dispatching process when dialing 9-1-1 is not possible.
  • Loop & Tie –  Simplifies personalized gifting for businesses to help promote brands, win business and build goodwill.
  • Notary Cam – Provides companies and individuals with the ability to have documents notarized online from anywhere in the world, at any time, by a network of certified, licensed notaries.
  • Pro.com – A home services marketplace that helps homeowners price out projects and matches them with a certified “pro” in their area that can get the job done.
  • TermScout – An intelligence application for business-to-business sales professionals.

“While these seven companies have a broad range of products and services – from home services and personal security to commercial real estate lending – they have one thing in common: exceptional leadership and vision. They are seizing an opportunity for rapid growth within the real estate, finance and home services via REach, which will ultimately help them expand into other vertical marketplaces,” said Constance Freedman, managing director of Second Century Ventures and REach. “This is one of the aspects of the REach program that is so unique and fascinating. We help companies build credibility in our key sectors of focus to use as a base for expanding into other relevant markets as well.”

Hundreds of companies applied to REach this year, more than double the applicants in 2014. Those chosen proved to have solid business models, executable business plans and significant potential to impact the real estate space and beyond. The seven organizations can expect significant results, as past classes have doubled, on average, their customer base and collectively raised over $34 million in financing both during and after completing the program.

Watch right here at The Source for further coverage of the commercial real estate aspects to these companies and how they can solve your business challenges.

Reach: What CRE Pros Should Know About Recent Facebook Changes

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Many thousands of agents, managers and brokers use Facebook to great benefit  in their commercial real estate careers.  As with other social networking platforms, Facebook helps maintain the year-round business networking that professionals need.  The cost in dollars is zero to set up a presence such as a page dedicated to your business, and millions of professionals have taken to the site to take advantage of the free networking.

As the site closes in on its tenth birthday, having passed major business milestones such as its 2012 initial public offering, subtle changes in how Facebook works are underway, all aimed at bolstering the company’s bottom line.  Facebook makes its money not as a social networking platform, but as a delivery vehicle for highly targeted online advertising. Increasingly, that revenue is going to come from Facebook users — wether they know it or not.

Reducing The (Free) Reach, Accentuating The Paid

Facebook’s business plan includes directly monetizing the value it provides.  For a commercial real estate professional, that value is in the reach the professional enjoys.  When a property broker (just to take one example of a CRE pro) creates a page dedicated to her practice and posts material on that page, the basic expectation is that everybody who has “liked” that page, e.g. her followers, will see that content in their own newsfeed.  She reaches her followers with her sharing of content.

That was the basic expectation with Facebook for years, but much evidence has come in that the company has radically changed the reach it allows.  The unpaid reach (the industry calls it “organic” reach) is, according to many analysts on the sharp decline:

So far, it looks like brands are suffering pretty hard from the update. Ignite Social Media has put out a report after analyzing 689 posts across 21 brand pages of a variety of sizes and industries, finding that since December 1st, organic reach and organic reach percentage have each declined by 44% on average. Some, it says, have seen declines of up to 88%. One page out of the bunch saw an increase (5.6%).

“As reach declined, the raw number of engaged users plunged as well, falling on average by 35%,” writes Jim Tobin on the Ignite blog. “Some pages saw engaged users fall as much as 76%. Only one page in the data set had an increase in the number of engaged users, coming in at 0.7%.”

“Facebook once said that brand posts reach approximately 16% of their fans,” he writes. “That number is no longer achievable for many brands, and our analysis shows that roughly 2.5% is now more likely for standard posts on large pages. So, a year ago a brand could expect to reach 16 out of 100 fans and now that brand is lucky if they get 3 out of 100. Chilling news for brand pages who have invested resources to ‘build’ a large following of fans.”

Owners of business and brand pages on Facebook now face an altered playing field.  In order to keep up the levels of reach that make involvement with Facebook worthwhile, Facebook offers paid promotion as a means of extending that reach.  The ins and outs of paying for reach on Facebook is a topic for another post – but for now, because users aren’t told about the decline in reach, it’s important to understand that Facebook is increasingly switching to a pay-to-play networking model.