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The real estate industry is filled with entrepreneurs – every individual agent is the CEO of their own business. With over two decades of experience as a broker, owner, operator and investor, Dave Garland, Managing Director at Second Century Ventures helps members of the real estate community turn their ideas into reality.

Three years ago, Dave was tapped to oversee the National Association of Realtor’s venture capital division (Second Century Ventures) and NAR REACH® – a program that provides exposure and guidance to startups that are building technology for the real estate industry.

Our VP of Marketing Lisa Fettner sat down with Dave to discuss the impact of technology in real estate and tips for finding your inner entrepreneur and launching your own technology solution:

  • Dave believes that the best companies truly understand the problems they are trying to solve. And, the best problems to solve are those that have to do with making a process easier – in the transaction, communication, customer service, etc.
  • When it comes to starting a new business, the ability to easily describe the benefit you are trying to provide is a huge first step. Additionally, you must truly understand who is going to buy your product or service. Who are they? How well do you know them? If you can identify and understand your target consumer, know the demand and go out and test your product, then you have something that can be scalable.
  • Change in the tech and real estate industry is inevitable. The big question is how adaptable to change are you? Dave shares that he is seeing more technologies that are working to make the transaction more efficient vs. replacing the agent. He adds that the best agents and brokers are embracing and adapting new information and technologies into their day-to-day systems. Agents that know how to funnel their leads and leverage technology to meet the demands of their customers are becoming top agents.
  • Communication is the #1 pain point that companies are trying to solve for agents today. Agents need to be able to effectively communicate their brand, value proposition and who they are as an individual when meeting face-to-face with a client – it all starts there. At a brokerage level, technology is impacting how brokers efficiently interact and feed information back to their agents (e.g., CRMs, transaction technologies) to better serve their clients.
  • Lead generation and management is another major way technology is influencing how agents do business. Agents must have the right systems in place to properly manage and monetize the influx of leads they are generating or buying in a timely manner.

At the end of the day, a good real estate business is built on relationships. The best potential lead or “thank you” an agent can get is a warm referral, but it’s also critical to build relationships with other agents and real estate practitioners. The key to a sustainable business is building a brand on the ability to accept and give referrals.

Click above to watch the full interview and learn more at nar-reach.com.  

Want more time to build relationships that grow your business? ReferralExchange verifies your leads and referrals, contacts and gives them back to you when they’re ready to transact, and matches those clients outside of your area, price point or property type with three great agents.