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New agent-developed app assigns and pays agents for side work

03/20/2020

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Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

BrokerHive is an task-outsourcing assignment app for real estate agents.

Platforms: iOS, Android Ideal for: Top producers, new agents, brokers, office managers

Top selling points Revenue source for new agents Pay-per-task assigned Quick ramp-up Rapid payouts via Square Top concerns

I think BrokerHive’s ultimate value is as a task-management app, and therefore, it could have trouble replacing many established software systems that include smart lists or checklists for listing and closing processes.

What you should know

This is the second gig-economy-inspired app I’ve reviewed in 2020. The first was ShowDigs, an app that allows agents to pick-up geographically-relevant rental showings for a few extra bucks.

Obviously, in the midst of what will likely be a national call to cease all in-person real estate activity, using apps in this milieu—especially ShowDigs—will be hard to justify. Thus, consider this review in context of a time when it’s OK to get back out there face to face.

BrokerHive is close to ShowDigs, but it’s oriented to standard residential business tasks, not on showing apartments. This app is for assigning lockbox installs, asking people to run an open house and picking up all-day home tours with out-of-town buyers.

BrokerHive can be used for a number of transaction coordination needs, a critical component of the business for newbies to understand.

The idea is for busy agents to help new agents learn the business by working on all the little things that tend to take agents away from lead generation or getting deals closed.

BrokerHive can also help those agents moving quickly up the production ladder. Running a good business requires delegation, and that’s what this nifty app is all about.

In summary, it’s like Task Rabbit for real estate.

Prices for each assignment can be easily set, and each one is detailed with a description, expected timeframe, and searched for by map or a typical list view.

Texts and alerts fuel the back-and-forth, and the assignor is kept updated along the way. There are templates in place for common jobs, or you can customize a need. Tasked agents can get paid right away with a Square integration.

BrokerHive also diverts a small amount of its fee directly to the agent’s brokerage, depending on account level.

Worth noting is that one of BrokerHive’s founders is an active agent with Keller Williams in Portland, Oregon, named Lyndon Hansen, so there is industry credibility behind it.

Having many years ago been in the exact role as the type of agent who would be on the accepting end of a BrokerHive task, there is without doubt business value in handling these kind of projects.

When it’s safe, you can learn a ton from running an open house, attending a closing and showing people around a planned development. In my early days, a fellow newbie for a commercial land broker did nothing his first year but visit empty parcels and study zoning maps.

There is also plenty of value in proving one’s self to the top producers and team leaders whose income is carrying the brokerage, especially when it comes time for them to recruit or mentor.

The app spent a year in development and has been live for a couple of months. It was developed entirely by a member of its leadership team, meaning support intelligence will be in-house and use-feedback can get to the source more quickly.

BrokerHive is used in 11 Keller Williams market centers at the moment, and it’s slated for 70 more, according to Hansen. In addition to momentum in Idaho, Los Angeles and Alaska, the team is looking to expand outside of the KW brand and is in talks with another national brand for corporate rollout.

What I like about this app is that it’s in support of the new agent, which is a critical issue for the industry.

There are a number of applications for this app beyond helping deals get done more efficiently. Brokers can assign useful but non-essential trainings to new agents and incentivize them with a $50 bonus for completing it. It could be used for onboarding, and I envision its use in recruiting. “Find our team a new agent for $1,000,” for example.

However, the company should avoid its use of “worker bees,” as it’s largely a pejorative term, insinuating that the tasks being assigned aren’t important or growth-related.

Marketing burps aside, the opportunities are many for BrokerHive, and I see it as an ideal acquisition target. It’s packaged, fits a specific niche, and makes a smart add-on to any of the big brands looking to differentiate in recruiting and promote technology. Think: RE/MAX’s purchase of First.io — a sharp, niche technology that bolster’s an agent’s business.

I think it has Ben Kinney written all over it because he’s focused on scale, team and tech, and it’s already in the KW bloodstream.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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