The NAR Reach program is interesting. It establishes a gateway where companies who wish to express their products and services to the REALTOR® family pay fees and often equity to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Access Avenue is a loan finder product that is primarily aimed at helping Realtors introduce loan products to the investor community. As I went through the presentation, the first place I got stuck was the statement “Competitive rates as low as 7.99%.” The product shops property loans to institutional investors rather than traditional mortgage banks. I think that the product would be superior if it included traditional and investor backed funding sources.
August SmartLock – My initial instincts are that a company offering a lock box solution will need to combat a lot of headwind against some excellent lock box providers like Sentrilock and Supra. Those companies offer great products already deployed in every market across the USA. However, when I watched the presentation, I learned that the August SmartLock is part of a smart home solution. When you are near the lock, it works with Bluetooth to open the door. When you are away from the home, you can manage entry and access via an app on your phone. Installation on a deadbolt takes about 10 minutes. Each unit costs $250. As a backup for the inevitable “technology failure” problem, as a backup, your existing keys still work. I am a gadget guy, so I may consider this for personal use, but not as a replacement for our current lockbox system.
BoostUp – a product that helps consumers with down payment assistance by matching their down payment. The idea is that there is a structured savings plan that the agent provides to their buyer. As the buyer saves, the REALTOR® matches the savings by offering discounted commissions on the sale. Realtors can offset their discounts by getting service providers like the Brokerage, a lender, or a title company to contribute funds to the boost. The company offers a landing page where people seeking down payment matching can get started in the program. I am pretty neutral on this one.
Guardllama – a personal security solution that offers a button on your keychain to call for help. It calls the police. Realtor security is an important issue today. The NAR PAG is addressing it. I am aware of this system. It’s kinda like “I have fallen and I can’t get up.” The other solution that I would suggest that people look at is Real Safe Agent. It’s a showing solution that offers two options. The first is to notify REALTORS around you when you are in a situation that you find creepy. The second is to send your exact location and profile information to 911. Guardllama makes the false claim that Real Safe Agent is not as effective or accurate – which is uncool. The biggest safety solution is education. Guardllama does not offer a safety program. Real Safe Agent does.
Loop & Tie – this is a closing gift program. I have never been much of a fan of any of these solutions.
Notary Cam – it does what the name says – provides video notary. Works great. Just make sure that it is a legal solution that will be accepted by the entity requiring notary and legal in your state.
Pro.com – this is kinda like Angies’s list. It is a resource that allows consumers to find estimates and handymen to make repairs on their home. I love the idea, but the devil is in the details. I think this is something that you can try and see how it works out. Most brokers and agents have a set group of trusted resources for repairs. Give it a shot.