A couple of years ago, Realty Times, a one-time major rival to Inman News a couple of decades ago, was acquired by John Giaimo.
Online real estate industry veterans will remember John when he was the head of HomeSeekers.com, and before that, Visual Listings (1990). HomeSeekers was the first real estate website (June 1995) to display full data and images of real estate homes available for sale, derived from 100% MLS data.
John later partnered with Blanche Evans to form her publishing company, evansEmedia. She was the talented editor of Realty Times when it was owned by Jody Lane back in the late 90s
John has always been a leader with a great mind and a strong heart. Not long after he bought Realty Times, he recruited two industry veterans that arguably are the Godfathers of online real estate — Saul Klein and John Reilly — to become his Executive Editors.
Saul and John R. are two of the real estate industry’s most prominent and enduring industry pros with over 80 years of combined real estate expertise and knowledge. Together, they have engaged and influenced all aspects of real estate: as a managing broker, MLS/Association board members, licensed attorney, architects of arguably the first online real estate community, as well as passionate educators.
For the few who don’t know them, you have probably seen the pony-haired, endless energy bespectacled Saul along with his silver-haired business partner John R. behind a video camera, interviewing industry notables at all major conferences.
A New Endeavor
Realty Times isn’t John G.’s only firm. He recently created and launched a startup called Bring it Home Communities. According to John G., this business model “is designed to create real estate home listing portals in every U.S. community that are 100% pro broker, pro agent, and pro local community.”
What’s uber cool is the technology under the hood. Both TLCengine and Ad Persistence have teamed up with Bring it Home Communities.
We worked with Krishna and NorthstarMLS on the launch of TLCengine to Minnesota agents. His award-winning search technology remains state-of-the-art. TLC’s lifestyle AI interface determines home affordability in a way that is unique to each prospective buyer. It’s probably the most intelligent search engine design I have seen.
Ad Persistence is leveraging its patented digital ad tech to help monetize the sites through local community business advertising.
Two examples to check out are BringitHomeNewJersey.com and 2FindYourHome.com, created for BNAR MLS in the New Jersey and Buffalo markets.
John G. is actively looking for MLS partners, with plans to serve ten new communities within the next ten months. John’s motivation may be the coolest part, saying, “It’s time to bring the power back to the local community and away from the national brands that threaten our very industry. We hope to play a key role in this process and look forward to continuing to empower local markets.”
The TLCengine piece provides home searchers the true cost of ownership, based not just on the value of the home, but also on their lifestyle. That is its secret sauce, and it’s great to see Krishna, John, and the folks at Ad Persistence collaborate on finding ways to improve local search.
About the heart part
Finally, John G. has one more project worth mentioning: Agent with Heart. Through an effort called PinRaise, since 2014, John has been inviting real estate pros to join its Agent with Heart network.
The goal aligns with the “giving back” activities of agents and brokerages that I have written about before. Through Agent with Heart, thousands of dollars in charitable donations are going to local nonprofits.
The program promotes its members to their local nonprofit community. What goes around comes around, reports Nielsen Studies. Nielsen’s research notes that Cause Marketing and Social Impact offer the highest ROI of all corporate branding initiatives.
In fact, 66% of consumers prefer to do business with companies that give back to society, and 46% are willing to spend more for the same product to do so.
Again, another case of doing good and doing well at the same time. You can learn more at PinRaise.com.
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