Three things happened this past week that caught my eye. First, Moxi and Century 21 Canada made an announcement that Moxi is replacing Real Estate Webmasters to provide MoxiCloud and the MoxiWorks products. Then, I received an email from a large Century 21 and a large ERA broker that was forwarded from Realogy announcing that Moxi will be running alongside the Zap platform.
Not sure what the Moxiworks – Zap strategy is entirely, but it is pretty clear that Moxi has some powerful traction. What is being done in Canada is not likely to have much bearing on what is done here in America – but it is a signal. The announcement by Century 21 USA is another signal. And the question from a large non-Century 21 broker is another signal. To me, the signal is that Realogy is pivoting from the Zap platform.
The Power of Imprev
I could be over-cooking this prediction a bit. As you may know – Moxi purchased Imprev, the makers of the most popular automated marketing platform for print and digital. Imprev has been the long standing winner of franchise marketing center contracts. Adding CRM, Agent Websites, and the MoxiPresent tools is an easy add on to the renewal agreement. ToolKit CMA has been around forever at Realogy – I suspect that agents will enjoy the variety offered by Moxi.
Build vs. Buy is a mixed bag today
When you look around the industry, not many large franchises or brokers choose “building it yourself.” EXP uses Inside Real Estate and focuses their development on back-office tech. RE/MAX used Homes.com for years before purchasing booj which is a “build it yourself” albeit from a solid foundation. I have not heard any RE/MAX franchises rave about how that is going, so RE/MAX may have made a similar mistake to Realogy: buying a platform that was not crafted to easily adapt to the franchise model. Keller Williams has a series of wins and losses. I think that they have the strategy right but have not been able to nail the tech (according to agents, teams, and franchise owners). Berkshire Hathaway focuses on the back office and gives their company owned stores a lot of autonomy on the tech that they use. Franchises seem to use a variety of vendors too. Reliance Networks seems to be very popular with BHHS. What is clear to me is that few companies will embrace technology that competitors are using.
Perhaps Realogy has recognized what WAV Group has preached for years. Building your own does not make much sense unless you plan to drop hundreds of millions for a single solution. That solution may have some advantages, but it will always fail on variety. Agents want variety. What I really like about the MoxiCloud concept is that it enables brokers, teams, and agents to create their own tech stack.
Start with your data stack
The most elegant strategy is often the simplest one. We would encourage enterprise organizations to get the data right. Build a repository for property data, customer record data, and roster and firm data. Develop an excellent set of APIs that allows that data to flow into applications. Build a dashboard that allows agents to pick what they like. Offer 3 or 5 website options, CMA options, CRM options, transaction management options, etc. Allow agents, teams, and brokers to switch products on the fly with all of their data being moved withing minutes to the new product. (Yes, Upstream – with development by CoreLogic – is on this path).
Plug in a variety of applications that your agents like
Today, I can add any product in the app store to my phone, my computer, or my tablet in seconds. I authorize the data with a login and the application is fully hydrated with my information within minutes. Shouldn’t it be that easy for an agent? This is literally how the MoxiCloud works. Same for Inside Real Estate’s Marketplace, and to some extent, the Lone Wolf Marketplace. Delta Media is also way ahead in this strategy with dozens of products available to offer agents variety. A recent WAV Group study on interoperability has Delta Media tied with Moxi for interoperability making them both excellent choices for offering product variety.
Let agents drive your choices for applications
Companies should not care what software agents use to get the job done any more than they should care about the brand of car they drive. Agents and teams want variety. They have beliefs that one technology or another is going to help them sell more. We all know that technology does not sell real estate, but some agents really lean on it as a crutch. Give them what they want and help them integrate the tools they believe will be important to their success. A positive attitude and strong belief in the tools are leverage enough to get them to sell more.
Moxi is going to have their hands full rolling out to a few hundred thousand agents. These are good problems to have.
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