NAR sponsoring Realogy’s ‘FWD’ Innovation Summit

The National Association of Realtors’ tech accelerator, REach, is sponsoring Realogy’s third annual one-day “FWD” real estate pitch competition, which will be held in San Francisco on June 23.

The perks for REach, which announced its 2015 class of seven startups earlier this month, include branding on the FWD Innovation Summit website and other event materials. It also gets a “first look” at the FWD participants, Realogy spokesman Mark Panus told Inman.

“We believe FWD will give REach an early look at fresh new ideas and help create a pool of potential participants worthy of mentoring and capital investment,” said Alex Perriello, president and CEO of Realogy’s franchise wing, in a statement.

Realogy designed the FWD Innovation Summit to give a stable of handpicked early-stage real estate startups an opportunity to pitch their wares to the franchise and brokerage giant, which represents over 170,000 U.S. agents as owner of the nation’s largest brokerage, NRT LLC, and the large real estate brands Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Century 21 Real Estate and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

“This is a natural extension of our mission at REach, which is to help companies connect with the real estate industry,” said Constance Freedman, founder and managing director of REach. “Combined with Realogy’s significant market presence and the inherent benefits of the REach program to early stage technology companies, we hope to accelerate the identification process and help bring the very best ideas to fruition.”

A number of REach participants have been part of FWD events, too, including expenditure-tracking software developer Deductr and virtual business phone software provider SendHub.

The deadline for startups to apply to the 2015 FWD event is May 1. Participants, who will compete for a grand prize of $25,000, will be announced on May 15.

Realogy selected 15 startups in each of the event’s first two years. Last year, 3-D virtual tour firm Matterport wowed the six Realogy judges to win the grand prize.

The 15 companies that presented at last year’s Realogy FWD event were:

  • Beamly from BrightDoor: A microlocation marketing solution for real estate, Beamly can push personalized content to buyers’ mobile devices as they move through a community, home or specific rooms in a home. (Cary, North Carolina)
  • Closing Time: Closing Time helps real estate agents guide homebuyers through the buying and closing process with an organized checklist of tasks and deliverables customized to each buyer’s unique situation and specific state closing laws and procedures. (San Francisco)
  • CO Everywhere: CO Everywhere allows users to connect to real-time, unfiltered local photos, geographic information and social activity anywhere they want by drawing on a map. (Boston)
  • Curb Call: Curb Call is a mobile app that coordinates on-demand home showings between buyers and nearby agents in real time. (San Diego)
  • Deductr: Deductr automates tracking of expenses, mileage and time, and provides single-click access to everything independent agents need to itemize and maximize their tax deductions. (Orem, Utah)
  • SendHub: maker of a virtual business phone system. (Menlo Park, California)
  • GoConnect: GoConnect is a free checklist mobile app for real estate agents, created by real estate agents. (Cary, North Carolina)
  • HousehappyHousehappy is a visual real estate search engine that offers consumers an intuitive way to search homes for sale, and brokers and agents a free platform on which to advertise their properties. (Portland, Oregon)
  • KISI: KISI is a keyless entry system that allows tenants and visitors to access their space more conveniently using their smartphones. (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Lasso: Lasso enables collaborative home search between agents and buyers from multiple websites. (San Francisco)
  • Matterport: Matterport enables rapid, high-quality 3-D visualization of physical spaces from a professional camera or a mobile phone. (Mountain View, California)
  • Remotely: Remotely provides home automation for the rental and real estate industry. Residents, agents and owners can control their locks, thermostats, lights and other appliances with their smartphones from anywhere in the world. (Denver)
  • Slide Bureau: Slide Bureau is a professional tool and template design service for creating polished real estate presentations and slideshows. (Seattle)
  • SmartExpose: SmartExpose makes Web, tablet and smartphone apps that can be white-labeled for real estate agents and property developers. (Berlin)
  • Zumper: Zumper is a national rental search site. Landlords and agents use the Zumper Pro mobile app to create and post listings to top search sites and manage leads on their phone. (San Francisco)

Email Paul Hagey.


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