ReferralCloud aims for order in the disjointed referral market: Tech Review


ReferralCloud is a web-based connection for agents seeking to refer relocating clients to worthy agents.

Are you receiving Inman’s Agent EdgeMake sure you’re subscribed here for the latest on real estate technology from Inman’s expert Craig Rowe.

ReferralCloud is web-based referral exchange solution.

Platforms: Browser
Ideal for: All agents

Top selling points:

  • Simple user experience
  • Open to all agents, all locations
  • Manual verification of agent quality
  • Developed by active agents
  • No charges for use

Top concern:

ReferralCloud has the potential to grow, but its current manually backed agent recommendation model suggests it’ll need to staff up quickly and make software updates and advancements in kind, especially to compete with others in this space.

What you should know

ReferralCloud is a web-based connection for agents seeking to refer relocating clients to worthy agents. Conceptually, it works like any other referral system: One agent sends another business in exchange for a fee. Upon signup, the receiving agent agrees to pay a 30 percent fee, 5 percent of which goes to ReferralCloud.

The company, launched in 2021 and run by two agents in Las Vegas with a history of proptech entrepreneurship, was devised to “try to make some order of the referral business.” They’re not wrong. I’ve seen Facebook group posts hoping for a referral connection, only to see 100+ responses, unrelated critiques on the poster and eventually, a political debate.

Setting up an account is quick and easy, requiring a name, contact data and your location. There’s a place to upload your brokerage’s official referral agreement, too. Profile pages are public via a URL for other agents to peruse. Granted, there’s not a lot there to read into, but I suppose a person can use Google from there.

When you need to send business, easily complete a brief form with location, needs, client name and a few other assorted details. ReferralCloud handles it from there.

ReferralCloud cited misleading MLS records as a reason for not having agents upload personal performance stats to enhance their ability to attract referrals. Its point is valid, as many team leaders and brokers use their identities as agents of record on closed deals. Thus, it’s hard for some agents to show what they’ve done.

For now, the company personally calls and verifies the expertise of an agent on their system, and uses that information to select who in a market should get the request.

I see no reason why this won’t work at the start, especially given the company’s short tenure.

However, one-by-one manual verification and agent selection is simply not scalable. It’s also subject to bias. To recuse themselves from that risk, the company will have to find a way to let agents connect directly in a pending update.

Once an agent successfully closes a referral lead and gets the deal done, ReferralCloud gives them priority for the next one. That can also become an issue when multiple agents in a market are good at getting their transactions over the finish line, which is at the very heart of their approach: make sure good agents get the business they should.

ReferralCloud is adamant that it doesn’t want agents to ever have to pay to get priority for referral business, as the ability to pay in no way equates to being a good agent, or good person for that matter. On this, we agree wholeheartedly. I know a few very financially successful agents who I wouldn’t trust to hold my car keys.

Members of ReferralCloud are alerted by the system via email and within the dashboard on the status of deals they’ve initiated. The receiving agent is reminded to update the record as it moves along, and the company will prod them if slow to engage.

Fees are due to everyone within five days of closing.

Agents are paid $100 for every other agent they recruit to ReferralCloud. Membership as of our demo stands at 1,234.

The software itself is sharp. Like its very model, the user interface is stripped down to core features and content panels that are clear, modern and mobile-inspired.

The company made a good decision to focus on interface design, as users can clearly see inbound and outbound leads and communicate easily in a time-stamped in-app chat interface. This is what gives me hope that these agents-turned-proptech-founders will find success with ReferralCloud.

But there are some big decisions looming for the company, as success begets success.

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.





Source link

Share:
WordPress Lightbox