REACH Canada has chosen the eight participants for its inaugural real estate technology accelerator program, and they’ve started work on an eight-month curriculum.
REACH was created by Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the Chicago-headquartered National Association of Realtors. The Canadian wing was established this year.
REACH offers education, mentorship and exposure for technology companies aiming to launch into the real estate industry, accelerate their businesses and expand into adjacent markets such as insurance, mortgage and financial services.
REACH Canada selection criteria
The REACH Canada program received 68 applications. Twenty companies made the initial short list before the final eight were chosen based on three primary factors:
* They were already in the market and had annual revenues of between $1 million and $10 million.
* They filled a gap in the marketplace and provide a solution that’s both in demand today and has good prospects for longevity.
* Founders and executive management teams displayed entrepreneurialism, a commitment to the program and a willingness to engage with other companies in a way that would lend value and benefit everyone.
The diversity and inclusivity of the companies also played a role in their selection.
“We feel that’s an important piece of the brand that we want to bring to the marketplace,” REACH Canada managing partner Lynette Keyowski told RENX.
The eight companies are striving to deliver improved customer experiences to both homeowners and realtors. They cover a range of segments, from helping consumers gain access to housing and home ownership to empowering agents through the use of artificial intelligence and big data.
“We wanted to make certain that not only were the companies accretive to one other, but that they also covered the entire landscape of real estate transactions,” said Keyowski.
“We feel that we can add value to the companies, but you get out of it what you give and we felt that these people had the right mix of dedication to their companies and dedication to the program as well.”
REACH Canada curriculum
The REACH program kicked off on Oct. 6. What in non-pandemic times would have been a day-and-a-half of in-person networking involving all parties was spread out over two weeks of Zoom sessions to accommodate everyone in what Keyowski called “bite-size chunks.” Graduation is scheduled for May.
“Now that we know who the eight companies are and we know what their unique growth challenges and hopes are, we’ve created a curriculum that will bring them expertise and intel in that regard,” said Keyowski. “Socializing and networking among our CEOs is extremely important, so that’s built into the curriculum as well.”
The REACH program aims to help participants define their priorities, refine their strategies and scale up their operations. Companies pay a $50,000 fee up front to participate in REACH and help fund it, but are expected to be compensated through future investment.
“We’ll make some strategic introductions to them and we’ll really help them with their messaging and being able to address their audience in a way that’s meaningful, whoever their audience is,” said Keyowski. “That’s what the road map for the next seven months looks like.”
Program participant profiles
Here’s a capsule introduction to the first eight REACH Canada program participants.
– BrokerAssist is a free mobile marketplace connecting agents and brokers in real time for fractional assistance on deal-specific tasks such as showings, open houses and inspections. It also offers a free platform for on-demand referral opportunities.
– Clik.ai offers document extraction-based machine learning software that makes due diligence and workflow more efficient by eliminating manual repetitive tasks from the daily workflow of commercial real estate analysts.
– HonestDoor combines real estate data with data science to produce estimated values and future projections on houses and condominiums. It aggregates property taxes, transaction data, permit data and neighbourhood growth rates.
– Key has a patent-pending model that makes home ownership attainable with an initial investment of only 2.5 per cent, versus the typical 20 per cent, and with no need for a mortgage. It delivers the benefits of ownership, including growing equity and security of tenancy, with the freedoms and flexibility of renting.
– Local Logic is a data and artificial intelligence company that uses a combination of geospatial, user-generated and real estate data to quantify the qualities of any given location. Local Logic products are used to guide decisions of online consumers when looking for real estate or travel accommodations as well as to build predictive models to inform decision makers investing in the urban environment.
– Parkbench provides an all-in-one sales and marketing platform to help realtors become branded as the local market expert in their desired geographic area. It provides daily business coaching and marketing training, customer relationship management, sales scripts, follow-up templates and a client success team to hold clients accountable.
– RentMoola empowers landlords to increase the value of their holdings through managing processes such as marketing properties, screening tenants, improving cash flow, eliminating risks with rental insurance, eliminating missed payments, and generating working capital. It also enables tenants to take control of their ﬁnances through a simple, integrated and secure solution powered by a digital platform.
– Setter provides homeowners with software and resources that deliver reports with defined steps to mitigate risks via an annual virtual walkthrough that can save them money and manage their properties more effectively.