Ben Franklin’s Smarter Agent’s Real Estate Apps: 4M+ Downloads in 1 Year
Technically Philly | Juliana Reyes | July 30, 2014
Smarter Agent, based in Collingswood, N.J., powers mobile apps for national real estate giants like Keller Williams, Sotheby’s and Berkshire Hathaway.
The“white label” apps, which show homes for sale and rent and give you direct access to arealtor, have been downloaded more than four million times in the last year, said cofounder Brad Blumberg.
Smarter Agent’s customers include five realty franchisors (like Keller Williams, Sotheby’s and Berkshire Hathaway) and more than 3,000 brokerage companies, like Fox Roach. The company’s platform serves iOS, Android and Windows.
Pricing depends on how many real estate agents a company has, Blumberg said. A small brokerage company with only a handful of agents would pay a few hundred dollars a month, while a larger franchisor could pay six figures. Eighty percent of the software-as-a-service company’s revenue comes from monthly subscription costs, regardless of app usage, and 20 percent comes from app customization, he said.
Its main competitors are online listings sites and mobile apps Zillow and Trulia, which recently became one company, when Zillow bought Trulia for $3.5 billion. Blumberg said that by covering 420 realtor markets around the country, Smarter Agent “exceeds the reach” of the newly merged company. Another Smarter Agent advantage, Blumberg said, is the accuracy of the listings. Since each real estate company controls their own app, they can ensure accuracy, while Zillow cannot.
Founded in 1998, Smarter Agent started as a location-based mobile research and development company and pivoted to become the business it is today in 2008, after raising capital from local investor Ira Lubert and others, Blumberg said.
The company outgrew its incubator in Camden and moved to Collingswood, N.J., which Blumberg believes will “emerge as the South Jersey tech hub.”
Blumberg, a former real estate developer who got his master’s in city planning from Penn, leads a team of 20 employees. About half of the company’s staff lives in South Jersey, like Blumberg, and the other half lives in Philadelphia, which is “easy to get to” via the PATCO line, he said.