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That Entrepreneurial Spark—in Real Estate

It’s always interesting to learn what inspires an entrepreneur to start a business. In the case of David Greenberg, he had grown tired of having to separately change his address with the bank, postal service, insurance company, and all the other services he uses every time he moved (and he tended to move regularly), so he came up with Updater, a web-based technology in which you change your address one time and get the change applied to all the services you use.

It’s with the aim of tapping into promising early-stage companies like this that NAR’s strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures, last year conceived its REach Technology Accelerator program, which just recently announced the first seven companies it’s partnering with.

The goal is to connect the executives of these early-stage companies with mentors in the real estate industry so they can aim to do two things: offer products that fit the needs of real estate, and become a financial success, because a useful product can only be as strong as the company behind it.

This “mentorship” process under REach lasts nine months, and already the executives in this first class of REach partners have begun their immersion into the real estate industry. They’ll meet with NAR staff, brokers, association and MLS executives, among others, on a regular basis, ultimately to the benefit of real estate brokers and associates and others in the industry to the extent their products add value to the industry.

In addition to Updater, there’s  BombBomb, an e-mail video marketing platform, Lumentus, a social media communications center, Planwise, a consumer financial planning tool that brokers and associates can host, Reach150, an online reputation management tool, Treater, a gifting service on a mobile social media platform, and Workface, a live text, audio and video communications system.

Reach’s goal is to bring on more companies in the years to come. It’s pretty exciting.

You can meet the executives of this first group of REach partners and hear how NAR’s mentoring is helping them as they try to bring their products to real estate in the 6-minute video above. Also, you can help shape their products by signing up to beta test them.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is manager of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at rfreedman@realtors.org.

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