“Realty Check:Brad Blumberg Works Smarter” from the Philadelphia Business Journal
The residential real-estate industry has proven fertile ground for technology companies. The area is home to one company that helps real-estate agents serve their clients and another that helps homeowners find contractors.
Smarter Agent LLC was one of the first developers of mobile technology for house hunting.Brothers Brad and Eric Blumberg started the Camden company in 2003 to enable people with mobile phones that had Web access and global positioning system location technology to get information on homes for sale near them.
At the time, “no one had ever heard of using the location on their phone to get information,” Brad said.
Mobile phones have come a long way since then and so has Smarter Agent. The company has raised more than $18 million in venture capital, employs 20 and targets major real-estate brokers and franchisers, which then make its technology available to their offices and agents to distribute to their customers under their names.
“They can pay for some of their agents or they can have a program where the agents come directly to us and buy through our website,” Brad said.
Smarter Agent’s technology now allows users of the company’s apps to search for all kinds of real-estate data, not just get information on homes near them. In addition to four major real-estate franchisors — Century 21 Real Estate, ERA Franchise Systems, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, and one Brad Blumberg isn’t permitted to identify yet — Smarter Agent has begun signing up multiple listing services, which are the sources of data about homes for sale in locations throughout the country.
The company just signed a deal with Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. — which runs the MLS for Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and surrounding areas — to provide it with technology that enables real-estate agents to access home listings from its MLS on their mobile phones. Smarter Agent also has made a deal with Hearst Newspapers under which ad representatives at Hearst papers can offer its apps to real-estate brokers in their areas.
“They … can go out to a brokerage firm and say, ‘We can do your mobile applications for you,’” Brad said.
Read the original article here.