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Imprev inks major deals, CEO says 2012 a growth year

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Imprev forges ahead

In light of Market Leader’s recent cancellation of their contract with Imprev, speculation looms as to why. Imprev CEO, Renwick Congdon told AGBeat that “Market Leader has been moving from the House Values lead generation model for the last few years, really since the acquisition of Realty Generator in November of 2007, to a SaaS model. The Keller Williams contract required very robust marketing features, which Market Leader did not have in-house. Imprev and Market Leader worked together to deliver -and even exceed- the features required by Keller Williams. Everyone -Keller Williams, Keller Williams agents, Market Leader, and Imprev- has been very happy with the result.”

Congdon explained that Market Leader realized the Marketing portion was necessary and at the low price of $2.1 million to acquire Sharper Agent, the company opted not to support two separate branches. Congdon says the acquisition price is far below what acquiring Imprev would cost, adding, “if I would have known that Sharper Agent was available at that price I would have bought them!” He is supportive of Market Leader’s decision and notes that with only a $1.2 million contract between the two, the terminated contract “is not enough to make a huge difference in Imprev’s business.”

After an explosive 2011 for growth, Congdon forecasts continued growth in 2012 based on internal and external growth, and soon to be launched channels, partnerships and products. The company will be launching more products like the RE/MAX presentation app for iPad and have several partnership contracts in various stages to announce soon, but what is most appealing is their expansion via new channels and their “adding potentially tens of thousands of new agents that will have access to Imprev through both our Multiple Listing Services channel as well as through our Technology Providers channel. The Market Leader’s success with eEdge did not go unnoticed by other technology companies.”

To maintain their competitive edge, the company was very cryptic about what developments are currently underway but they are very enthusiastic about them and are confident that they will command attention, much like their RE/MAX presentation app has.

Investing in growth

On Monday, the following press release from Imprev will cross the news wires, providing more detail how they have invested in their growth and what 2012 looks like for the growing company:

Tech firm Imprev Inks Major Deals, Expands, See More Growth in 2012

Bellevue, WA – January 9, 2012 – Home sales may be lackluster and home foreclosure and vacancy rates alarming, but leading real estate firms are still investing in both marketing and technology to help their agents build market share as competition has intensified.

In fact, the U.S. real estate industry was projected to spend nearly $22 billion in 2011 on total advertising, with $8.9 billion spent online, according to a study by research firm Borrell Associates. That puts spending up 8.1 percent from 2010, placing the real estate industry second only in advertising to general merchandising retailers. That trend continues to benefit Bellevue, Washington-based Imprev, a leading provider of marketing technologies
for real estate brokerages.

Imprev recently signed long-term contracts totaling millions of dollars with real estate leaders RE/MAX and Brookfield’s Royal LePage Real Estate Services to deliver more products and services to help their agents and brokers stay ahead of competitors.

While most segments of the residential real estate industry have been contracting, the 11-year-old, privately-held Imprev has been expanding. The corporation recently moved into 50% larger space — architecturally designed and configured to maximize collaboration between its Engineering, Quality Assurance and Creative teams to increase efficiency and creativity.

Imprev also added two proven real estate marketing veterans to its roster. Kevin Hawkins, well-known in the real estate industry as a top marketing communications professional, joined the company as Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing. He will assist Imprev’s clients with additional public relations and marketing opportunities – a new service provided by Imprev.

Carolyn Holmberg joined as Marketing Director to develop new, integrated marketing programs for real estate agents and brokers designed to streamline their marketing efforts and help them increase their conversion rate of turning prospects into customers.

These moves give Imprev customers more tools and services and will provide additional support to existing clients as well as to other major franchises, Multiple Listings Service firms, independent brokerage firms and through its technology partner channel.

Last year, Imprev delivered several innovations, including “one click to Facebook and Twitter” features for agent marketing materials, an instant Craigslist display ad tool, and the first “Listings Presentation” iPad app available in Apple’s iTunes store, the “RE/MAX Presenter.”

Imprev’s growth over the last five years has been significant, growing four-fold from the 50,000 agents and brokers it served in 2006 to serving more than 200,000 agents today.

Investing to Grow
“We’ve found that in a challenging market, it’s as important where you spend money as it is where you don’t,” said Renwick Congdon, CEO and Founder of Imprev. “Most people will say cut quickly and deep. We learned that by being focused with our investments, we could grow and come out on top.”

Congdon plans to expand his employee base through key hires and strategic acquisitions to deliver the most value for Imprev’s clients. He points to his new marketing team as an example. “Imprev will grow, but we must measure new growth not just by the number of customers we serve, but how deeply and broadly we meet current client needs.”

Hawkins has spent more than 20 years in Corporate Communications and Marketing, developing an array of successful real estate agent communications and marketing programs in his positions at HomeGain, Inman News, Great Western Bank (now CHASE) and Fannie Mae. Hawkins co-created Great Western’s nationally renowned “Realtor Program,” and at Fannie he helped launch and implement the firm’s “$1 Trillion Commitment” program, which expanded homeownership nationally.

Holmberg is a proven expert in developing marketing solutions for the real estate industry, both as Marketing Director at Windermere Service Company and as a Vice President at Washington Mutual. Holmberg created a direct marketing platform enabling Windermere agents to design personalized, cohesive, and targeted brand marketing collateral. She also developed marketing and training programs for WaMu’s 5,700 home loan consultants.

About Imprev
Imprev, Inc. is the leading provider of private-label Marketing Centers for real estate leaders RE/MAX, Brookfield’s Royal LePage, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, and Keller Williams Realty, Inc. and serves ever over 200,000 real estate agents worldwide. Imprev-powered Marketing Centers provide brokers and agents with a single source for digital flyers (which can be printed), postcards, video, virtual tours, iPad presentations, and e-marketing (Facebook/Twitter/email) material. Imprev helps agents simply and cost-effectively enhance their own personal image while harnessing the influence of their company’s brand. Established in 2001, Imprev is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Visit Imprev at www.imprev.com.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Eric Hempler

    January 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    "Imprev and Market Leader worked together to deliver -and even exceed- the features required by Keller Williams. Everyone -Keller Williams, Keller Williams agents, Market Leader, and Imprev- has been very happy with the result.”

    — Not this Keller Agent!

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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