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500 Startups is building lean web companies Realtors should watch

500 Startups takes early state companies, gives them seed investments of $10,000 to $250,000, puts them in their startup accelerator program with over 160 global mentors, Silicon Valley work space and prides themselves on offering access to a vibrant startup community as featured in the video above.

Real estate professionals are a great target for startups because each agent is independently licensed and is the ultimate one person small business as they rely on themselves alone to eat or starve. Because each agent is a business regardless of which brokerage that hangs their license, agents are apt to try new technologies and tools that are not insanely priced.

Realtors are not risk takers with their overall business, but regarding early adoption, agents take risks and are second in line only to hard core Silicon Valley coder geeks because agents don’t have to get corporate approval to buy or try out a new tool.

500 Startups has a large roster of companies in their startup accelerator program, but there are six that we feel have fantastic implications in the real estate world. Their pitches are below:


Because it connects with common CRM programs (like SalesForce or even Google), this app is a simple templated email system that could save agents a lot of time, especially those in the field who simply need to email a prospect a templated response regarding a listing or services. Super simple time saving tool!

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For team leaders and brokers recruiting agents, this video tool is pretty cool for getting unscripted responses that can be shared with others on the team (thus more useful than Skype for web interviews). Of course in person is best, but it’s not always possible, so Ovia wants to help.


Perhaps out of hatred for LinkedIn, Zerply has launched proclaiming a better way to professionally network online. With Realtors investing so much time on digital marketing, any tool that promises to cut through the noise is welcomed in the industry.


Volta is a “lightweight CRM for phone centric business” and appears to be for enterprise level companies with various departments, but we think it could even be useful for a real estate franchise, team or independent agent. It plays well with SalesForce, Gmail, ZenDesk and even Outlook.


There are hundreds of video companies, apps and the like on the market, but this one stands out because it actually wants consumers to watch video in the branded environment that is your site rather than YouTube. It’s a full service tool that could be useful to home builders and real estate teams alike. Anything that gets users to stay on a Realtor’s website is stand out to us.


This is a strange one to apply to real estate, we know, but hear us out. Realtors are often seen as the local authority full of endless knowledge on their geographical area of specialty, so it seems that agents would do well to not only know what this company shows about their area but seek inclusion.

There are a lot more startups where those came from that have real estate implications as well, check out the full (and long) list of companies at

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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