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NAR’s investment arm launches real estate technology incubator, REach

NAR now seeks the diamonds in the rough when it comes to real estate technology, using the Second Century Ventures to incubate real estate startups of tomorrow.

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104 year old trade group launches tech incubator

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) investment arm, Second Century Ventures was officially launched, branded, and began partnering with technology companies that serve the real estate industry, operating exclusively on returns, and not member dues. The goal of innovation has been lauded by other industries, but the organization was only partnering with established companies like DocuSign, rather than the budding ideas and bootstrap startups that could dominate the space with the right money and connections.

Enter REach™, the new real estate technology incubator which accepts companies at all stages of growth, noting that the accelerator program “will be particularly useful to those just now turning a focus to the real estate ecosystem,” hinting that it will not necessarily operate like the traditional startup accelerators most imagine where 20 somethings sit around in hoodies dreaming up iPhone apps.

The program will accept six to 10 companies per year, and is accepting applications through January 10, 2013. The REach™ program is nine months long and will begin in March 2013.

REach compared to other programs

In a statement, the newly formed organization explains that participating companies “will interact with some of the most highly regarded executives, digital entrepreneurs, and practitioners in the industry who run, manage or have sold companies with a combined multi-billion dollars of revenues in real estate alone.”

NAR emphasizes that “while other Accelerator programs provide some similar functions and many significant benefits, REach™’s differentiating factor is a focus on education, mentorship and market exposure around access to the trillion-dollar real estate market and the strategic expertise NAR can bring. In the process, NAR will also bring added value to its membership and continue to fulfill its core mission by identifying those technologies, resources and companies that will most benefit the industry.”

“This venture truly represents a win for all parties,” said NAR CEO Dale Stinton. “It provides our members with cutting-edge resources that have already been vetted by their association; it creates solutions for the industry, consumers and investors that will improve all stages of the home-buying and selling process; and gives these companies an unprecedented opportunity. And it’s the first time an organization like NAR is behind an accelerator like REach™, which makes it that much more powerful.”

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. beachtowne

    November 9, 2012 at 10:37 am

    April Fool! Hilarious.

  2. Joshua Dorkin

    November 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    According to the NARreach website, “Participants will be responsible for providing a nominal marketing fee and small percentage of common stock.  Contact us for more details.”  
     
    Can you guys provide details on that?  
     
    Seems like an important detail not to make public . . . are we talking a few hundred bucks here or are they asking companies that enter the incubator program to pony up serious cash?

    • AGBeat

      November 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      @Joshua Dorkin we’ve reached out to them and plan a potential follow up story – good catch!

      • Joshua Dorkin

        November 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        @AGBeat Until then, were you able to get a number?

        • AGBeat

          November 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

          @Joshua Dorkin We’re in touch with them, obtaining it now. We’ll post it here before we run a story so you have it. 🙂

        • AGBeat

          November 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

          @Joshua Dorkin (aka, we’ll post it when we get it) 🙂

        • Joshua Dorkin

          November 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

          @AGBeat I thought you were just holding out on me. 😉

        • AGBeat

          November 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

          @Joshua Dorkin never!

        • ConstanceFreedman

          November 13, 2012 at 10:32 am

          @Joshua Dorkin  @AGBeat Joshua – we LOVE Bigger Pockets!  Please give us a call if you are interested in exploring whether there is a fit for the REach(TM) accelerator.  We would love to hear from you.  
          …Constance Freedman, Managing Director of REach(TM)

        • Joshua Dorkin

          November 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm

          Hey  @ConstanceFreedman   I appreciate the message and I’m glad you’re a fan of BiggerPockets!  We do our best to run a great website.  Thanks for taking notice!
           
          That said, I’m not certain that we’re looking for an accelerator at the moment, but I’d certainly be up to connect with you, as we all know the importance of knowing your colleagues.  Feel free to reach me on the usual networks (including ours) or by email – josh at biggerpockets.
           
          Regards.

  3. TBoard

    November 10, 2012 at 8:19 am

    NAR has a spectacular bad record with all things technological.  I am probably the only member who feels this way but I would be less trusting of a product recommended by NAR than a product that was recommended by my friends or clients.

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Loss of internet access is used as punishment for those who abuse it

(TECH NEWS) Internet access is becoming more of a human right especially in light of recent events –so why is revoking it being used as a punishment?

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Internet access

When one hears the word “punishment”, several things likely come to mind—firing, fees, jail time, and even death for the dramatic among us—but most people probably don’t envision having their access to utilities restricted as a legal repercussion.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening across the country—if you consider Internet access a utility.

In the past, you’ve probably heard stories about people awaiting trial or experiencing probation limitations being told that they are not to use the Internet or certain types of communication. While this may seem unjust, the circumstances usually provide some context for the extreme nature of such a punishment; for example, it seems reasonable to ask that a person accused of downloading child pornography keep off the internet.

More recently–and perhaps more controversially—a young man accused of using social media to incite violent behavior during country-wide protests was ordered to stay offline while awaiting trial. This order came after the individual purportedly encouraged people to “[tip] police cars”, vandalize property, and generally exhibit other “riot”-oriented behaviors.

Whether or not one reads this post as a specific call to create violence—something that is, in fact, illegal—the fact remains that the “punishment” for this crime in lieu of a current conviction involves cutting off the person involved from all internet access until a verdict is achieved.

The person involved in this story may be less than sympathetic depending on your stance, but they aren’t alone. The response of cutting off the Internet in this case complements other stories we’ve seen, such as one regarding Cox and a client in Florida. Allegedly, the client in question paid for unlimited data—a potential issue in and of itself—and then exceeded eight terabytes of monthly use on multiple occasions.

Did Cox correct their plan, allocate more data, throttle this user, or reach out to explain their concerns, you may ask?

No. Cox alerted the user in question that they would terminate his account if his use continued to be abnormally high, and in the meantime, they throttled the user’s ENTIRE neighborhood. This kind of behavior would be unacceptable when applied to any other utility (imagine having your air conditioning access “throttled” during the summer), so why is it okay for Cox?

The overarching issue in most cases stems from Internet provider availability; in many areas, clients have one realistic option for an Internet provider, thus allowing that provider to set prices, throttle data, and impose restrictions on users free of reproach.

Anyone who has used Comcast, Cox, or Cable One knows how finicky these services can be regardless of time of use, and running a simple Google speed test is usually enough to confirm that the speeds you pay for and the speeds you receive are rarely even close.

In the COVID era in which we find ourselves, it is imperative that Internet access be considered more than just a commodity: It is a right, one that cannot be revoked simply due to a case of overuse here, or a flaw in a data plan there.

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How to personalize your site for every visitor without learning code

(TECH NEWS) This awesome tool from Proof lets you personalize your website for visitors without coding. Experiences utilizes your users to create the perfect view for them.

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experiences welcome page

What if you could personalize every step of the sales funnel? The team over at Proof believes this is the next best step for businesses looking to drive leads online. Their tool, Experiences, is a marketer-friendly software that lets you personalize your website for every visitor without coding.

Using Experiences your team can create a targeted experience for the different types of visitors coming to your website. The personalization is thought to drive leads more efficiently because it offers visitors exactly the information they want. Experiences can also be used to A/B test different strategies for your website. This could be a game changer for companies that target multiple specific audiences.

Experiences is a drag-and-drop style tool, which means nearly anyone on your team can learn to use it. The UX is meant to be intuitive and simple, so you don’t need a web developer to guide you through the process. In order to build out audiences for your website, Experiences pulls data from your CRM, such as SalesForce and Hubspot, or you can utilize a Clearbit integration which pull third-party information.

Before you go rushing to purchase a new tool for your team, there are a few things to keep in mind. According to Proof, personalization is best suited for companies with at least 15,000 plus visitors per month. This volume of visitors is necessary for Experiences to gather the data it needs to make predictions. The tool is also recommended for B2B businesses since company data is public.

The Proof team is a success story of the Y Combinator demo day. They pitched their idea for a personalized web experience and quickly found themselves funded. Now, they’ve built out their software and have seen success with their initial clients. Over the past 18 months, their early-access clients, which included brands like Profitwell and Shipbob, have seen an increase in leads, proposals, and downloads.

Perhaps the best part of Proof is that they don’t just sell you a product and walk away. Their website offers helpful resources for customers called Playbooks where you can learn how to best use the tool to achieve your company’s goals be it converting leads or engaging with your audience. If this sounds like exactly the tool your team needs, you can request a demo on their website.

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Tech News

3 cool ways bug-sized robots are changing the world

(TECH NEWS) Robots are at the forefront of tech advancements. But why should we care? Here are some noticeable ways robots are changing the world.

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Bits of robots and microchips changing the world.

When we envision the robots that will (and already are) transforming our world, we’re most likely thinking of something human- or dog-sized. So why are scientists hyper-focusing on developing bug-sized (or even smaller!) robots?

Medical advances

Tiny robots could assist in better drug delivery, as well as conduct minor internal surgeries that wouldn’t otherwise require incisions.

Rescue operations

We’ve all heard about the robot dogs that can rescue people who’ve been buried beneath rubble or sheets of snow. However, in some circumstances these machines are too bulky to do the job safely. Bug-sized robots are a less invasive savior in high-intensity environments, such as mine fields, that larger robots would not be able to navigate without causing disruption.

Exploration

Much like the insects after which these robots were designed, they can be programmed to work together (think: ants building a bridge using their own bodies). This could be key in exploring surfaces like Mars, which are not safe for humans to explore freely. Additionally, tiny robots that can be set to construct and then deconstruct themselves could help astronauts in landings and other endeavors in space.

Why insects?

Well, perhaps the most important reason is that insects have “nature’s optimized design”. They can jump vast distances (fleas), hold items ten times the weight of their own bodies (ants) and perform tasks with the highest efficiency (bees) – all qualities that, if utilized correctly, would be extremely beneficial to humans. Furthermore, a bug-sized bot is economical. If one short-circuits or gets lost, it won’t totally break the bank.

What’s next?

Something scientists have yet to replicate in robotics is the material elements that make insects so unique and powerful, such as tiny claws or sticky pads. What if a robot could produce excrement that could build something, the way bees do in their hives, or spiders do with their webs? While replicating these materials is often difficult and costly, it is undoubtedly the next frontier in bug-inspired robotics – and it will likely open doors for humans that we never imaged possible.

This is all to say that in the pursuit of creating strong, powerful robots, they need not always be big in stature – sometimes, the tiniest robots are just the best for the task.

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