At Climb Labs, we love ambition, and we wanted to take some time to highlight one of the more ambitious products we have come across in the real estate tech space. Relola is an Emeryville-based startup that is looking to end the disconnect between agents and clients by providing a platform that is useful to both. We asked some of our top producers for their impressions, and asked Relola co-founder Heather Sittig Jackson to weigh-in as well:
“Relola is a tool that makes it simple for real estate agents to share their insights about any property they tour or show. When people see an agent’s leg work in the field clearly displayed on a map, the agent is immediately made credible.” – Heather
Agents live and breathe real estate, constantly viewing houses and exercising their expertise on different listings. Much of this information stays with them, or is circulated internally at their brokerage. Relola looks to leverage this expertise as a marketing tool, allowing agents to showcase their own expertise to customers who are curious about a listing or looking for an agent.
An agent who views multiple properties in a day might have no interest in any of them, but can easily write up a short review of their best features and their shortcomings. Relola’s platform believes that by offering their impressions, they can arm customers with useful information, all the while building up personal and professional credibility.
What makes this an ambitious product is the amount of consumer, agent, and brokerage buy-in it requires to offer value. As we’ve written before, a product selling to multiple marketplaces can be tough to get right, but many of our agents believe in Relola’s vision. Growing a larger community of agents and brokerages who use Relola is critical, as it gives consumers a growing stockpile of information to work with when searching for an agent or property:
“It’s a really fantastic tool that allows us in the field to broadcast ourselves and personalities along with what we see out there. Buyers should know it exists. I really believe in the founders’ vision, and I trust that they will continue to add more useful features and tweak the product toward the combined needs of realtors and buyers, even as those change and as technology changes.” – Stephanie Pascal
For consumers, Relola gives them multiple viewpoints on the same listing — agents may have different perspectives, and are necessarily going to be accurate and detailed in order to showcase their knowledge. This added knowledge will, ideally, build confidence in consumers and help them find agents who they trust.
One of the main issues facing Relola currently is getting the word out to brokerages. Depending on the city, Relola’s list of properties might not be as robust as it could, as brokerages have not yet opted-in their listings via Listhub, their MLS or by providing a direct feed to Relola. Despite this, Relola still offers plenty of value to agents:
“I view the widget as a great way for customers and potential clients to see how active we are in the local market and where we do business at. Regardless of whether or not they are current listings or past sales it gives the potential client reasons to reach out to us and engage in real estate.” – Grant Inaba
No startup can dominate the marketplace right away, and Relola understands this. They are continually iterating and adding features, including a growing list of social media integrations, in order to encourage engagement. We’re excited to see where they take the product next!
“Relola is a great way for me to share my opinion on homes that aren’t necessarily my listings. I think Relola’s goal of neutral agents being a resource for buyers is genius and it is a part of my business plan!” – Laura Pallin