Silicon valley has been obsessed with collaboration platforms for a while now. They took many shapes and forms, my personal favorite:
Trello (Launched 2011, Almost 10 years ago!)
Trello did a tremendous job at understanding the concept of “work” and the fact that most successful work places divide and conquer. Simply put, Trello lets you have the concept of a board that is shared with a group of people “collaborators”. You can now create work units “cards” and assign them to people, set deadlines and so on and so forth. You can download the app and now the whole team is on the same page. Every time a card is moved from one status to another, everyone is notified on their apps and everyone is on the same page!
Take it a notch further, the collaborators can upload files, comment and put all their thoughts on each of the cards (work units). This made it extremely easy and streamlined to put all thoughts in one place and review them later.
Asana (Launched 2017)
Asana came along and took it to a whole new level. You can now do everything Trello did but also do a lot more. It was a new look and a different approach at collaboration and project management.
Asana is truly for POWER teams, from gantt charts to scheduling, assignments, reminders, and amazing apps. It is just a great product.
Lets look at something a little more fun..
Pinterest (Launched 2010, same time around Trello 🤔 )
Such an amazing and a simple concept, “pin” a bunch of pictures from across the internet together and click on the picture to visit the original link/content. This is a superb way to share interesting things such as kitchen remodel ideas, food recipes, clothing, vacation ideas etc.. Pictures are worth a 1000 words! Even better, you can follow people you like and keep getting content that resonates with you!
Slack (Launched 2013)
If I worked at Slack today, I would be super excited! Look at the success they have had. They truly understood how to make work place messaging simple. For me, Slack is another collaboration platform that approached collaboration from the other end of the spectrum. It tackles messaging and communication first around ideas such as projects, goals, etc. The magic moment for Slack was the concept of “Channels”. Channels are nothing but a group of people collaborating over an abstract topic. The mobile apps are flawlessly executed too! Once you are on it, it is impossible to dial back.
Ok so why all this history lesson?
While, I used these apps over the years, there was something else happening. I was actively investing in real estate across the country. For all the savvy real estate surfers and home owners/renters out there, you know how it goes, I found myself doing these sequence of steps over and over again..
- Look for houses on brokerage sites, MLS portals, zillow.com, redfin.com, trulia.com, loopnet.com, and 30 more..
- You like something, email/text that link to your agent/wife/husband/family/partner.
- Discuss the property on email or text.
- Send each other files and documents.
- Do step 1, 2, 3 and 4 over and over again.
A few weeks later…my wife and I would say “hey what was that property again? and what did we decide to do on it?” “Did it have a carpet in the basement?” “Did the kitchen have a gas or electric stove?”
For a technologist like me, this was mind blowing. All I wanted to do was talk about the property and be able to recall it quickly. It is not the actual property listing data that is the issue, the listing data is super organized and available. It is the PRIVATE sharing and conversation that needed to be organized and easily recalled.
Techies do this today:
- They take pictures, links, descriptions and put it in a Google sheet and just share the sheet with a group of people.
- Drop a bunch of files in dropbox and share it with people.
- Share their username passwords on various sites to share their saved property list.
I started to research what was out there, I did not want to stop using listing sites like Redfin, Zillow and others. They are excellent and do an amazing job at showing property data. I just wanted to find an organized way to talk about it, basically replace email and texting. My wife built a Pinterest board of Zillow properties https://www.pinterest.com/caitlindamani/amazing-apartments/?invite_code=14df8a40f59847c5992523e3d62923fd&sender=54676720384477035 and I was totally blown away. It definitely was the best way to see our shortlisted properties. It still wasn’t enough. We needed a way to talk on each of those properties, upload files and just be in a place where our real estate agent, our family and partners could ALL be on the same page and know exactly the status of each property and the conversations around it.
RealtyCrunch was born (Launched Nov 2019)
RealtyCrunch is my attempt to combine the concepts of Pinterest, Trello and Slack and have it meet Real Estate. It is a super efficient and simple way for a group of people to:
- Find properties from anywhere on the internet, whether that is Brown Harris Stevens or Redfin,
- Bookmark them on RealtyCrunch, go back to the original listing site (zillow, etc) in one click (pinterest style)
- Have conversations per property (slack style)
- Upload files (encrypted and secure and private) per property (dropbox style!)
- Share and collaborate (trello style)
It takes everything a buyer and a real estate agent do during the property search process across text and email and puts it all in one standard platform.
As I started researching the industry, I quickly realized this is a BIGGER issue for a real estate agent since they are dealing with 10’s of families – 10’s of UNORGANIZED families.
Our primary use case today is real estate agents. Agents invite their prospective buyers to the platform and collaborate in one single seamless interface.
I know we are barely scratching the surface, GAME ON! and more to come!