Chime At Inman Connect
Outside the walls of the Chime office, it’s rare to find people who care about real estate technology as much as we do. But at Inman Connect last week, we were absolutely surrounded by them.
Inman Connect, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, is the industry’s leading real estate conference. It was the perfect setting for us to launch Chime out of beta because everyone was as excited about the platform as we are. We were posted up in Booth 2 in the Startup Alley and spent the days demonstrating Chime’s powerful capabilities and explaining its myriad of benefits.
Chime stood out from the crowd and attracted media attention for a couple of reasons. One, it is an all-in-one lead-gen/website/CRM platform, which not only makes real estate professionals’ lives much, much easier (because they don’t have to juggle a slew of separate services), but also helps them close more deals by bringing all relevant information and tools into one place. And starting at $199 for a team of 5, it’s a product that is efficiently priced and delivers maximum value. In addition, Chime’s lead generation using social media channels like Facebook clearly struck a chord because it provides an unprecedented level of insight into who leads are and what they want at an impressively low cost-per-lead.
When weren’t in the booth introducing Chime to the conference attendees, the Chime team spent time networking and discussing the trends that everyone seemed to be talking about. Four main themes really stood out and further validated that Chime is the next-generation solution real estate professionals are craving.
The first is that chat bots are the future. Today’s customer can be tricky to accommodate because they like doing research on their own and don’t like to pick up the phone, but they also want highly responsive, personalized service that they can access from anywhere. Enabling this degree of interaction can be extremely time intensive for an agent, but without it, agents risk losing clients. This is why people are so fired up about chat bots. Chat bots allow agents to deliver the level of customer service and support clients want, without sucking up all of their energy. The discussions at Inman made it clear just how big a role chat bots are likely to play in real estate tech’s future. We feel the same way, which is why we are building this capability into Chime.
The second salient theme was the importance of Facebook advertising. Facebook is where people spend their time, so it’s where agents need to be. The social network is an invaluable resource for finding and engaging leads — not advertising on Facebook is basically leaving money on the table. As mentioned above, social intelligence is one of the features that distinguishes Chime from other options on the market. Our platform integrates social intelligence into lead generation and deploys Facebook advertising, so agents get the best leads possible.
Third, AI should be core to every technology platform. AI has emerged as one of the hottest tech buzzwords and forward-looking companies, inside the real estate industry and beyond, are exploring how they can jump on the AI train. Chime features, like chat bots and real-time bidding and creative optimizations, are built on a foundation of AI. The “machines” take care of the thinking so agents can focus on what really matters — driving sales.
The fourth and final big trend was Virtual Reality, which is poised to transform real estate. Think about the possibilities for virtual reality home tours, which make the home-viewing process more convenient for buyers. Orvirtual staging, which save agents time, money and effort making a house look ready to sell. Or consider virtual closing tables, which prevent the need to get 12 people together in the same room (and the logistical nightmare involved). However, despite this excitement, virtual reality is still far away from mainstream adoption and faces a steep adoption curve, as well as security and cost concerns.
Inman Connect was a crazy few days, but it was a thrilling opportunity to see all our hard work pay off. Our team has spent countless hours building the product and testing it with real estate agents, and to finally bring it out “into the wild,” and to witness the reactions, was a major milestone. We can’t wait to show Chime to as many agents as possible and help bring the way they sell to the next level.
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Matthew is the co-founder of Appsurdity, which creates mobile applications that unleash connections, communication and creativity in a way that may seem absurd today, but will become the standard very soon. He brings over 15 years of experience in the startup, mobile and finance space to the Chime team. When he’s not innovating in mobile apps, you can find Matthew chasing around his children or making his own wines.