BOULDER, CO–(Marketwired – Mar 8, 2017) – From Denver to Colorado Springs, Boulder to Fort Collins, zavvie — a new Colorado real estate startup — is offering to turn top producing real estate agents into the „Digital Mayor” of their neighborhoods.
„Top producers may dominate their neighborhoods offline, but they often don’t know how to dominate their neighborhoods online and through social media,” says zavvie founder and CEO, Lane Hornung. „They need to become the Digital Mayor of their neighborhoods or they are putting future business at risk,” adds Hornung.
He should know. Hornung is an online real estate pioneer who ignited the growth of the nation’s first online real estate brokerage (ZipRealty) and created Colorado’s COhomefinder.com in 2002, which became the most popular real estate search site in Colorado. In addition to being a respected innovator, he’s also an accomplished top-producing Realtor. A RE/MAX Diamond Club honoree, he was part of the #1 RE/MAX Team in Colorado and is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.
He also founded one of the first modern real estate brokerages in the U.S. — 8z Real Estate in 2009 — with the mantra: „Real Estate is Broken. We are Fixing It.” Today, Hornung’s 8z is an award-winning, top-ranked progressive real estate brokerage staffed by some 150 real estate professionals, from Realtors and software engineers, to social media marketers and client care coordinators.
The launch of zavvie comes during the hottest time ever for the convergence of real estate and technology, which is garnering the attention of major investment dollars. In fact, 2016 was a record year for funding real estate tech companies, as measured by both deals and dollars, with private real estate tech startups raising $2.6 billion from more than 235 deals, according to CB Insights. This includes new startups such as Compass ($75 million), SMS Assist ($150 million), OpenDoor ($210 million) and China’s Homelink (raising over $1 billion). Hornung said raising more than $1.25 million in angel funding for zavvie was „nearly instantaneous, which rarely happens.”
It’s the business model of zavvie that appeals to investors, combined with the fact that a real estate veteran is at the helm. Hornung notes that industry outsiders have created the vast majority of real estate technology startups, and believes that’s why most have failed.
Hornung believes zavvie has a huge advantage being a real estate technology platform created by a top-producing agent for top producing agents. The inspiration for zavvie came directly from his decades of real estate experience, knowing „the most powerful and proven way for a real estate agent to grow and maintain a successful real estate business is to specialize in a specific neighborhood, which those in the trade call „farming,” he says.
Until now, farming has been a manual and time consuming process for real estate agents: preparing and sending out postcards to a list of neighbors, walking door-to-door to hand out flyers and business cards, making phone calls only to get voicemail, showing up at neighborhood functions, helping out with neighborhood watches, and more.
„Traditional farming, when done right, is the best kind of local marketing a real estate agent can do — until zavvie,” says Hornung. He describes zavvie as „the nation’s first Digital Power Farming platform: a place where savvy, trusted, local real estate agents gain an exclusive territory — their neighborhood — and lock it down as the local expert.”
According to the National Association of Realtors®, 80% of sellers do not list with the agent that helped them purchase their home. That is, 4 out of 5 sellers are „orphans.” Adds Hornung: „This is a huge opportunity for agents to increase their market share and become a neighborhood dominator through zavvie.”
How does a real estate agent use zavvie? Hornung says real estate agents first see if their neighborhood territory is available at www.zavvie.com. They then can register to become a local zavvie agent and are approved for their own exclusive farm territory. zavvie creates for each agent, a hyperlocal website that features the agent as the neighborhood expert. Agents also receive a customized Facebook neighborhood page, which also is automatically created for them.
„zavvie agents benefit from the creation of a digital footprint that creates a online farming system,” Hornung says. Powered by ongoing engaging content that is created for agents and delivered to their Facebook and LinkedIn social media spheres, Hornung explains the zavvie Digital Power Farming platform keeps a real estate agent at the top of mind with their most powerful leads — their neighbors and past clients.
„The consumer benefits from getting the freshest, most reliable information about real estate in their neighborhood,” says Hornung. „Agents get direct access to seller leads through their local social presence, they attract more homebuyers through our unique Listing Review system, they get to showcase their expertise and build credibility with their neighborhoods without doing the heavy lifting, as zavvie does that for them.”
„Most importantly, unlike other marketing that is seasonal, zavvie makes business more predictable: it delivers a reliable, ongoing stream of potential leads to agents,” Hornung added. „Agents are attracted to how zavvie helps them focus on homes within their own neighborhoods, so they spend less time chasing leads around town, and more time servicing clients,” he adds.
zavvie is the nation’s first Digital Power Farming platform, the place where savvy, trusted local real estate agents go to tap into the most powerful way for a real estate agent to grow and maintain a successful real estate business. zavvie delivers to a real estate agent, a complete social media and hyper-local system for top agents to build their listing business and make — or keep — them the dominant agent in their neighborhood. Discover more about zavvie at www.zavvie.com.