Real estate company

Place is the latest real estate company to achieve unicorn status

Real estate technology and agent services firm Place announced in a press release that it has secured $ 100 million in a Series A funding round.

The financing, led by a division of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, with participation from 3L Capital, allows Place to achieve “unicorn status,” a modern understatement for private companies valued at over $ 1 billion.

The funding will be used to continue the general expansion of the business, including the recruitment and onboarding of agent teams and ongoing technology investments, the statement said.

Place is not a brokerage firm, although it is founded and run by two well-established real estate brokers, Ben Kinney and Chris Suarez.

The company provides business infrastructure support to targeted and highly productive agents, ranging from accounting and marketing to transactions and CRM technology products. He assists officers in hiring and retention, strategy, policy implementation, legal matters and, essentially, any aspect of the many business transactions that traditionally restrict the pace of growth.

Place clients don’t have to change brokerage houses or commit to working for someone else – it’s “brokerage agnostic”.

Place works with agents in over 100 markets in the United States and Canada, with a strong focus on the richest 20% of each.

“The top 20% of agents in any market serve the vast majority of consumers who need to buy, sell or invest in real estate,” Kinney said. “These best agents are our customers. We help them solve the problems that slow down their activity, [such as] find and hire talent, retain their top producers, implement technologies and systems, increase productivity per agent and drive business growth and profitability. “

Place also offers mortgage, title and escrow services, according to an Inman report.

Place was conceived in 2020. Agents working with Place operate as part of a tiered sales system, earning Place ‘titles’ and having access to additional services, such as retirement planning and care. health, depending on the volume. Titles range from “associate” to “equity partner”.

The bundled service model is growing rapidly in the industry, especially as large players, such as Knock, Compass, and Side combine buy and sell representation with team building services, a strategy marketing, financing, home improvement and after-sales home management services.

In a phone call with Inman, Chris Suarez compares Place to an MSP, or Managed Service Provider, a model that has proven successful in other industries. An MSP provides all the framework, technology and business expertise that new or growing businesses need to increase their revenues and better serve their customers. They are popular in medical fields, such as dentistry.

“We see ourselves as an operating system for the real estate industry,” Suarez said. “Why we think this solution for the industry is important is that companies in these other industries [using MSPs] have loyalty ratings 7 times higher than those of a real estate agent, or 13%. When all the services are brought together on one platform, the consumer has a better experience, the loyalty gap decreases.

The technology provided to Place’s partners is anchored in Brivity, a solution developed by Kinney under another of its companies. It offers the full suite of business tools for agents, including customer relationship management, IDX websites, lead capture for buyers, print and digital media and ad creation, as well as transaction management.

On the consumer side, buyers and sellers can access home search tools, a transaction portal, home appraisal tools, and mortgage calculators, among other features.

“We think Place is a friend of the brokerage, we can be an amazing retention tool,” said Suarez. “We can grow the best teams. “

Do you have a technological product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started out in commercial real estate on the cusp of the dot-com boom, helping a range of commercial real estate companies build their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents make technology and marketing decisions by reviewing software and technology for Inman.

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