A new mobile app designed to simplify how real estate agents and home buyers begin its official global launch in Las Vegas this week. He has a household name in real estate behind him.
It’s important to keep the app simple, said Frederic Ecklund, co-founder of REAL Messenger, and former star of Bravo TV’s “Million Dollar List” reality show.
REAL Messenger combines the features of social media platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp into one service. Users can scroll through newly listed homes, posted by agents, and connect through in-app messages.
“The most important thing about the app for me is speed,” said Eklund, who also co-founded the Eklund-Gomes team at Douglas Elliman real estate firm. “Platforms like Zillow or real estate websites – they are very busy with information… which is great when you are looking for companies or trying to make a transaction. But there is nothing like a real app where you want to look at beautiful listings, almost like magazines “.
REAL itself is a social app that allows agents to advertise their listings for free and connect with potential customers, essentially giving agents more control over their business. Meanwhile, homeowners can join the app for free as well, scroll through listings or contact agents directly.
In addition to viewing listings, REAL co-founder and CEO Thomas Ma said, agents can create a profile where they can highlight recent deals, post market news, and share their styles and tastes.
He said agent profiles help take the guesswork out of finding the best real estate agent.
“Buying a home is very personal,” Ma said. “So you can find a realtor who understands you. It is like finding your perfect agent.”
Users can also view popular listings or customize their search by postal code or other countries.
The app will eventually be monetized by offering users additional services for a fee, Ma said, citing LinkedIn Premium as an example.
Eklund said it was important for the app to be free and easy to use so agents could quickly promote their listings and generate leads, citing how his team works.
“I have a great team — five states, 13 offices, 92 clients,” he said. “How we communicate within (the team) and with our clients has to happen in real time, and that was really important (with REAL).”
The Eklund team will soon add Nevada to its list of states, joining other luxury brokerages such as The Agency and Corcoran Global Living that recently set up shop in Southern Nevada.
“Breaking news, I just passed my state exam in Nevada last week, so I got my license,” he said.
His team generated $4.5 billion in sales last year and made the most expensive New York sale this year with a $70.5 million Park Avenue penthouse.
Eklund said entering the Las Vegas market would allow him to use his experience working with developers.
“I know design trends from New York, Los Angeles, Miami and amenities programming, and I really work with developers here to create a great product,” he said.
In addition, many customers, particularly those who live in Orange County, California, have moved to Las Vegas as the pandemic has transformed how people work, with many still working remotely or in a hybrid model.
“I have a great team in Orange County and we see a lot of business being referred here and vice versa,” Eklund said. “Why don’t you just open up here and take charge of the market.”