Most people begin their real estate searches online, so every agent’s online “first impression” is more important than ever. Given the fact that NYC’s real estate market is fast-paced and bustling with activity, it can be difficult for agents to manage and maintain a digital reputation in this digital era. Space helps agents through its online directory of licensed agents in NYC, the largest of its kind with over 60K agents. This platform also provides ancillary services that include personal consulting for real estate firms and their brokerages.
AlleyWatch spoke with founder and CEO Eddy Boccara about creating a platform that provides an array of tools to help agents digitally promote themselves.
Tell us about the product or service that Space offers.
Space is the largest online directory of New York City’s +60K licensed real estate agents. The much-needed service allows you to find the best-suited broker for your needs and review them at the end. Approximately 1.8K agents enter the real estate industry every month, and hundreds leave simultaneously. This makes it challenging to stand out from the crowd. Space allows agents to manage their online reputation, and highlight their specific skills including languages spoken, and neighborhood expertise. They also have the opportunity to connect with and endorse other agents.
What separates Space apart from other sites is our dedication to data accuracy in the industry. Space has collected data and created profiles for every licensed agent in New York City and automatically updates the directory daily. As of today, agents from 98 companies have claimed their profiles and are using the platform as their digital resume. We believe there is more to an agent than what he or she has listed on the market. We want to help agents’ brand and market themselves online using the power of client testimonials.
What market does Space target and how big is it?
Space’s primary market is all +60K licensed real estate agents that are in New York City’s five boroughs.
What is the business model?
We use a freemium subscription model. The basis of Space is to be a transparent directory to aid NYC’s real estate community, we are introducing premium features to members who subscribe. This will also soon include personal consulting for New York real estate brokerage firms and their agents.
Once you introduce paid promotions, will Space’s transparency be jeopardized?
No. Should we introduce a pay to promote system it will be obvious to users which profiles are ranking because of their merits, and which are paid placements. Transparency is at the core of what will sustain Space in the long run. It’s incredibly important that we remain non-biased in order to instill trust and longevity in our review and ranking system.
What inspired the start of Space?
In order to have a base level of trust with anyone these days, online visibility is incredibly important, and unfortunately, a lot of real estate agents don’t realize this. It was when I was managing a brokerage in Manhattan where I was responsible for recruiting and training agents, that I realized just how old fashioned the real estate industry is. Most brokerages have little interest and are uneducated about digital marketing. Unless you’re part of one of the big companies, you are virtually invisible online. I wanted to create a space where all agents are listed, have the opportunity to enhance their online presence, and market themselves through their earned skills and client testimonials.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Within the next six months, we’re hoping to educate an additional 2K agents on enhancing their online presence, using Space as their digital resume. We will also soon launch a feature that connects agents looking for new or different challenges, with mutually interested brokerages.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Building a great team is a never-ending process. It takes time to find the right people for your company.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
I would be interested in having a conversation with Ryan Serhant from NestSeekers. Ryan is very involved in the real estate community and always seems willing to help fellow agents.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York’s real estate industry is like no other. It’s incredibly fast-paced, and not just in reference to the length of time a property is on the market. Roughly 1,800 agents enter the industry every month, and hundreds leave it simultaneously. Agent turnover is incredibly high and thus most brokers find it difficult to begin and sustain a career. In a city where few know their neighbors, digital word of mouth is everything. Space is a platform where agents, can enhance their online presence and build relationships with potential clients and peers.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Her Name Was Carmen in Soho.