Proptech Monetization

Goals

To understand how OJO Labs, Referral Exchange, HomeLight, and OpCity drive multiple modes of monetization. This information will be used to inform OJO's competitive landscape.

Early Findings

OJO Labs

  • The company mainly leverages its real estate agent relationships to monetize the platform via their 'human, conversational" real estate advisor. Agents, such as Keller Williams, provide access to markets and customers.
  • OJO does not charge for usage of its services for buyers, but monetizes around service provider fees. They note that service providers 'may pay fees for services and to be matched with users of the service.' Service providers are defined by OJO Labs as real estate brokers, mortgage information services, insurance brokers, and "other companies providing services around the buying and selling of real estate."
  • The company notes that it does not endorse specific service providers.
  • After a round of funding in 2019, the company was also developing a chatbot feature to directly answer homebuyers' questions surrounding topics such as listings and neighborhood features, via SMS and third party messaging services. Grandview research forecasts the chatbot market to reach $1.23 billion by 2025.
  • The company leverages strategic acquisitions to grow market access and scale its team. The RealSaavy platform, which provides custom websites for brokers and agents to support collaboration, had a strong presence in Texas and was expanding to other markets (Florida, Georgia, California), when acquired.
  • The acquisition offers the opportunity for greater lead conversion, with RealSaavy claiming "9X more leads converted" via their engaging, "Pinterest-style", home search platform.
  • Monetization through web development services and lead generation (via RealSaavy) help diversity OJO product offerings and revenue streams.

Referral Exchange

  • Referral Exchange monetizes through a diversified client base, including real estate agents, buyers and sellers, and partners.
  • Referral Exchange 'filters, qualifies, and refers' leads for agents to improve lead generation efficiency for agents.
  • The company offers buyers and sellers referrals to agents.
  • Referral Exchange offers 'white label' service to partners, to provide 'in-network' referrals.
  • The company offers membership tiers for lead generation. For a one-time, $995 fee, the company offers 50 free lead verifications and a lifetime personal referral network. It's monthly membership fee is $95 per month, and $3 per lead verification.
  • The company also actively seeks partners ('associations, financial institutions, and companies whose clients need a real estate agent') to gain addiitional business through referrals.

HomeLight

OpCity

  • OpCity offers lead generation services for brokerages.
  • They have two broker services, OpCity referrals (commission fee at close) and Broker Lead Accelerator (fee per lead and reduced commission fee at close).
  • OpCity referrals connects agents to buyers and sellers. Broker Lead Accelerator is a more advanced services, screening and optimizing leads, and supporting brokerage sales and performance management.
  • OpCity claims a 3-5X close rate vs. the industry average.
  • The company also has referral links for title and mortgage services, through realtor.com, which likely provides some affiliate revenue.

Summary of Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • In this additional one-hour of research, we were able to find information for all four companies surrounding monetization. Monetization streams, such as fees for lead generation, subscription models, web development services, affiliate referrals, and home loan services are some ways these companies are monetizing their services.
  • We did not see evidence of other potential means of monetization, such as property showcase services, business intelligence services, featuring sales agents, customer post-sale services (e.g., moving, painting, repairs), and display ads on website and/or mobile app. This may be because these aren't currently-leveraged revenue streams, or because we were unable to uncover this level of detail in this additional hour.
  • Our recommendations are based on these early research findings and the previous research and recommendations provided.

Proposed next steps:

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