Connecting homebuyers with real estate agents within close proximity is Curb Call, a mobile application inspired by Uber. Available on iPhones, this app is currently used by brokerages, as well as numerous listing services. For consumers, the app is completely free.
How Curb Call Works
Using the more traditional method, potential homebuyers contact agents, and whichever one responds first gets the job. With Curb Call, the buyer receives a list of all real estate agents within a specific vicinity, which is based on feedback from other users. In other words, this app actually profiles agents and provides an estimated time of travel between each one.
Using this mobile app, a buyer can request a showing. Immediately, a list of Curb Call agents who are available now is provided. In addition, the list includes only agents who are within a reasonable driving distance, something determined by locations on the smartphones of both the buyer and agents.
Once a buyer selects a particular agent, that real estate professional receives an alert on his or her phone. Included is such information as the name of the buyer and the location of the neighborhood. Depending on the agent’s interest and schedule, the request for a showing is accepted or denied. If accepted, the agent receives the complete contact information for the buyer.
In 2013, Realty One Group, which ranks as the seventh-largest brokerage firm based on dollar volume, purchased Curb Call for its agency, but only for certain areas, including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orange County, and San Diego. Kuba Jewgieniew, CEO and founder of Realty One Group, said Curb Call is an exceptional tool that benefits the agents.
At the time of launch, three additional brokerage firms partnered with Curb Call. According to Seth Siegler, CEO of Curb Call Technologies, as part of the deal, the tool is offered to agents on an exclusive basis and only for specific areas. For the future, exclusivity will be eliminated as a selling point.
Developing Curb Call
Following the sale of Robot Workshop in 2012, Siegler served as the chief technology officer of Showing Suite. It was during that time that the idea for Curb Call was tested as a breakthrough technology at the National Association of Realtor’s convention. Throughout the 27-hour event, Siegler built an app prototype that was runner-up in the convention’s contest.
Encouraged, Siegler pushed forward with an app that worked more like Uber, including a pop-up map on the user’s smartphone showing the location of real estate agents in relation to the user. One reason for changing the design had to do with safety. Having worked as a real estate agent for eight years, Siegler said that having a tool like Curb Call that prompts leads to contact him would have made all the difference in the world.
Later this year, the Curb Call app will be available for Android users, as well. Because of the strong demand from brokerages and listing services, the app is expected to become a popular tool for all real estate professionals.