Long-term client retention is at the heart of CORE Home: Tech Review

By | March 25, 2022

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CORE Home is a post-sale client retention solution from Inside Real Estate.

Platforms: Browser; iOS, Android mobile app
ideal for: All kvCORE customers and their clients

Top Selling Points:

  • Connects all stages of homeownership
  • consumer-inspired
  • Portal-grade in-app home search
  • Integrated with kvCORE ecosystem
  • Fully white-labeled, brokerages retain all brand benefits

Ball Concern:

Nothing is automatic. As well-thought-out as this software is, agents need to stay on top of how their clients are using it. In short, don’t let its alerts and capabilities linger over time. This isn’t a solution offered as a mere recruiting draw, it’s an enterprise partnership model.

What You Should Know

CORE Home is a new entry to the growing kvCORE suite of real estate business solutions that aims to keep clients and brokerages bound through each stage of the transaction lifecycle, which includes gaps between active business. The software is in beta, and some aspects of it remain in engineering. Customers of kvCORE are testing the shelf-ready components, and I wager they’re quite happy with what’s been done to date.

First and foremost, know that this is not another “how to manage your home” tip-list with an agent’s headshot digitally Scotch-taped to the corner. The glorified fridge-magnet approach to post-deal client retention has grown on me like a lip wart, making me a tad anxious to see what Inside Real Estate (IRE) had been telling me about for a few months.

Phew.

What needs to be understood is that client retention is a real thing in business, a critical need to remain in business. It can’t be an afterthought, in fact, it needs to be a forethought, something in your head from initial contact. The best real estate agents don’t think in transactions. If you want to have a better year, think about next year.

When it comes to building a product to help you do that, providers need to do more than help you throw a bunch of tasks at clients, expecting them to connect you with replacing the water filter in their refrigerator. It requires strategy and an offer of value. That’s what’s happening within CORE Home, and the difficulty of manifesting that in software is likely what took a very smart and technically proficient software company well over a year to conjure, and why it’s still not totally complete.

I envision this software becoming more than what IRE intended out of the gate, as you simply can’t accomplish what they’re aiming to do with a mere value-add product or a loss-leader.

CORE Home tightly inserts itself into the kvCORE orbit, binding to data gleaned from initial lead generation efforts, CORE Present interactions, ongoing communications and the entire transaction experience, keeping all parties in sync at all times.

Under “My Home,” consumers are provided engaging, creative looks into their current home’s valuation, presented alongside dynamic market trend reports, mortgage/re-fi rate information, and essentially an interface that could be considered a “living CMA.”

The app is designed to educate the homeowner on what’s happening in the market around them, delivering alerts on changes in the neighborhood and even new homes, which leads directly into what I think is CORE Home’s true differentiator, something that could pull your clients away from exterior portals.

the software’s onboard home search experience, under “Next Home and Search” gives homeowners an ever-present reminder of what else is out there; it’s not home search, it’s “next home search.” Using IRE’s connection to more than 250,000 IDX websites, there’s little it can’t share about the market with homeowners. They can sign up for alerts, save homes and chat whenever they want with their agent, and vice versa.

With an array of filters, an ad-free, transparent interface and guidance on how to better find that next place, I find it intriguing that IRE hasn’t tried to market its search experience as a standalone product.

Instead of leading with search as a tool for lead gen, the product team smartly hid it within an ownership management application. This is akin to discovering a home theater upon final walk-through that’s stocked with original prints of Quentin Tarantino’s filmography. (Well, that’s my hidden home theater fantasy, anyway.)

There’s no question homes are becoming consumer content draws. Scrolling on Zillow is a thing, a vibe, as the kids might say. And as it happens, CORE Home agents are alerted to activity, able to contact their customers, feed it to their CRM and be that much better prepared for when it all happens again in a few years. Or maybe less.

And when that next move begins to unfold, CORE Home is there to deliver transaction oversight. It’s not a document-driven task tracker, but rather a well-honed mechanism for knowing the big things about a deal.

It uses a dynamic, vertical timeline to indicate offer points and contingencies, terms, approvals, negotiation periods, closing details and so on. It keeps email links and phone numbers for each party linked to each deal milestone. It’s a very cool interface; and generally speaking, there has been a lot of sharp minimization in transaction management of late, industry-wide. Shaker is one such example.

Yes, there are home oversight and system management capabilities, and insurance vendor recommendations and relocation services for that next move — but those are table stakes for this category of product. That’s not what makes CORE Home stand out.

Behind this sharply designed and carefully executed consumer app is a strategy to keep all parties aligned at each stage of the relationship. And yes, the client’s time as an owner is part of that relationship. I don’t want to see an agent send their client, a few days after closing, some brand new, partially branded software solution that has little chance of being adopted. Options like this offer no opportunity for client buy-in; it’s unfamiliar, like showing up to Thanksgiving dinner with a new spouse: “Um, who’s this?”

I’m excited to see what I haven’t seen, in part because I want to know I’m right about the company’s plans for CORE Home, that there’s more to it from a business perspective than they’ve let on. I like to think the product team got new ideas as each feature unfolded: “Hey, what if we added this?”

I doubt they knew fully what they were taking on when they acquired DashCMA either, now CORE Present, a category-leader.

CORE Home is true customer relationship management for real estate, not merely a three-letter acronym stuck to a hard-to-define marketing application.

That said, given its beta status and having not seen its wings fully spread, I need to keep my expectations grounded. I was told the product will emerge in full as 2022 progresses, and that an early rollout with The Keyes Company is going well.

But I have plenty of reason to believe it’ll lead the flock.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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