It's a salesman's dream: pitching hundreds of qualified and engaged decision-makers at the same time. Blake would be proud.
A few months ago, we found out about a start-up competition Realogy was hosting at its HQ. It was the first innovation summit for their top executives and salespeople in the company's history. Realogy is the largest real estate services company in the world, owning nearly 26% of the residential real estate brokerage market. They own and operate brands such as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, and Sotheby's. So, of course, we applied to participate. And, very fortunately, we were among the 15 start-ups invited to compete at the summit this past Tuesday.
We weren't really sure what to expect from a start-up competition held by a really large, public real estate company, but we came away both impressed and humbled. We were struck by just how seriously Realogy took the event and how engaged the summit attendees were. The judges asked thoughtful, tough questions, the audience was engaged throughout the 4 hours of presentations, and one got the sense that Realogy was geuinely open to being entrepreneurial in working with us, the tiny start-ups.
Throughout the presentations, Daniel and I were trading notes on how good the other start-ups were (we kept thinking: "who wouldn't use BuyerMLS or HomeZada or Updater or...?"); we were completely surprised that the judges chose us as one of the three finalists. We've been saying it to ourselves, our investors, and our customers, but is was extraordinarily validating that 5 very smart (and very senior) real estate folks thought we had a compelling product to offer Realogy, and the real estate community at large.
But it got better: the grand prize winner was chosen by audience vote, so when we were brought on stage and handed told we would be receiving a very large novelty check, we couldn't help but feel excited that these hundreds of Realogy employees also believed that Floored could improve real estate marketing in a major way.
Over the past few days, it's been hard to process the impact that this event has had on us. We've been overwhelmed with support from the industry and we're emerging with a few new friends to boot (one is so prominent that she even has her own Pantone color...)
We're incredibly grateful to everyone at Realogy for believing in us. We're working hard to build an innovative technology and we promise we won't let you down.