Mortgage lenders and real estate agents are dependent on one another to a large extent — houses need to be sold in order for loans to take place, and vice versa. But too often, these two sides work in isolation.
Joe Welu believes that the future of the industry is co-marketing, wherein mortgage companies and real estate agents work together, sharing expenses and jointly marketing with mutually beneficial results.
His company, Total Expert, has developed two products for professionals in the space, with a heavy focus on collaboration and all-in-one integration. Both the consumer-facing Community Expert and the business platform T3 are built with co-marketing in mind, offering robust functionality designed to take experienced and successful agents and brokers to the next level.
Based in Chanhassen, Total Expert tested and launched a pilot program in 2012, bringing in its first customer in the first quarter of 2013. Since then, Welu says the young company has gained “considerable traction,” with a couple large mortgage lenders already signed and a recent contract in place with a sizable company in Chicago. He says the startup is on track to triple its revenue from last year.
Like many up-and-coming software enterprises, Total Expert’s approach is less about bringing brand-new technology to the table, and more about bringing existing features together in a smooth, all-inclusive package.
“Nobody has really brought everything together under one umbrella in the way we’re doing it,” says Welu, adding that he sees his company doing for the digital real estate vertical what Sport Ngin has done for sports websites.
Community Expert fully automates numerous aspects of the lead generation process, allowing realtors and lenders to more efficiently navigate the online market and post updates to multiple social networks from one place. Websites built and managed through the platform are completely mobile-responsive and hyper-local. It also curates neighborhood level content and photography at the neighborhood level, filling the gap for consumers who want hyperlocal lifestlye media (example: http://communityexpert.com/paradisevalley).
“By delivering this to the consumer facing site we are bringing differentiation for our clients and allowing them to engage consumers in a deeper more relevant way that just the standard mls listing info that most current technology solutions provide,” Welu says.
Total Expert licenses its products on a SaaS basis, with monthly and annual subscriptions on varying price tiers based on the size and needs of the client.