Facebook Workplace enables virtual estate agencies

11 Jan 2017

Facebook has taken on Craigslist, OfferUp and LetGo with its new Marketplace app. It’s gunning for job sites with added recruitment functionality. The next classified frontier: real estate.

While the social media leader hasn’t announced a consumer-facing real estate product yet, it’s using Workplace, its back-office Slack competitor, to allow at least some real estate brokerages to replace their brick-and-mortar offices with pure Facebook technology.

That’s the gist of an article by Teke Wiggin, published on Inman News last week, which profiles Boco Realty, a virtual brokerage that said it is using Facebook’s new business communication platform as a substitute for a physical workspace. Boco Realty added that it will use savings on overhead to up commissions (paid to agents).

Facebook Workplace costs $3 per agent, and allows Realtors to do everything they can on Facebook, such as friend, follow and message other users. Agents can join groups within the virtual brokerage’s walled garden, and make voice and video calls.

Boco Realty isn’t going 100 percent Facebook, though, Inman reported. Sensitive client files, such as an income statement from a lender, will be transferred via Dropbox, or transaction management platform SkySlope, rather than the presumably less secure Workplace.

Boco Realty’s Ross Hair had previously been with another virtual brokerage, eXp Realty, but felt he could improve on EXp’s proprietary, cloud-based virtual office (which agents had a tough time learning how to navigate, Hair told Inman) by using Workplace instead.

Boco Realty is open for virtual business in Colorado, with California, Florida, Texas and New York coming next.

It’s still new, but Hair hopes 200 agents will be on board within the next three months.

Share

Brian Blum

Brian Blum covers the U.S., Canada and Israel for Classified Intelligence Report, and contributes to our special reports and research projects. Originally from San Francisco and now based in Jerusalem, he has been with the AIM Group since 2004. He is the president of Blum Interactive Media, specializing in writing and multimedia content development for online, print, video and audio. His clients include newspapers, universities and non-profits. He is currently working on a book about the billion-dollar bankruptcy of a once high-flying Israeli startup.