In November 2012, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) announced REach™, a new type of accelerator program developed to introduce innovative technology companies to the real estate marketplace. REach™ is being developed through NAR’s strategic venture arm, Second Century Ventures.
Over 100 companies across the U.S. and internationally applied (deadline was January 10, 2013) for the 6 to 10 spots in the program. Garnering one of these spots will provide access to one of the world’s largest industries as well as access to NAR, one of the most powerful forces in that industry. REach™ accepts companies at all stages of growth and will be particularly useful to those just now turning a focus to the real estate ecosystem.
What does being accepted in to the REach™ program mean for companies?
Participating companies will interact with some of the most highly regarded executives, digital entrepreneurs, and practitioners in the industry who run, manage or have sold companies with a combined multi-billion dollars of revenues in real estate alone. While other accelerator programs provide similar functions and many significant benefits, REach™’s differentiating factor is a focus on education, mentorship and market exposure around access to the trillion-dollar real estate market and the strategic expertise NAR can bring. In the process, NAR will also bring added value to its membership and continue to fulfill its core mission by identifying those technologies, resources and companies that will most benefit the industry.
What are the ideal types of companies to fit into REach™?
The REach™ focus is on technology companies that change the way the world does business. That doesn’t necessarily mean real estate technology companies – in fact, many REach™ companies won’t first appear to be real estate related at all. Consider, for example, SCV investment DocuSign. DocuSign is everywhere from sales force to insurance to financial institutions – it is not a real estate technology per se, yet the eSignature is the fastest growing technology adopted within real estate. REach™ companies are improving the way the world conducts business, including the way real estate is conducted. While there are some interesting real estate specific technologies out there, REach™ gets most excited about companies that are applicable in multiple industries of which real estate is one of them. Real estate has to be a core vertical of focus to be considered a candidate for REach™ or an investment for Second Century Ventures, however, REach™ loves companies that can expand beyond real estate.
Is REach™ considering technologies applicable to commercial real estate?
REach™ companies will need expertise and intelligence from the commercial real estate community in order to fully understand the entire real estate picture. REach™ has been working with NAR Commercial from the beginning to identify potential applicants and mentors.
How Do I Get Involved?
REach™ will continually identify mentors for this program and we welcome members’ expertise in all areas of the market. This is a unique opportunity to work closely with companies looking to shape how you and your clients conduct business in the future. Email NAR Commercial interest in mentorship anytime at NARCommercial@realtors.org.