DURHAM – As competition for home sellers becomes more intense, Durham-based Adwerx is providing advertising tools that allow real estate agents and brokerage firms to use traditional and social media to support home sales. The company recently announced that more than one in 10 homes listed in the U.S. was featured in digital ads powered by the company’s products.
The real estate industry is being roiled with such entrants as OpenDoor, Knock and Zillow – all of which are operating in the Triangle. Yet Adwerx keeps plunging ahead in the ever-changing listings business.
When Adwerx launched its first product in 2014, real estate agents were its primary adopters.
“Real estate agents understood they needed to be where their clients were in the digital space,” said Todd Mosier, Adwerx’s VP of marketing. “Using Adwerx, they could grow their presence on the web and see their ads on popular websites, such as ESPN, and on local blogs and social media.”
Adwerx was one reason local real estate agent Carina Lisboa made the jump to Coldwell Banker Advantage in 2017.
“The biggest benefit is that it’s everywhere,” said Lisboa. “It’s a program that leaves no stone unturned, where it will be seen on Facebook, ESPN, Instagram, ABC News, USA Today, NBC News, The Washington Post and CNN. I also love how it tracks the views and the source of those views, whether it’s just internet views, or more specifically, Facebook and Instagram. It’s a great way to get a handle on where people are seeing the ads.”
For sellers, they like seeing their home advertised on multiple channels.
“My clients absolutely love it,” said Lisboa. “They know Adwerx is everywhere and that their property is being seen early and often. I attribute a lot of my success in quick turnarounds to the far-flung reach of Adwerx. Although most of my success with Adwerx is in the exposure of my listed properties, it has also been responsible for driving more business my way.”
Mosier credits the success of Adwerx’s products to the fact that they are easy to use.
“What we honed in on from the very beginning was simplicity,” he said. “How can we make something complex like digital marketing so that everyone can do it?”
Agents simply go into adwerx, create an ad, identify the target market and link to their landing page.
“Adwerx in a lot of ways can make sure agents are able to build their brand to a targeted audience or geographic region,” said Mosier.
The firm recently announced it has added new products to automate custom advertising for open house events and to announce when a house has been sold.
“As the online industry continues to change, Adwerx products are evolving to capture consumer attention in all sectors of the connected world, from the web and social media to mobile apps and television streaming services,” the company said in a statement.
Strengthening realtor and firm brands
As the use among realtors grew, brokerage firms realized the benefits of the programs and approached the company about building an enterprise-wide service.
“The Adwerx enterprise platform allows agents to create their own digital ad campaigns with just a few clicks, increasing their person brand awareness as well as the firm’s,” said Jay Hall, Adwerx’s chief revenue officer, in a statement. “Partner firms using the Adwerx service report an increase in their agents’ productivity, while also using it to recruit new agents and retain existing ones.”
Brand identity is also a concern for brokerage firms.
“One of the challenges that brokerages have is making sure the agents are promoting themselves appropriately within the brand,” said Mosier. “Different agents have different strategies, and brokerages have brand needs as well. This is one way to ensure your brand strategies are applied by all of your agents.”
Adwerx attributes much of its growth in 2018 to the fact that it added 67 new brokerage firms to its roster of customers, which includes Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Keller Williams franchises.
iBuyer approach changes the way houses are sold
With the entrance of iBuyer programs, such as OpenDoor and Offerpad, into the market, traditional real estate brokerage firms are trying to identify its role. iBuyers purchase sellers’ homes often within days based on valuation models
According to Mosier, the question the traditional real estate market is asking itself is how will iBuying change its role.
“Some established brokerages are using their own iBuying format,” said Mosier. “The industry is asking itself, ‘Is this a threat or is it a tool to help agents sell more homes?’ iBuyers are tools that can add value to sellers, but there will always need to be the agents.”
Growth brings accolades
With its growth in 2018, Adwerx has expanded its engineering team and presence at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. For the second year in a row, the company was named to Inc.’s Best Places to Work and to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies.
The company is now looking forward to more success in 2019.
“We believe this is going to be one of the most exciting years in history for both the company and for our industry,” said Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson in a statement. “We are excited to introduce a variety of new technology offerings that take advantage of the latest techniques in advertising to reach consumers on a whole new level. This is just the beginning of what is possible for Adwerx and for any company that wants to reach people with personalized and targeted messaging.”