DURHAM – First, a four-year-old startup that developed an artificial intelligence platform to help real estate agents connect with prospective home sellers, is now part of real estate giant RE/MAX.
“We have set our sights on becoming the global leader in real estate technology, and the acquisition of First is evidence of that steadfast commitment,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Chief Executive Officer, in announcing the deal Wednesday. “With First, we found next-level talent combined with a game-changing service, delivering exclusive access to one of the best products for agents out there today.”
Financial details of the deal for the venture-backed company cofounded by Jess Martin and Mike Schneider in 2016 were not disclosed.
Triangle serial investor Scot Wingo has included First among the most promising startups and emerging companies for his annual “tweener” list.
First delivers data-driven recommendations to agents and brokers about who in their sphere of influence is most likely to sell based on hundreds of data points like income and spending behavior, market trends, property information, and major life events like getting married, having a child, or graduating from an undergraduate or graduate program.
First is able to predict behavior on more than 200 million people and makes their data available and accessible to agents through a mobile interface designed for agents to use while they’re in the field.
According to the company, agents are able to see activity, contact prospects and existing clients, and schedule regular follow-up appointments to continue conversations. Agents are able to focus on the people who are most likely to be making changes, said the company, which means that they’re most likely to need a real estate agent.
“We’ve seen the impact the First platform has had in growing individual agents’ businesses, and the fact that we’ll now bring it to scale with the RE/MAX Network’s extensive group of agents is motivating,” said Schneider, First’s CEO. “The race is on in the industry to establish technology as a true competitive advantage. For us, RE/MAX was the obvious choice given its brand, strategic roadmap, and global leadership position within the industry.”
Schnieder will remain head of the company which will stay based in Durham.
RE/MAX realtors across the country will be provided with “exclusive access” to the First platform, RE/MAX said.