October 13, 2021
is on the forefront of taking agent-centric to the next level.
Side, is “agent-forward.” That means they work to ensure that clients remember their agent’s name, not the brokerages’.
If you’re familiar with California Real Estate, you may have heard of some of the brands that they’ve partnered with – Thrive, City, Elevation, Real Estate Experts, Portfolio, and many more. What you probably didn’t know is that they are all powered by a new brokerage that is flipping the old model on its head. The fact that you haven’t heard of Side is by design, says Guy Gal, Side’s CEO. “It’s an agent service, not a brokerage service. Traditionally the brokerage gets credit when the agents should.”
Guy Gal, CEO Side Inc.
The Pursuit of Enablement
Prior to Side, Guy built technology businesses by bringing talented individuals together and looking at problems in unique ways. It wasn’t until he spent time with his childhood friend, Phil, a Realtor in Toronto, that he realized how big of an opportunity there was to improve the way that homes are bought and sold. Phil was a savvy agent, having grown his business to a respectable $40,000,000 in annual volume, however, he ended up hitting a ceiling. His brokerage didn’t make it easy to build a team, his clients didn’t care about his brokerage’s brand, and ultimately he realized that he was doing too much busy work to take on more clients.
Guy urged Phil to start his own brokerage so that he could take control of his business and break through the ceiling. Phil took the suggestion seriously, yet after getting his broker’s license and scoping out a plan, he realized that running a brokerage wasn’t the type of work that he loved doing. Phil is great at working with clients, collaborating on deals and mentoring team members, not back-office paperwork, marketing, legal and finance.
This is when it clicked for Guy, “You want a white-label brokerage. You take care of the service and sales on the front end; the back office, brokerage, legal, compliance, audit, transaction coordination, conveyance, marketing, advertising all gets handled for you on the backend”. That was the idea that thrust Side into reality. On paper, this proposition doesn’t sound all that different from what a traditional brokerage is supposed to do, however walking through Side’s office in San Francisco, it becomes clear just how different they are.
Side is predicated on the idea that agents should focus on the high-value work of servicing clients, everything else should be handled by people who specialize in that particular task. Side has staffed up an impressive team of Technologists, Designers, Marketers, Video Producers, Lawyers and Transaction Specialists, all in the pursuit of enabling agents to focus on their bread and butter, clients. Side’s platform saves each agent an average of 62 days in time per year.
A Look Under the Hood
Prior to partnering with Side, agents will sit down with Side’s team of Brand Strategists and Designers to understand the type of business that they want to build. “Each brand is different,” says Guy, “They are tailored to the agent, their clientele and the community that they serve.” Once they align on the brand, the team goes to work building out the website, collateral and internal systems so that they can launch their new brand and hit the ground running.
Side partners with top producing agents, though that’s not the only factor that gets considered. They want to pick winners, so if two different agents compete for the same niche in a market, Side wants to work with one of the agents, not both. “That’s the only catch,” says Guy, “if we don’t work with you, we’ll work with your competitor.”
Side already represents over $2.2 billion in annual home sales volume in California and expects to represent over $6 billion in sales volume by the end of 2019 as they expand nationwide, starting with Texas and Florida. By bringing together the best agents in each market and powering them with a game plan, team, and platform, they provide the best experience and the best results. This, Guy believes, is what consumers truly want and is the model of the future.
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