Agent Portal
by on April 2, 2020
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AgentPortal looks to fix the worst parts of being a Real Estate Agent

 

When I became a “salesperson”, as my state calls it, I was excited to sell homes, help clients, and make money for myself. The day I passed my test I got a call from what I thought was my first client — a friend’s parent who was looking to sell her home and knew I was getting my license.

 

“Good Afternoon, this is Josh” I said both excitedly and overtly professional.

“Hello Mr. Miller, this is Janet from eWorldHealthcare and we help Real Estate agents get health insurance…”

 

I was instantly disappointed and declined the offer explaining I was very busy. I’m not new to cold calls. In fact my very first “real job” was as a telemarketer. I was polite, got off the phone, and went about my day. Little did I know that this was not just a chance call, it was just the beginning of companies (and the whole world apparently) thinking I had extra money to spend, as soon as I got my license, and looking to turn this salesperson into a sold person.

 

Extra money was at this point a laughable concept. Having spent money on Classes, Supplies, Testing, FBI background checks, National, State, and Local Dues, Supra Lock Boxes + Account Setup, Brokerage Signup Costs, Business Cards, and so much more, I felt utter depleted. I wasn’t complaining about the cost, I knew what I was getting into, but it was still a lot and I couldn’t help but feel nickel-and-dimed at every turn.

 

Fast-Forward 5 years later. I’ve become a luxury agent, doing well in one of the fastest growing cities in the country. I now get emails, calls & texts all of the time from companies looking to sell me everything from leads, healthcare, insurance, CE Courses, websites, and more with the occasional scam email/text as well. But, now I’m used to it. I’ve also become a human BS detector and can spot a wire fraud attempt from a mile away. One day while browsing a Facebook Group someone asks about the best place to get a “Digital Business Card” (which is essentially just a profile page that acts like an interactive digital version of your business card). I see that another agent has already replied to her inquiry, sharing a link to his own card proclaiming to love it. I notice that his link ends with the letters “ref”, something like “XXXXXX.com?ref=2161837”. What was the “ref=“ part? Is that a referral link? I click the link and sure enough it’s a horribly designed digital business card that is covered in ads with a huge button encouraging you to get your own card just like it for $150 a month. “WHAAAAAAT?!?” I actually say aloud while my eyes pop out of my head and onto my keyboard. You can get a whole website or even an app for less than that! The site then further explains that you can cover the cost of your own card by getting others to buy one, and their friends, and their friends. #sigh. It’s an MLM scheme.

 

This is when I flipped. The proverbial straw had broken the camel’s back in several places requiring immediate medical attention. Does it really cost them anything close to $1 to give me an automated business card space on their server? $150??? Does it really cost my CRM provider $600 a month for just my login? Why is Zillow trying to sell me leads for thousands a month that I still have to share with other agents? I’m pro-capitalism but this was getting ridiculous. Everyone thinks we agents are rich with thousands to spend a month on their services, no matter how lackluster those services are. I was over it. With a background in web design, software / app development, and marketing I went ahead and created my own version for $0 on my own server. It looked nicer, no ads, and took me 15 minutes. I shared it in the group and bragged how I just saved $150 a month. That is when the internet broke. Well, at least my inbox. I got literally hundreds of requests for these cards with people offering me money to build them one just like mine. I did 3 for others and decided I didn’t want to do this for a living. It was a distraction to my other business and I didn’t want to be the ‘digital business card guy’. So, I created a software that allowed people to create their own, automatically, and it didn’t cost me anything but the 2 hours to create the software. I charged them nothing because it didn’t cost me anything, not even time.

 

That one instance was the beginning of AgentPortal, or at least its heart and soul — a soul that stands against taking advantage of agents, price gouging, and nickel-and-diming.

 

When thinking about AgentPortal, we wanted to get rid of all of the things that were the worst about being a Realtor®. The sales pitches, the false promises, the hidden fees, the competitiveness that hurts collaboration, the disparate nature of brokerages that keep us apart by office, city, state, company, etc. We wanted a place where agents, just agents, could come together and talk, complain, laugh, answer each others questions, lift each other up, share ideas, share referrals, share listings, and more. Away from our clients that keep us filtered online, our friends who don’t care, and away from those looking to profit from our information…a place where we could ask for help without our anyone seeing that we aren’t the omniscient experts we work to portray. Even we need help, and we wanted a safe space for that!

 

We hope you like AgentPortal. Not everything is perfect around here, but we have a really strong and dedicated team who LOVE our industry and really care for agents. We are all agents ourselves and know the struggle. This is truly for you guys. We will of course have ads and things you can buy, but that’s just to pay the bills. We want everything we do to be from the standpoint of “how can we help” first and foremost. If we can make it free and awesome, we will always take that road first. We have a lot of upcoming features and hope you’ll take advantage and enjoy using them.

 

Let us know how we can help you, what we can change, improve, or offer. We truly care about the success of this profession and industry and work tirelessly to lift it up in any way we can.

 

- Joshua Miller & David Melvin, Founders

Posted in: From the Dev
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