Originally written by Jim Dalrymple, published on Inman News
Radius, a real estate social networking startup that has raised millions in funding, is branching out with a pair of new products meant to give agents more and better leads.
The products, which the company discussed exclusively with Inman, have been dubbed Radius Marketplace and Radius Assist, and they’re both meant to enhance agent productivity. The Marketplace, as its name implies, functions as a landing place and kind of online bazaar for leads that Radius has gathered and vetted via its concierge service. Agents can then log onto the platform, see a list of qualified leads, and choose which ones they want.
“Right now,” Biju Ashokan, Radius’ founder and CEO, said, “we’re averaging 1,000 to 1,200 leads going through the marketplace every month.”
The marketplace displays a variety of information about leads, including whether they are for buyers or sellers, price point and the neighborhood where they are located. Agents access the marketplace via Radius’ mobile app. Users can also adjust their settings so that they get notifications when a lead fitting their desired criteria — such as coming from their preferred neighborhood — becomes available.
Though the product had not been previously announced, Radius quietly began making it available to users three months ago. According to Ashokan, in that time it has grown to have 50,000 users.
“It’s a very vital, very fast-growing marketplace,” he added. “We can see the number of leads increasing month over month.”
Radius collects the leads that appear in the marketplace from a number of sources, the most significant of which is agents and brokerages who for, whatever reason, can’t use them — for example, if the leads fall outside an agent’s home turf. In those cases, Radius reaches out to the lead, qualifies it and then makes it available to the marketplace users.
Getting on Radius Marketplace and accepting leads is free, but when those leads result in a closed deal the company collects a percentage of the agent’s commission. Agents representing buyers pay 30 percent of their gross commissions, while agents representing sellers pay 35 percent.
However, Radius doesn’t actually care what commission model agents use. So the company is willing to take its cut from a 3 percent commission, 1 percent commission or even from the flat-fee that a brokerage such as Reali might collect.
On the other hand Radius Assist, the other new product the company is now announcing, operates using a monthly subscription model. In that case, agents can pay either $299 for a one-month subscription, or $249 per month for a duration of six months.
Radius Assist is essentially a way for agents to outsource their lead qualification process. Users submit their leads to Radius, which will then reach out to each of them within five minutes. For leads that ultimately end up being qualified, Radius will coordinate a time for the agents themselves to reach out.
The service also includes a dashboard that allows agents to track the progress of their leads.
“From an agent’s perspective,” Ashokan said, “it’s kind of a full-fledged lead management service.”
The company also offers an a la carte version of Radius Assist in which users pay $500 to submit 1,000 leads for vetting, and then an additional $29 per lead they accept.
Ashokan said that Radius Assist launched a month and a half ago and today has about 150 users.
The announcement of Radius’ two new products comes about a year after it raised $4 million in a funding round led by NFX, the venture capital firm of Trulia founder Pete Flint. Radius’ core product, a social network meant to facilitate lead sharing across the country, is free to use and a year ago had 70,000 registered users.
Over the last year, however, Radius has grown and Ashokan said it now has close to 90,000 registered users who have, apparently, been drawn to the company’s vision of agent cooperation.
“What we wanted to do,” Ashokan added, “was create this social network of real estate agents helping each other out.”
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