Michigan’s top independent brokerage leverages a single database and powerful integrations across its tech stack to gain thousands of hours of efficiencies every year and propel its business forward. Learn how in this story.
Many large brokerages and their agents waste an extraordinary amount of time inputting and transferring data, correcting data entry mistakes, and working to create consistency across platforms. The result for those brokerages is thousands of hours wasted every year.
Not at Real Estate One! More than a decade ago, Real Estate One had the opportunity to upgrade its tech and onboard a brokerage-wide management platform offering a single database and a powerful combination of front and back office features. Read on to learn how Real Estate One has propelled itself to be the #1 independent brokerage in Michigan with unbeatable brand recognition, culture, and technology powered by Constellation1 Broker Hub.
“Our service really couldn’t be any better. I don’t have a single complaint. It’s been a great experience.”
– Jodi Dines, Chief Information Officer, EVP for Real Estate One
About Real Estate One
agents across 75 offices
Nearly a century
Real Estate One is a quintessential real estate success story that embodies the catchphrase, “stronger together.” Started in 1929, it has steadily grown into a respected, tight-knit family of companies with impressive market share in Michigan and more than 2,100 agents across 75 offices. In fact, it’s the largest independent brokerage in Michigan and consistently ranks in the top 20 brokerages in the United States. It attributes its success to its spirit of family and community and its dedication to customer service. Everyone, from the leadership team to employees to customers, is a valued member of the Real Estate One family.
Real Estate One had successfully grown for many years with a previous tech provider that managed their company and agent websites. But in 2009, that provider was bought out, and support for Real Estate One’s websites ended practically overnight.
From one day to the next, Real Estate One was left in the lurch. It needed to find a new website solution, and fast. Jodi Dines, Chief Information Officer, EVP for Real Estate One, remembers it well: “We had to switch solutions on very short notice,” she recalled. “We had to not only pick a new solution, but implement it and migrate in just 5 months, with minimal business disruption.”
At the same time, Real Estate One had another novel idea: what if it found a completely integrated brokerage management solution, with just one database for all of its core data, and integrations across platforms, eliminating data entry challenges, errors, and the ensuing operational inefficiencies?
Real Estate One’s Top 3 Needs
Company and agent websites
Customizable brokerage management platform
A single database for all core data
The Solution: Broker Hub
At the time, Real Estate One was already a well-established family of companies with significant operational needs. In hindsight, losing its website provider was an opportunity for Real Estate One to level up its real estate technology and find a solution that wouldn’t just meet its current needs, but help it reach its growth goals as well.
After a very speedy but thorough procurement and due diligence process, Jodi and team settled on Broker Hub, Constellation1’s all-in-one brokerage management solution previously known as Virtual Properties. Looking back, Jodi called it “3 months of hell,” but the team managed to go live on time without having to take the brokerage offline.
The Advantages of Broker Hub
Broker Hub stood out from the crowd for several reasons:
Everything is connected, from website lead capture to close, allowing REO to input essential data just once and connect across platforms.
Everything could be customized and branded to REO, not just the logo: the interface, emails, CMA, videos, and more all have a unique REO look and feel.
REO could build their solution from the ground up, molding it to their business, processes, and workflows, not the other way around.
Flexibility & support
The solution was designed to grow and evolve, with regular rollouts, special features based on REO requests, and top-notch customer support.
Opting for Full Integration
Being forced to change enterprise tools, especially on such short notice, is every broker’s worst nightmare. But the best brokers also know how to turn challenges into opportunities, and Real Estate One already had 80 years of experience under its belt and a tech-forward mindset that set it up for success.
Back in the late 2000s, fully integrated brokerage management platforms were in their infancy. APIs as we know them today were relatively uncommon in the real estate tech space. Today, they’re everywhere, but they aren’t always super reliable.
With Broker Hub, Real Estate One got so much more than a company and agent website solution. In addition to all of its front office capabilities, it has unique and robust back office capabilities, too, all of them seamlessly integrated with all the multiple listing services in Michigan and Real Estate One’s other platforms. The result is a completely integrated and nearly end-to-end solution to manage every part of every deal.
Tools Tailored to Large Brokerages’ Needs
On top of integration, Real Estate One also valued customizability. A fully branded solution would help Real Estate One stand out from the competition and make an even stronger name for itself, while the ability to tailor Broker Hub to its unique way of doing things would let it harness the best of technology without having to completely revamp its workflows.
Broker Hub features an unprecedented level of customizability, down to the finest details, without needing an army of developers. The initial work to create a fully tailored tool means hundreds of hours saved on training, data entry, and time-wasting inefficiencies every year. For a team with more than 2,000 agents across 75 offices, that translates to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars saved. Another benefit of Broker Hub is the ability for customers to request customized features for their individual instances of the platform, tailoring them even further and making them even more valuable over time. Since opting for Broker Hub, Real Estate One has added dozens of features and customized integrations that help them work even smarter.
Supporting REO’s Growth
Broker Hub has been powering Real Estate One for 15 years, through different market cycles, times of uncertainty, and periods of sustainable growth. Throughout all this evolution, Broker Hub has grown and evolved, too, with new integrations, new features, and regular software updates. And all along the way, Real Estate One has enjoyed unrivaled customer service.
“The people on the Constellation1 team have made our experience that much better.”
Chief Information Officer, EVP for Real Estate One
When asked to name why Constellation1 has continued to stand out after all this time, Jodi didn’t hesitate: it’s not just the products—it’s the people.
“The people on the Constellation1 team have made our experience that much better,” she said. “Our pillars at Real Estate One are family, innovation, and success, and we feel right at home and in good company with Constellation1. Our contacts and the support team make us feel like we’re part of their family.”
In turn, Real Estate One’s people feel more empowered and less stressed, thanks to streamlined workflows, less duplicate work, and better internal customer service.
And thanks to pairing with an established industry leader like Constellation1, Real Estate One never has to worry about looking for a new software partner again—because we aren’t planning on going anywhere.
agent retention rate
of agents log in at least every 3 months
emails sent in 2022
in-house developer thanks to IT efficiencies
of training hours saved annually thanks to using just 1 platform
average units sold per agent, exceeding national average
in quantifiable efficiency gains annually across REO
independent brokerage in MI by size thanks to brand recognition, culture, and tech powered by Broker Hub
Since agents can log in to one platform and find everything they need, they require less training and can work much more efficiently. For example, they only have to input core data elements once, and the system populates that data across different platforms automatically. This has, in turn, boosted agent productivity and satisfaction. Agent retention at Real Estate One is an impressive 94%.
Top producers also get to make special requests for unique product features, which gives Real Estate One the opportunity to show how much it cares about its team, and Constellation1 the opportunity to provide impeccable customer support.
In our increasingly connected digital lives, Real Estate One is also able to harness the power of two different applications: one for consumers and an internal app for making their lives easier, too.
Few teams can do as much as Real Estate One does from an operational and IT standpoint with as few team members. Real Estate One only has one in-house developer working on the websites for more than 2,100 agents across 75 offices and the brokerage’s many software integrations because Constellation1’s Broker Hub comes with the right support for all its needs. The result is that Real Estate One reaps the benefits of operational efficiencies and lower payroll and can instead invest more time and resources in its sales force.
Broker Hub has helped Real Estate One stand out even more than it did before. Broker Hub lets Real Estate One create and manage branding for all its assets, both print and digital, from just one place, even with multiple distinct brands within the Real Estate One family of companies.
Always being on brand is a big benefit, and always having a unique look and feel means greater brand recognition, consumer trust, and repeat business.
We asked Jodi for some parting words of wisdom:
“In many ways, real estate is a follow-the-herd industry. And we often have shiny object syndrome,” she said. “This can be really good when we all move in the right direction, or it can work against us when we all fall into the same trap.”
She went on: “The truth of the matter is that every brokerage is different. If you’re looking to upgrade your tech, do your research, look for the right features for you, and forge your own path. You’ll find the right solution for you and your team. And remember, real estate is an industry that runs on referrals. When you get a good referral, it’s probably worth following up on it.”
Consider this story your trusted referral for Constellation1 Broker Hub!
Snapshot of Broker Hub integrations at REO