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Who We Are

Agorafy is an open platform organizing and sharing real estate information in New York.

Our mission is to be the most accurate resource for commercial listings, residential listings, and property information, allowing users to make highly-informed decisions based on current market data.

Real estate technology is all about people and information. We believe in creating value for real estate professionals by providing them with a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, which can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Spend less time retrieving information and more time on closing deals. 

We look forward to your participation and feedback as we grow.

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Wednesday
Oct082014

Q3 Rundown

Here's your quarterly cheat sheet on what we've been up to lately.

As Agorafy continues to expand its platform and our user base expands rapidly our team wants to make sure we are keeping our registered users up to date as we roll out new releases and build out the tools professionals are asking for.

Blog Posts

Decoding Agorafy

Retail’s Love Triangle: Brick & Mortar vs. Ecommerce

Helping Build a High-Performance Business Culture

Service, Experience & Relationships Drive Real Estate

RE Services in a Dynamic Global Marketplace

Think About Business Growth Strategies

RE & Tech – Is Your Firm a Learning Organization?

Big Data vs. The Right Data

Tools for Success in Real Estate

New Releases

Graves (0.33) – Maximum Control (Update Link when Posted)

Fitzgerald (0.32) – Optimization for Mobile Devices

Emerson (0.31) – Listing Renewal Reminders

In The Pipeline

Our developers are fully focused on building the advanced tools and features professionals need to take advantage of the real time data on our platform. Check back on our blog to get news on the latest releases!

Monday
Oct062014

Graves (0.33) – Maximum Control

Agorafy's latest release Graves (0.33)  launched last week bringing some polish to a number of the features we released over the summer. Our developers’ jobs are never done! 

After giving an overhaul to the look and feel of Agorafy, our focus the past couple of month has been to implement and improve on a number of features which give our users maximum control over their exclusive listings and their search for real estate.

To this end the past couple of releases have brought automatic listing renewal reminders as well as site optimization for mobile devices.

It’s now easier than ever for our users to keep their exclusive listings up to date, with automatic renewal reminders going out once a listing is 30 days old and in the rare event a listing gets to 90 days since last being updated.

By optimizing our site across multiple mobile platforms, we are ensuring out users have a seamless experience on Agorafy whether they are at their desk, out showing space, or commuting.

My Dashboard

Our user Dashboard has been continuously improved over the past couple of months and now provides our users with complete control over their Agorafy experience. The dashboard is the central location for our users to submit their exclusive listings, check in on their search & listing subscriptions and build out their professional profile. 

The main initiative for the Dashboard is to make it as quick and easy as possible for professionals to submit and manage their exclusive listings on Agorafy. After a user has submitted a listing they can easily submit an edit or update, report that the space has been leased or is off-market, as well as renew the listing to ensure that our platform is as real-time as possible.

When reporting a space has been leased users have the ability to designate the listing as leased or simply off-market. We also encourage them to give us details on the transaction and the new tenant.

When renewing an exclusive listing that is still on the market, our users get to maximize their exposure and bring their listing to the top of the public search results.

It always comes back to our mission for increasing transparency and efficiency to the New York real estate market. Giving our users maximum control over their exclusive listings and their search for real estate goes a long way in achieving this mission. Make sure you register for free, build out your professional profile, and try out your user Dashboard!

After that let us know what you think and what features we should incorporate into the Dashboard next. 

Richard Du is the founder and CEO of Agorafy, New York, N.Y

Friday
Oct032014

Decoding “Agorafy”

Big Bang Theory - Season 3, Episode 10 - The Gorilla Experiment - September 21, 2009

As we continue to reach new users, there has been some commentary or buzz surrounding our brand name.  Therefore, we thought it would be fun to demystify or decode the “Agorafy” name for you.  The rationale behind the name choice should give you insight into our work as well as our mission of serving the real estate industry. 

Before our team of real estate and technology professionals hunkered down to develop our innovative online real estate platform, the team was first challenged to come up with a company name. No small feat. But after some time, thought, and consideration, we chose the newly minted name “Agorafy”!

Why Agorafy? What does it mean? Well, as funny as “Agorafy” may read or occasionally be pronounced [try ‘ah go ra fy’], the idea underlying the name follows from the Ancient Greek word “agora” and now serves as a consistent reminder of our firm’s core mission and purpose.  From day one, our team was focused on building a dynamic, open real estate marketplace to serve real estate professionals and the public. Not so coincidently, “agora” is the ancient Greek word for an open marketplace. Similar to a bazaar or even a modern day shopping mall, the agora was a one-stop shop that brought a local community together, particularly through commerce. Moreover, the agora facilitated the exchange of information, products, goods, and services among a wide variety of merchants and buyers. Thus, our present day aim is analogous, with our team working to better connect the real estate industry’s property owners, real estate professionals, buyers and tenants.  Similar to the ancient Greek agora, we provide an open platform for all real estate industry participants to engage one another, be it to market their properties and experience, search and inspect pertinent data and property information, or connect with their colleagues and clients.  All this is to create a more transparent, seamless, and effective real estate process, leading to an improved overall experience for all parties involved. 

While our open, online real estate platform is modeled after the ancient Greek agora, we also wanted to let the industry and the public know that our efforts are not stagnant, but rather active and continuous. Thus, the name itself conveys action, with “Agorafy” couched as an action verb. In that way, Agorafy is similar to ‘market-ize’ or commercialize. Our team is on the clock to assist and partner with the real estate community and related professionals to generate a better market solution by facilitating more efficient and amicable acquisitions, leases, and dispositions. In doing so, we want to also help nurture and amplify the economic and social synergies that take place before, during and after the local real estate transaction (more on this to come…).

Now that you know the name, get to know today’s modern real estate marketplace!  Visit us at agorafy.com and sign up to get started!

Richard Du is the founder and CEO of Agorafy, New York, N.Y

 

Monday
Sep292014

Retail’s Love Triangle: Brick & Mortar v. Ecommerce

Retail and real estate have forever been married.  The union of brand and brick and mortar store has produced the happiest of homes for shoppers looking to connect with their trusted retailer or to meet the newest retail neighbor on the block.  Local storefronts provide consumers with a place to test and review the latest in technology, clothing, food, trends, and the like. And the customer experience delivers.  Enter the retail space excited. Leave a satisfied customer – with bag in-hand – and secure in the strength of retail and real estate’s relationship. But, in recent years, technology has changed our communities and some pundits have started spreading ugly rumors about the married couple, including that a love triangle may be afoot!? Could there really be a younger suitor pursuing retail and seeking to oust brick & mortar? Well, sort of, but not really. No need to fret, it’s just ecommerce. 

Retail is continuously working to meet the changing needs and demands of today’s ultra-informed consumer.  Technology and the internet have given customers the power to compare competing products quickly and easily across many devices.  Entrepreneur.com contributor Gary Lee notes that “consumers are digital, mobile and physical consumers. They expect retailers to be everywhere as they are. Thus, retailers should be willing and able to adopt technologies, pricing and merchandising to match the desire by consumers to research and buy as they please.” Thus, retailers are being asked to adjust to consumers’ use of technology and deliver their goods and customer experience in new ways.

Retail statistics provide some guidance as to where the industry may be going.  Generally, retail sales numbers suggest a retail strategy that contemplates both brick & mortar and ecommerce. According to eMarketer, retail remains grounded in brick & mortar sales, but ecommerce growth is quickening.  In 2013, retail represented 27.0% of nominal US Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up from 26.8% in 2012.  Total retail sales in the US topped $4.53 trillion in 2013, with ecommerce accounting for a significant portion of that growth, up 16.9% in 2013—or nearly $40 billion.  Brick-and-mortar sales commanded a vast majority of the retail market—nearly $4.27 trillion in 2013. Still, ecommerce sales were increasing much faster, contributing significantly to retail’s overall growth throughout the forecast period. Ecommerce’s strong advances are, thus, influencing retailers’ future business and real estate strategies.

Ecommerce’s immediate effect on retail may be less about supplanting brick & mortar and more about re-imagining physical locations based on consumer behavior.  In her September 2014 article, One way online shopping is actually helping brick-and-mortar retailers, The Washington Post’s Sarah Halzack investigates how retailer’s are reacting to consumer online behavior. Ms. Halzack explains that “[s]everal years ago, as online shopping grew in popularity, traditional retailers grew deeply concerned about ‘showrooming’ –when consumers visit brick-and-mortar stores to test out products but ultimately make their purchase online from a competitor.”  However, while showrooming is acknowledged in the industry, a 2014 Nielsen survey found that approximately “60 percent of consumers said they often browse products online before ultimately purchasing them in stores.” Consequently, “…many retailers say they are intensely focused on building what’s known as an omni-channel retail strategy — one that provides a more seamless experience among the retailers’ digital and in-store properties. That way, no matter where shoppers begin their browsing process — online or in a store — retailers hope they can hang onto them for the purchase.”  Examples of omni-channel retail strategy can range from allowing consumers to make purchases on-line and pick-up in-store (e.g. Nordstrom, Sears or Apple) to browsing and then making on-line orders in-store, which can be shipped directly to one’s doorstep (think Bonobos).  Thus, while a physical presence remains central to a retailer’s strategy, utilization of the retail space mis being reworked to account for changes in technology and customer behavior.   

Technology is empowering today’s consumers in retail, but also more broadly in real estate. Residential and Commercial buyers and tenants are increasingly looking to web-based resources to locate properties and to inform their decisions throughout the real estate process.  Recognizing and adjusting to customer behavior is, therefore, essential to the real estate professional. Meeting and innovating for changing customer demands only makes sense, and that begins with ensuring visibility to clients, the market, and the public.

At Agorafy, we know that real estate is influenced by technology.  Real estate seekers increasingly begin their real estate searches on-line, using the internet to get up to speed on market conditions, identify and compare properties, and locate real estate professionals to tap for advice.  With that said, whether you are searching for or marketing a retail, office, or residential space, shouldn’t your online real estate presence include visibility on our open, online platform? Stay attuned to market demands. Visit us today at agorafy.com.

Richard Du is the founder and CEO of Agorafy, New York, N.Y

 

 

Monday
Sep222014

“Helping” Build a High-Performance Business Culture

Fostering a business culture of teamwork and collaborative help can generate powerful results.  At first glance, this statement may appear counterintuitive when considering the competitive world of real estate.  But, often times, supporting a colleague’s efforts to produce the best possible work product on behalf of your company, is also facilitating you and your firm’s ascension to new business heights!  Thus, do not underestimate the benefits of incorporating collaborative concepts into your daily routine or as part of the review of your office culture and performance management.  You may find that encouraging a more collaborative firm environment leads to positive results, increased employee workplace satisfaction, greater client appreciation and loyalty stemming from a superior work product, and an improved bottom-line. 

Recently, I revisited a January-February 2014 Harvard Business Review piece by Teresa Amabile, Colin M. Fischer and Julianna Pillemer entitled, “IDEO’s Culture of Helping: by making collaborative generosity the norm, the design firm has unleashed its creativity”. This spotlight article is a short case study on how the design consultancy firm, IDEO, has created a business culture of collaborative help to solve complex projects by sharing “perspective, experience, and expertise that improve the quality and execution of ideas.” According to the authors, IDEO has been able to inspire collaborative help at all levels of its operations, which has enabled it to become a high performing firm.  IDEO has achieved a “help giving” and “help seeking” environment through the conviction of IDEO leadership, the nurturing of characteristics such as trust and accessibility to colleagues irrespective of individual job title or expertise, embedding collaboration throughout a project lifespan, and making the business decision to ensure enough slack in the organization so not to overwhelm employees and permit coworkers the flexibility to assist their colleagues.  IDEO has, consequently, achieved great results and is “lauded all over the world for innovations in business, government, and health care…” In closing, the article broadens from the IDEO example and concludes that, “[r]esearch across many kinds of companies finds that those with higher rates of helping have lower employee turnover, enjoy greater customer satisfaction, and are more profitable.”

From my real estate experience, practitioners sometimes find themselves at odds with creating a collaborative help environment.  This is not uncommon. As the above authors put it, individuals in social groups may “experience conflicting impulses: As potential helpers, they may also be inclined to compete. As potential help seekers, they may also take pride in going it alone, or be distrustful of those whose assistance they could use. On both sides, help requires a commitment of time for uncertain returns and can seem like more trouble than it’s worth.” But don’t be deterred.  While collaborative help may not be the panacea for every real estate business ill, there are opportunities to be uncovered.  You may already be thinking of situations where a fresh opinion may add value and perspective to a current assignment, or where you or your fellow employee’s background or expertise may jumpstart a stalled project, or of ways your firm’s collective knowledge can be leveraged to better serve the client’s goals to everyone’s benefit. There you have it!

In working to foster a collaborative environment at Agorafy, our team is often challenged to consider ideas about teamwork and helping, both within our walls, as well as with our approach to supporting the goals of our users. Not coincidentally, the kickoff of the 2014 football season has us looking no further than Brooklyn and Fordham University’s very own Vince Lombardi to draw inspiration.  Coach Lombardi is well-known for his incredible record of individual and team success, and is quoted as offering these words of wisdom: "[i]ndividual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."  Our team is committed to Agorafy’s mission, so that Agorafy can, in turn, serve the real estate community by providing time and cost savings, allowing you to spend less time retrieving information and more time on closing deals.

Please know that Agorafy’s commitment to the real estate community is strong.  We look forward to continuing to serve you and develop features, large and small, that are meaningful to you and your business.  To that end, feel free to contact us anytime at hello@agorafy.com with comments, feedback and suggestions, so that we can meet your needs!

Richard Du is the founder and CEO of Agorafy, New York, N.Y