Second Century Ventures Announces 14 Companies for 2023 REACH Scale-Up Program
CHICAGO (April 11, 2023) – Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors® and the most active global real estate technology fund, announced today the acceptance of 14 companies to the 2023 REACH and REACH Commercial programs. Launched in 2013, this marks the 11th cohort focused on solutions for the residential and consumer sectors, and the fifth cohort dedicated to scaling solutions for commercial real estate.
“We are thrilled to welcome these innovative companies to the 2023 REACH and REACH Commercial programs,” said SCV President and NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “Their solutions are poised to make a significant impact and help overcome the complex challenges that lie ahead in the real estate industry.”
Companies selected for the 2023 program represent a diverse range of solutions across the real estate ecosystem, including innovations in financial planning, second home property ownership, property management, lead generation, marketing, mortgage asset management, and tenant retention, among others. Collectively, these companies have raised more than $100 million in funding and employ more than 400 individuals worldwide.
“These 14 companies represent some of the most promising and innovative solutions in the real estate technology space,” said Dave Garland, managing partner, Second Century Ventures. “By supporting and investing in innovative small businesses through the REACH program, we can ensure that Realtors® have access to the latest and most effective tools and technologies, enabling them to better serve their clients and stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry.”
Companies accepted to the 2023 REACH and REACH Commercial programs are as follows:
- Flock(link is external): offers a seamless and tax-deferred exit from rental property using the 721 Exchange, allowing property owners to passively earn income and appreciation without the traditional responsibilities of ownership.
- HighNote(link is external): a drag and drop presentation and proposal platform to help agents pitch and sell listings, offers, neighborhoods and themselves.
- Plus Platform(link is external): modern asset management and trading platform for residential mortgages, providing better transparency and liquidity to the mortgage market.
- Prisidio(link is external): digital vault to capture and securely share your most important information with the key people in your life.
- Real Grader(link is external): measures, manages and maximizes digital reputation for real estate professionals across search, social media and real estate platforms.
- Summer(link is external): simplifies the process of finding, buying, designing and monetizing a vacation or investment home through a non-fractional approach.
- Tongo(link is external): private card-based product for agents to draw against pending commissions ahead of closing, and only repay when they get paid.
2023 REACH Commercial
- APM Help(link is external): stress-free property management solutions prioritizing quality and customer service and leveraging expertise in finance, operations and accounting.
- BlueStreak IoT(link is external): improves the efficiency and performance of services in commercial real estate, including ScentBridge’s ambient scent delivery, indoor air quality monitoring, clean air as a service, resource utilization, replenishment management and performance compliance.
- Dwellwell Analytics(link is external): a comprehensive monitoring and early warning maintenance platform for residential property owners who need to reduce operating costs and avert disasters.
- Fortress PropTech(link is external): offers an innovative and easy-to-use platform, utilizing automation technology and data integration to streamline property management and maximize efficiency.
- Fyma(link is external): delivers occupancy and human activity analytics to enable better asset management and property operations.
- Rockport(link is external): provides mission critical commercial real estate systems to the top financial institutions in the world.
- Work & Mother(link is external): commercial lactation suite service with an associated technology that satisfies tenants’ legal obligations of providing mother’s rooms, while providing a better way to support working parents.
“From hundreds of applicants, the companies selected for the 2023 REACH Commercial program are already well on their way to becoming market leaders,” said Bob Gillespie, executive director of REACH Commercial. “They bring solutions that fundamentally change commercial real estate operations, finance and brokerage, as well as how we manage, experience and understand the properties in which we live and work. We have an outstanding 2023 cohort and look forward to helping them achieve exponential growth.”
The REACH program is led by Executive Director Ashley Stinton, and the REACH Commercial program is led by Executive Director Bob Gillespie. REACH offers a robust curriculum including education, mentorship, exclusive networking opportunities and significant exposure to the global real estate marketplace. To learn more about REACH and how you can get involved, visit https://nar-reach.com(link is external).
REACH is a unique technology scale-up program created by Second Century Ventures, the most active global fund in real estate technology. Backed by the National Association of Realtors®, REACH leverages the association’s more than 1.5 million members and an unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries. The REACH program helps technology companies scale across the real estate vertical and its adjacent markets through education, mentorship, and market exposure.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term Realtor® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
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Internet of Things (IoT) technology continues to advance our everyday world. Facilities are seeing more advantages on a larger scale—without having to hire more staff members or overspend their budgets. In essence, these technological advancements are helping facilities and their management do more with less by providing these IoT benefits.
IoT Benefits for Facilities
#1: Get a Real-Time Picture of Performance
Tracking equipment performance is vital. It’s how you ensure your facilities are running smoothly. You have to quickly identify which equipment is wearing out or not working properly, and adjust it, replace it, or order maintenance. IoT devices monitor equipment in real-time, so you can always access an up-to-date picture of your equipment’s overall performance.
#2: Control IoT Tools from Afar
IoT tools can go beyond simple tracking. In many cases, you can also control your equipment from the comfort of your office. You can adjust items like thermostats, scent diffusers, and lighting after reviewing their current status. Adjusting your equipment from afar prevents you from having to travel to the equipment and manually manipulate it.
#3: Automate Simple Tasks
With help from advanced IoT software, you can automate simple tasks for your equipment. For example, you can set a heating system to turn on if your thermostat detects temperatures below a certain point. You can also automate scents to release at a given point of time each day, and stop producing scent if the air saturation reaches a certain level. You can even automate customer notifications like GreaseWatch does when restaurants’ grease traps need to be pumped out.
#4: Make Your Resources Go Farther
By knowing exactly how your equipment is performing, your team can perform maintenance and replace or refill equipment right when it needs it. You can also use the exact amount of labor and resources that your facilities need to meet your goals. Ultimately, IoT helps you more efficiently use your resources, helping them go farther than before.
#5: Work on the Go
You don’t need to be office-bound to access powerful IoT technology. Certain providers let you access your IoT platform on the go from a smartphone or tablet app, as well as from a desktop computer or laptop. With this level of access, you can track equipment performance and make changes while you’re working in the field.
#6: Increase Team Efficiency
IoT helps you pinpoint what needs doing, right when you need to be doing it. This in itself helps your team focus on priority projects, saving time you may have spent tracking equipment performance manually or performing unnecessary maintenance. In addition, IoT platforms centralize facility information in a single central hub. Team members can check the portal to access accurate information, ensuring they’re on the same page. Certain IoT platforms offer built-in collaboration tools, too, so teams can use the platform to organize projects and schedules.
#7: Reduce Costs
Accurate performance tracking, precise equipment controls, automated tasks, and precise resource use all help your business reduce facility costs. You won’t find yourself replacing equipment unnecessarily—or frequently paying high fees for emergency repairs because you missed warning signs. For example, GreaseWatch has set their IoT system to automatically dispatch a pumping truck when their IoT grease interceptor notes that it has reached capacity, saving restaurants and commercial kitchens from costly overflow situations.
#8: Enhance the Customer Experience
IoT technology helps you improve the customer experience, too. Your team can automate key communications, such as order or delivery updates, refill alerts, and billing notifications, so customers are never caught unawares. Plus, with your team’s accurate equipment tracking, customers will rarely have to experience lags in service or problems with your facility performance.
#9: Get Insights Into Business Operations
IoT platforms automatically gather critical data about your facilities. They can let you know how much of each resource you use, and even track revenue and costs side by side. Most IoT platforms will present this information in digestible graphs so your team can review and understand it quickly, gaining key insights with ease.
#10: Make Better Business Decisions
The better you understand your facility’s overall operations and performance, the more informed you and other business leaders will be when making critical business decisions. An IoT platform can provide data and insights that help you make well-informed decisions, potentially even boosting your company’s revenue.
Conclusion: IoT and Your Facilities
There’s no doubt that IoT is a powerful tool and a must-have for cutting-edge facility operations. Ultimately, IoT benefits from a powerful platform will skyrocket your facility management proficiency—and your business’s overall success—without requiring you to overwork your teams or overspend your budget.
In his 30-year career, Todd has focused on helping companies successfully transform their initiatives using smart connected technology. As Todd puts it, these businesses have “surfed” the Three Waves of IT that Michael Porter (et al.) defined as the major transformative forces of information technology that drive business advantage and productivity.
Since the 1960s, three waves of IT have radically shifted the competitive landscape for businesses. In the ’60s and ’70s, the first wave automated activities like order processing and manufacturing resource planning across business operations. As the internet began to grow in popularity, the second wave of IT transformation enabled businesses to integrate, coordinate and communicate with their suppliers, channels, and customers across their “value chain”.
Now, as the third wave emerges, products themselves are being transformed. IoT is now becoming an integral part of products and services, improving the overall experiences of customers. Smart connected technology provides a new and impactful wave of innovation so users can expect more out of everyday products and services.
Thanks to IoT, everyday objects are enabled to do more for users and consumers. IoT’s evolution has brought us where we are today, allowing for a transformation in productivity, economic gains, and the perfection of service.
Meet Todd Becker
Todd Becker currently serves as the President of ScentBridge. As a successful entrepreneur, management consultant, C-level exec, and venture capital investor, Todd has successfully launched, grown, or “digitally transformed” numerous businesses with smart connected device architectures, including mobile, cloud, IoT, Blockchain technologies, and of course – smart scent delivery systems.
Todd’s extensive technology experience covers corporate development, business planning, market strategy, intellectual property, product development, operations, IT, and business finance. Todd has held many executive positions at many businesses (including private-equity capital raises, acquisitions, and IPOs) as a Board Member, President, COO, CTO, CIO, and CFO.
His latest new venture is BlueStreak IoT. BlueStreak sits at the center of information, providing sensors, devices, networks, and software that combine to deliver valuable, actionable data and automate critical functions across retail, hospitality, entertainment, health & fitness, real estate, and other commercial venues.
As a facility manager, you’re responsible for everything from maintenance to space planning. That can be a lot to handle—especially in the midst of an event like the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has generated many unprecedented events, it has also demonstrated how dependent our society is on technology. IoT has aided several industries during this unpredictable year, from healthcare and logistics to consumer and commercial. Once you learn IoT basics and adopt the most up-to-date IoT technology, you’ll find facility management easier than ever before.
What Is IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the vast network of physical items that connect to the Internet. These items, often called “smart” devices, can collect data, share data, and allow you to control devices from a distance.
During the pandemic, IoT has helped businesses and industries tremendously during the pandemic; so much so it’s a technological advancement that is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Read on to learn the IoT basics you need to streamline your operations— and navigate COVID-19—in 2021.
IoT Use Cases for Facility Management
IoT can streamline facility management in any industry. Once your equipment and employees are outfitted with IoT tools, you can use IoT in many ways — even with your scent delivery.
Tracking facility equipment, identifying wearing equipment, and replacing it before it wears out is a critical part of your job. Otherwise, your team may face low customer satisfaction and decreased productivity. With help from IoT devices, your team can closely monitor your equipment and catch warning signs quickly.
Keeping social distancing and the avoidance of multiple touchpoints in mind, IoT solutions allow you to control devices, like thermostats and lighting, from mobile apps or voice controls to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because of IoT’s internet connectivity, these systems can help eliminate the need for human contact and touching surfaces like switches, dispensers, etc.
Real-Time Team Collaboration
Your team probably uses multiple databases and communication tools to stay in touch. But you can’t ensure you’re accessing the most up-to-date information when you use so many platforms. An IoT software system lets every team member access real-time equipment data and communicate in a single hub.
IoT systems that use wireless networks to power and run their systems often only provide limited connectivity and present safety and security problems. Take this example of when Target’s corporate systems were hacked because a subcontractor opened a backdoor when connecting a “smart device” to the Target corporate network.
COVID-19 showed the need for an IoT system that provided secure and operational connectivity and essentially caused adaptation to a new cellular framework as wireless networks could not be used during unprecedented circumstances. As the need for safe and reliable connections continues to grow, there will be an increasing amount of previously unconnected devices becoming part of IoT networks.
You most likely have to manage lots of data— everything from resource consumption to labor management. Usually, this requires a lot of time spent manually updating databases, retrieving the data you need, and ensuring that data is secure for industry compliance. IoT software systems automatically update with equipment data and offer built-in enterprise-grade security.
Critical IoT Facility Management Tools
How do IoT facility management systems collect their data and connect to the internet? Here are the 4 tools most top IoT systems will offer.
Sensors are the most common IoT facility management tools. They can help you get access to data about variables like temperature, humidity, motion, vibration, chemicals, pressure, or location. They collect data, then immediately load it to your facility management platform.
Beacons are small wireless tools that share data through Bluetooth. Their messages can be recognized by a local device, which can then trigger actions. They are most often embedded in machinery to monitor equipment and begin workflows, like setting off sprinkler systems. In some cases, they’re used for ID verification.
RFID tags use radio waves to transmit information and identify the person or object who they are connected to. Their ranges can stretch anywhere from 65 – 165 feet. They can help your team track the number of people in your facility, manage access control, and monitor assets.
Data Analytics Tools
Every cutting-edge software system offers powerful visualization tools. Once an IoT platform collects its data, visualization tools create reports from it. These reports often feature graphs and charts that make it easy for you to identify patterns in resource usage and employee performance.
Benefits of IoT for Facility Management
IoT can help you improve facility management operations and performance—all from a distance. For example, IoT benefits include:
Automatically collecting facility data and using it to identify problems can help you catch potential problems before they happen. Preventing problems saves your team from maintenance fees and unnecessary costs. Your team can also more easily monitor items like CO2, temperature, and even scent, reducing the labor needed to check it manually.
IoT products send data to a single online hub. Plus, your team can communicate through the hub. This single source of truth makes it easy to know exactly what the status of your facilities are, and how you can take action to make them better.
Improved Employee Performance
When your team uses a synchronized system to communicate and access data, it’s easier than ever for them to know exactly what they need to do and when. This is critical when your team members can’t be in the same place at the same time—especially during an event like the COVID-19 pandemic. A more organized team is a more productive team.
Conclusion: IoT Basics for Facility Managers
IoT can streamline your operations no matter what industry you’re in. When integrating IoT, you can expect to reduce costs, gain transparency, and boost employee performance—without increasing your or your team’s workload.
The impact of COVID-19 has made it critical for managers to reduce costs and increase efficiencies while still ensuring the health and safety of managers, workers, and other personnel. To juggle all of these initiatives, a facility manager can rely on technology to assist them with running and handling facility operations during these unexpected times.
While no one could initially prepare for the impact COVID-19 would have on businesses, let’s look at how technology – specifically a smart “Internet of Things” (IoT) scent system – allowed facilities to adapt and readjust to these unprecedented circumstances.
ScentBridge’s COVID-19 Response: Case Study
When COVID-19 forced many businesses to close, ScentBridge was able to remotely power down systems using their 4G cellular connectivity. This provided their clients’ facility manager with immediate verification of powered down systems without causing the additional risk of infection from on-site technician visits. Facility managers could quickly check scent off their list of protocols as they were forced to close their doors to guests.
Competitive systems that required on-site technician visits continued to operate and dispense fragrance into un-inhabited environments and continued to draw power during a time when every expense was critical for economic survival. Once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, Scentbridge immediately reactivated systems remotely without the need of scheduling on-site technicians to hinder the opening process for our clients’ facility management teams.
Using Technology to Combat COVID-19
Fewer Touchpoints for a Facility Manager
Any manager knows the nuance of dealing with the array of vendors to service and maintain their facility. Reducing the time and energy managers spend on unnecessary maintenance schedules and the number of vendors coming in and out of a facility is crucial – especially during a pandemic.
Smart technology and systems enable managers to work smarter, not harder. These solutions provide numerous operational benefits from cutting unnecessary maintenance appointments to managing equipment more efficiently, giving facility managers time to focus on more important items.
Fewer service appointments mean lower maintenance costs for facilities. Where regular service companies often involve weekly proactive maintenance appointments, smart systems require maintenance only when it’s necessary. With service providers only coming as needed, facilities no longer have to worry about overkilling on maintenance expenses.
Mobility and Transparency
IoT systems often use mobile applications as an efficient way to address any monitoring, performance, or service issues. One app can automatically track multiple elements of your smart facilities program — monitoring anything from your scent system, HVAC air quality, and even the status of a grease trap or propane tank in commercial kitchens. Why pump a trap for $500, when sensors can “see” that the tank doesn’t require cleaning?
From sensors to equipment, mobile applications identify all working parts while providing real-time monitoring to proactively alert you of any potential performance issues. With the entire program in your back pocket, anyone with the proper “rights and privileges” can easily manage and control an IoT system from anywhere.
Conclusion: Technology Enabling Adaptability for Any Facility Manager
It’s clear now that COVID-19 will change many business operations in more ways than we think. As companies continue to adapt to the unprecedented circumstances of our world, new technologies, like IoT equipment and smart facility services, enable businesses to run with greater efficiency and lower costs in a time when it’s most needed.