In his latest Snapshot profile, Brandon Doyle talks to Zvi Band about his startup journey and his latest CRM, Relatable.
Inman contributor Brandon Doyle made it his goal to interview 100 real estate professionals. Here’s a Snapshot of those conversations.
Zvi Band started as a software developer and then became famous for his work in real estate. He’s not just a techie; he’s also an investor, a business starter, an author and a coach.
Band is all about using technology in a way that helps people connect better. In this profile, I’m going to talk about the cool things he’s done and how he thinks about mixing technology with helping people grow in real estate.
Founder of Contactually
Zvi Band’s foray into real estate began with the founding of Contactually in 2011. Initially oblivious to the real estate sector, Band discovered that residential real estate was Contactually’s niche.
“I knew nothing about real estate but decided to dive in, and I loved it ever since,” he recalls, marking the beginning of a decade-long journey that would redefine how real estate professionals engage with technology.
After selling Contactually in 2019, and after a subsequent two-year stint as a general manager at Compass, Band embarked on new entrepreneurial endeavors in 2021. He founded GoodSphere, a real estate training business, and Relatable, a personal CRM.
Band’s vision with these ventures is clear: “To take agents from overwhelmed, afraid of their database … to deeply engaged with their sphere, rocking their database and generating more listings than ever before while being their happiest.”
Describing the sale of Contactually as an “emotional rollercoaster,” Band opened up about the challenges and identity crises that often accompany such transitions. “A piece of your identity is taken away,” he shares, shedding light on the often-unspoken emotional toll on founders.
In an industry rife with change, Band draws inspiration from Jeff Bezos’ philosophy of focusing on what won’t change. He argues that despite technological advancements and market fluctuations, the real estate transaction’s significance, the indispensability of relationships, and the presence of a “boogeyman” remain constant. Band emphasized, “At the end of the day, people want to work with people they trust and rely on.”
Band’s excitement stems from witnessing incredible personal transformations through a deeper understanding of oneself. “We found that we could systematically bring awareness to and remove the key blockers,” he explains. This approach is central to GoodSphere, where community plays a crucial role in fostering growth and engagement.
Responding to ‘tech threats’
For Band, the increasing “technological threats” are an opportunity to be more human. “People are coming together, they need to trust each other more than ever before, and real estate agents have always relied on that skill,” he asserts.
This era, according to Band, is the time to double down on engaging with relationships that matter, aided by technological tools.
Band’s experience at Compass provided him with invaluable insights into corporate culture and the real estate industry’s dynamics. Moving on to create Relatable, Band aimed to fill a gap he identified in the CRM market. “Relatable is going back to my initial roots on helping any relationship-oriented professional,” he explains, highlighting the platform’s appeal to former Contactually users.
In Band’s view, being “more human” in real estate transactions involves establishing trust and rapport in an increasingly technology-saturated market. “Your authentic self attracts the people who would most want to work with you,” he advises, underscoring the importance of authenticity over comparison thinking and cookie-cutter strategies.
‘Do less, but do it well’
Band recommends a thoughtful approach to deepening relationships. “Do less, but do it well,” he suggests, encouraging agents to confront and navigate their hesitations and fears in reaching out to past clients. This method reflects his belief in the power of genuine, personal connections over the sheer volume of interactions.
Zvi Band’s experience in real estate technology illustrates how focusing on people can lead to groundbreaking changes. He has shown time and again that using technology with a clear grasp of human connections can make a huge difference in the real estate world.
His ideas are a valuable resource for those in real estate who are trying to keep up with constant changes, reminding them that trust, connection and being genuine are essential in every deal.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.