Having played a key role in the rise of venture capital in the real estate space, the National Association of Realtors’ strategic investment arm will expand its accelerator program into the commercial real estate market.
The National Association of Realtors wants to drive more tech-minded thinking in the commercial real estate sector. Its tactic of choice? An accelerator program, of course.
Last week, NAR announced that its strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures, will expand its REach accelerator program, already in use to push tech innovation in residential real estate, to the commercial sector. The 48 tech companies that have thus far participated in the accelerator have raised more than $350 million in financing during or after the program, according to an NAR press release.
REach Commercial will take applicants between now and March 31. Those accepted will gain access to mentoring and networking resources; education on the real estate market; NAR’s Insight Panel, which offers feedback from the real estate industry; and exposure through NAR’s existing marketing and communication channels. As NAR is one of the largest trade associations in the country, with more than 1.2 million members, that kind of exposure can be critical for participating companies.
Mark Birschbach, NAR’s senior vice president of strategic business, innovation, and technology, said the program reflects the association’s desire to help its members stay in front of innovation efforts.
“Venture capital is flowing into real estate technology at an exponential rate, driving innovation in every corner of the industry,” Birschbach said in the news release. “REach Commercial enables us to invest in the entrepreneurs and companies that are revolutionizing the commercial real estate landscape while positioning Realtors to be the first to embrace these changing technologies.”
The new accelerator builds on NAR’s work to create a more tech-savvy real estate industry. Last August, the association held its first iOi (innovation, opportunity, and investment) Summit in San Francisco.