By Riley Kaminer
It was a Thanksgiving that would change Nadia Davis’ life.
She was growing up in Parkland, and that day had plans to go to a party in Pembroke Pines. But a call to her real estate broker dad would throw a spanner in the works. A client was anxious to see a property in Pompano, even though Davis’ dad had a hunch the property wasn’t the right fit. For those of us who aren’t as familiar with the geography of Broward, these cities are on three opposite sides of the county.
So Davis’ dad hauled over to Pompano with his family in tow. He was right: the property was not a good fit for the client. But that was no consolation to his family members, who showed up to the party an hour and a half late.
“I wish I could have paid someone to show that property for me,” he said in exasperation. Little did he know at the time that his struggle that day would plant a seed in his daughter’s mind, eventually leading to a business.
“That started me on this entire journey,” the younger Davis told Refresh Miami. First, she sought solutions for this problem: a marketplace for on-demand agents to show properties. When she didn’t find a suitable platform, she did what any good entrepreneur would do. She rolled up her sleeves and began building her own.
In Davis’ case, at first it was less about rolling up her sleeves than hitting the books to get her real estate license. That enabled her to launch Show Agents, a digital tool enabling real estate professionals to dispatch colleagues for showings.
Building a platform with convenience and efficiency in mind
“Usually the first time someone uses the service, it’s because they’re in a sticky situation of some sort,” explained Davis. “For example, they’re on vacation and want to see a property, or they got Covid and had to quarantine.”
But once an agent is introduced to the platform, they tend to stay and use it for non-emergencies as well. For instance, Show Agents enables real estate agents from around the state of Florida to tap into different markets for their clients.
“Some of the realtors that use Show Agents are actually based in Central Florida or North Florida,” said Davis. “They leverage the service to get their buyers to see properties in South Florida. Then that agent is able to do everything else remotely.”
“We’re helping them with the physical aspect of their business, enabling them to increase their income because now they can work with more people,” Davis continued.
The user experience is straightforward. An agent signs up and is able to schedule a reservation right through the platform. Show Agents then pairs the agent that signed up with a showing assistant. While initially Davis showed the majority of listings, now the platform has another showing assistant, with plans to hire a further two over the next couple of months.
Early traction and rapid growth
In 2021, the company’s first year of operations, Show Agents organized around 300 appointments for 25 realtors. So far in 2022, they have already surpassed that 300 appointment mark, working with about 50 agents. The showings on the platform are all in South Florida.
The agents that show these properties are a mix of new professionals looking to gain experience, retired agents that are still interested in staying active in a reduced capacity, and people that are licensed agents but only work in the industry part time. All agents go through a rigorous vetting process to ensure they’re at the top of their game.
Davis underscored that the agents on her platform are instructed to veer away from offering any subjective advice, but rather focus on the facts and figures around a particular listing. That way they can leave the more opinion-based insights to the agent that the client works with.
Show Agents charges a flat fee to the realtors upfront on a per-appointment basis, but does not take a single penny of that agent’s commission. Other services on the platform include hosting open houses and attending inspections and appraisals.
Local accelerators have been key to leveling up Show Agents
Recently, Davis has undertaken local two accelerator programs that she said have supercharged her business’s growth: the Incubate program at NSU’s Levan Center and the FIU-Venture Miami Opportunity Program. Davis found the latter program particularly empowering, since its objective is to help women of color in tech find funding.
“I made a lot of connections and was able to get put in rooms that I probably wouldn’t ordinarily get into if it weren’t for that program,” Davis said of being part of the FIU cohort.
“It can be discouraging when you see that this industry is overwhelmingly male,” shared Davis. “But the benefit of programs like this one at FIU is that you get to be surrounded by people who look like you and who are advocating for you and who are helping you push past any feelings of inadequacy.”
The program at the Levan Center was also useful, Davis explained. “They gave us a lot of personalized attention, coaching us, and helping relate what we learned to our business.”
Davis plans to start fundraising soon and continue joining accelerators to, in Davis’ words, “assist us in growing as fast as we can, in a strategic way.” Looking forward, Davis also hopes to expand the business to more areas across Florida by the end of the year.
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