Australian-listed property technology company, Openn has entered into binding agreements with two real estate brokerage firms to participate in the company’s pilot program in the United States.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Openn North America, Openn has entered into an agreement with Century 21 All Points Realty in Connecticut for their participation in the pilot program and to prepare for the Openn platform’s entry into that market.
Openn North America has also entered into an agreement with RE/MAX Revolution in Massachusetts, for their participation in the pilot program and subsequent market entry of the Openn platform into that state.
Duncan Anderson, President Openn North America Inc, said the pilot program was intended to test and evaluate the potential market demand for the Openn platform, in pilot states specifically, and in the US market more generally.
“Openn has established a strong relationship with the Century 21 All Points Realty team, including leveraging their advice over the past year, and culminating in the release of the US-specific pilot environment last week,” he said.
“The signing of these agreements is just one further step on the path to North American commercialisation, and reflective of the good work done by our North American Director of Operations, Eric Bryant and the Openn US team to implement the plan.
“There is more for us to do, but this step consolidates important relationships in key North-East US markets and aligns with the strategy for successful market entry into the US and in Canada.”
Owner and Broker of Century 21 All Points Realty, Kelly Peterson said the reasons for participating in the pilot program included greater transparency.
“The real estate industry needs transparency and today’s market has brought it to the forefront,” she said.
“Openn allows us the opportunity to provide that transparency and efficiency to our clients.”
Mike DelRose Jr, Director of Marketing at RE/MAX Revolution in Boston, added: “We are always exploring opportunities that will potentially benefit the homebuyer, the seller and the agent community.”
“The Openn platform provides efficiency and transparency to the offer process, which can be a difficult part of the real estate transaction to navigate,” he explained.
“We are happy to align ourselves with organisations that are looking to make transactions more transparent and easier to understand.”
Key terms of agreement
Both agreements are structured as Binding Letters of Intent.
Under these agreements, pilot brokerages are required to allocate between four and 10 realtors to train and test the Openn platform in their respective markets.
They are also required to assist with further tailoring of the Openn platform for the US market, including assistance on functional, operational and compliance matters, although excluding legal advice.
Both agencies/brokerages also agree to assist with commercialisation strategy, including pricing, and assist with raising market awareness of the platform in their respective state markets.
Openn is required to provide pilot brokerages and their realtors with access to a US version of the Openn platform and train their realtors accordingly.
Openn will support pilot participants with promotional and training materials for buyer brokers from other real estate brokerages they collaborate with on property sales.
The agreement also allows for Openn and the pilot broker to negotiate discounts and other incentives to reward the brokerage for their participation in the pilot when the Openn platform launches commercially in the US.
The term of agreement is six months and may be extended or closed early depending on the outcome of pilot trials.
Following a minimum trial of 60 days, either party can terminate the agreement with at least 30 days‘ notice.
At this stage, an estimate of the value of the binding agreements and pilot program to either party is not yet determinable.