Guy Gal is a tech entrepreneur, innovator and angel investor who founded three companies – Kingmaker, a video commerce company, TheBizMedia, a digital video agency and Kognitive Marketing, a retail sales consulting firm – before setting his sights on the real estate industry in an effort to help top-producing agents transform themselves into market-leading businesses.
“It became very obvious that you had this segment of real estate professionals that was unlike most others,” said Gal, who launched San Francisco-based Side in 2017 with Edward Wu and Hilary Saunders. “Across the country today, there are roughly 1.4 million agents that are licensed and members of the national association, and only about 6% are full-time, experienced high-volume – facilitating at least one transaction a month – professionals. When we looked at the industry, every brokerage that existed served the 1.3 million agents who were part-time and not as experienced, but no brokerage has ever been created and designed specifically to address the needs of those agents who are high volume. We saw that they were really underserved and thought we could create something purpose-built to address their needs and interests, which are very different than the average agent.”
HousingWire caught up with Gal to talk about his alternative brokerage model.
HW: Let’s go over your business model. Is it correct to say that you partner with high-performing agents and take over their back-end operations, freeing up their time so they can focus on activities that actually make money, such as prospecting for new clients or directly working with existing clients?
Guy Gal: Yes, and, most importantly, allowing them to better serve their clients because that’s the thing that increases your business the most.
HousingWire: What criteria do you use to select your partners?
Guy Gal: The first thing we look for is demonstrated ability to facilitate a fair amount of business, because that’s typically indicative of an agent’s experience and the quality of their service to clients. Most agents become top-producing agents for two reasons: They spend a lot of time in the industry – usually 10+ years – and they do really good work for their clients so they get referrals and repeat business. That is a great indicator for Side, to know that a person is committed and serious about their profession and career. We also want them to have a growth mindset, and we look for folks that are collaborative and that we can work with in partnership.