Ponte Vedra Beach resident plans to revolutionize real estate


A Ponte Vedra Beach resident who has worked at the forefront of two major technologies believes his Jacksonville-based startup has developed a similarly innovative solution that will revolutionize the real estate industry.

Mark Bloomfield, a lifelong entrepreneur with 18 patents to his name, is the CEO and founder of HomeASAP, a provider of internet and social media marketing solutions for real estate professionals. Formerly named N-Play, the company recently launched a solution named Search AllianceTM, a marketing platform for real estate agents to share resources and work cooperatively – a solution Bloomfield says will be a game changer for the industry.

“We’re creating something that’s never been created before in real estate,” the Ponte Vedra Boulevard resident said.

Search AllianceTM provides real estate agents with a free, state-of-the-art website linked to the Search AllianceTM network, providing a national home search experience with more than 2 million listings in 15,000 cities across the United States. With the service, agents are not constrained by MLS geographical limitations. In addition, they receive sites that are individually branded while maintaining some structural and user-experience consistency to evoke the look and feel of real estate portals to which today’s users are accustomed.

When the housing market crashed in 2008, Bloomfield explained, real estate portals rose to prominence. Real estate businesses weren’t spending money, or they were going out of business altogether, he said, and technology-based companies like Zillow offered to advertise the businesses’ data on their behalf.

“Portals became the de facto source for real estate information,” he said, “when in reality all they were doing was taking this data that was produced by agents and brokers, packaging it and driving consumers to it.”

Consequently, Bloomfield noted, there are now two marketing spaces within the real estate industry: the portals, and the independent websites created by real estate firms, which Bloomfield said are a dying breed. HomeASAP is creating a new space in Search AllianceTM that Bloomfield said is in the middle of the two.

Designed to help agents capture what’s been lost by the portals, the platform provides agents with significant autonomy. Agents can drive traffic to their own websites and capture those leads for free, or they can also participate in a cooperative marketing program to receive and share network-generated traffic using an auction-styled bidding system, where agents set the price they are willing to pay for the network-generated traffic.

“We’re basically saying the market is going to set the price,” said Bloomfield, whose company currently has 52 employees in Jacksonville. “If you’re in Valdosta, Georgia, you may be paying a dollar a lead for traffic, but if you’re in Beverly Hills, you may be paying 20 bucks.”

Joining the service provides agents with the benefits of the network’s power as a national group of agents to lower lead costs for everyone, while still competing and maintaining their individual brands. Bloomfield said this program is based on the business model known as “coopetition,” whereby market competitors with mutual interests join forces to create new market opportunities. Bloomfield likened the model to a group of car dealerships establishing business in a common area to collectively draw more traffic, even though they’re competitors.

Bloomfield is just as excited about Search AllianceTM as he was about his earlier innovations. He previously pioneered and patented the base technologies used in computer-based faxing known as “fax-store and forward,” “fax on demand,” “fax mailbox” and variations of “fax-to-email.” He also developed and manufactured one of the first transportable cellular phones. What HomeASAP is currently developing, he said, is right in line with those two technologies because it’s ahead of its time.

For consumers, Bloomfield said Search AllianceTM provides them the ability to search for real estate from Malibu to Key West to Chicago and connects them with those area’s respective agents, all while displaying the same user interface.

HomeASAP generates revenue, he said, by charging for the traffic that is driven to the Search Alliance TM network via advertising, and marketing from each of the individual real estate agents.

The company’s goal is to sign up 100,000 real estate agents for the service within the next two years, starting with the more than 485,000 members of its Real Estate Agent Directory TM on Facebook. Hypothetically speaking, Bloomfield said, if each of those 100,000 agents decided to spend $5,000 a year in marketing via the Search Alliance TM service, that would equate to $500 million worth of potential collective marketing for the agents within the network and ultimately for the company.

Since HomeASAP began offering the service in March 2016 to select agents and brokers to test and refine the concept, the platform has expanded to 21,383 agents. According to HomeASAP Director of Corporate Communications Tim Hamby, the company has enjoyed strong growth with a three-year total growth rate of 399 percent. Bloomfield said the company currently has a run rate of $5 million.

“It’s taken us a long time to figure out this model,” Bloomfield said. “It’s exciting. What we’re doing today, we’ll look back 10 years from now, and it will have changed the industry.”