Philip Lang

COO + CO-FOUNDER
TRIPLEMINT

Data is literally Triplemint’s lifeblood, explains Philip Lang, co-founder and chief operating officer of Triplemint, a fast-growing, technology-centric, venture-funded Manhattan brokerage.

“When we started Triplemint, we were trying to solve a problem,” explains Lang. “We wanted to connect people to the best agents more effectively because real estate is first about people. But then, we wanted to make the best agents more effective and remove a lot of the grunt work they had to do. Our ability to ingest, analyze and produce insights on data makes that vision possible.”

Matching Clients to Agents Lang and his co-founder, David Walker, CEO, have upended the process of matching agents to consumers by studying every aspect of the buyer’s or seller’s journey.

“People want to work with the best agents they can, obviously, but also agents that they’re compatible with. That’s the beginning. And we started there because we saw that as the market improves, tons of agents enter the profession because the barriers to entry are so low. But that’s a major pain point for our clients. They want the best people. And the best people have the best data.”

Lang says that the quality of listing data is uneven in Manhattan and that Triplemint spends a significant amount of resources to cleanse and correct incoming data from other brokers.

Humans are imperfect “Listing data is created and input by humans, who are by nature imperfect. Unless you have humans checking on that data, it will always be imperfect,” Lang says. But making that data as good as it can be is part of Triplemint’s value proposition.

“We want to unearth the right property for the client as quickly as possible, by proactively suggesting them and making agents aware of what has come on the market,” Lang explains. “You can’t really do that if you don’t truly value, understand and verify the data.”

Data Cleansing Triplemint works with an assortment of partners to cleanse and augment listing data so that it can be shown with confidence on the company’s website. In turn, the site develops a strong lead base for the company’s agents, who are focused on helping clients, instead of building sales.

“We’re creating a complete picture of the Manhattan market on our site,” Lang says. But would having an MLS help?

“Obviously any time you can improve the data, it’s better for every brokerage,” Lang says. “But historically, Manhattan has never been able to come together to make an MLS work here. The community is fragmented and even though it may not be efficient, it limps along. I think the biggest hindrance to having an MLS is building momentum for it, among big and small brokers alike. We’re in our own way.”

Everybody Needs to Work Together Lang thinks that in order for an MLS to work in Manhattan, all of the largest firms in Manhattan would have to participate.

“There really isn’t any other way,” Lang says. “If they’re not in, more than 50-60 percent of the listings in the market aren’t there. So as a broker, you can’t have that. You need all the listings. So, while we support the concept of an MLS here, it really is in the hands of the largest brokers to decide to participate.”

Does that put Triplemint at a disadvantage?

“If you think about the fact that we’re spending extra resources to deal with data that is not verified, that’s an expensive proposition and we would benefit from an MLS in that sense,” Lang says. “But we’re a hybrid technology/real estate company, so we can deal with it. But I think it affects smaller brokers more, who may not have the resources to deal with it and don’t have the momentum or desire to fight for a change.”

"Obviously any time you can improve the data, it’s better for every brokerage. But historically, Manhattan has never been able to come together to make an MLS work here. The community is fragmented and even though it may not be as efficient, it limps along. I think the biggest hindrance to having an MLS is building momentum for it, among big and small brokers alike. We’re in our own way."