Digital branding startup Real Grader gets a boost during pandemic

700 agents have signed up since March

Alex Montalenti
Alex Montalenti

Miami Beach Realtor Nancy Batchelor started using a digital business card in recent months, allowing her to AirDrop her contact information to anyone she meets — at a showing or even while horseback riding.

Unlike the standard vCard, Batchelor, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty, is using Real Grader’s Instacard, a link that includes her headshot, social media pages, Realtor and Zillow profiles, and her cell phone number.

Batchelor said Instacard “establishes credibility.”

“You don’t have all these business cards all over,” she said. “Nobody now likes carrying stuff.”

Real Grader, a Miami-based startup, has experienced a jump in business since March, as agents are forced to adapt during the pandemic, said co-founder Alex Montalenti. Many brokerages and agents are taking the time to revamp their websites, launch video panels and virtual events.

In addition to Instacard, the startup aims to also build and improve agents’ digital brands, by first grading agents on their online presence, coaching them and enhancing their online profiles, and in some cases, running their accounts, Montalenti said.

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Since March, 700 agents have joined Real Grader out of its total of 2,700. The company has partnered with Douglas Elliman and has worked with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Long Island and Queens, and with Miami-based One Sotheby’s International Realty.

The startup raised an undisclosed amount of funding in March from the Connecticut Angel Investors Fund.

Montalenti said that funding gave Real Grader a value of $7.5 million. Since launching in 2018, Real Grader has raised a total of about $400,000. One of the company’s goals is to be valued at $50 million by May 2023, he said. The startup has a provisional patent on the Instacard technology.

Since March, Montalenti said the company has hired nine employees to keep up with demand. Real Grader launched a daily video training that’s attracted about 500 agents a day, reaching about 25,000 agents in recent months, he said.

“I had agents that wanted to quit during the pandemic but because of the trainings,” Montalenti added. “They stuck with it.”

Write to Katherine Kallergis at