• SRE Matrix has used technology, discounts and salaried agents to make inroads in Hawaii and plans to generate much of its revenue by charging vendors for exposure on a proprietary end-to-end platform.
  • The brokerage expands to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego and Phoenix on January 1, and has plans to hire an unlimited number of agents who will work as contractors and earn a 94-6 percent commission split, not just salaried agents.
  • Founded by a billionaire who views the business as "his baby," SRE Matrix has raised $100 million since launching a year and a half ago.
  • SRE Matrix plans to have carved out toeholds in 14 states by July 2016. San Francisco and Sacramento are the next markets on its expansion roadmap.

In June of 2014, many of the big names in Hawaii real estate flocked to a party honoring the state’s top 100 agents. The venue was “Vintage Cave,” an upscale restaurant with a prix-fixe menu that starts at $300 (wine and beverages not included) and an antique-brick interior designed to evoke the “underground architecture of ancient Rome.” The event may have been sponsored by a local business magazine and escrow company, but the restaurant’s owner, the billionaire real estate developer Takeshi Sekiguchi, seemed to take on the role of host, according to Bryn Kaufman, broker-owner of Kailua, Hawaii-based OahuRE.com. Sitting at a table, Sekiguchi chatted with a handful of agents and, at one point, raffled off artwork, said Kaufman, who said he attended the event. Ta...