Seattle-based online real estate brokerage and referral site Estately Inc. says it will more than double the number of major markets in which it operates this year.
By year’s end, the 6-year-old company will have added 14 major metros in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan to the 12 it started the year with, said Galen Ward, Estately’s CEO and co-founder.
The firm, which operates as a brokerage and sources its roughly 700,000 listings from multiple listing services, is also on track to add 230 new partner agents this year, representing a 70 percent growth in 2012, Ward said.
"We’re on a growth tear," Ward said.
Currently, Estately is a member of 29 MLSs and operates in 22 markets, including most of the nation’s largest like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
The brokerage currently partners with 446 real estate agents who pay Estately a 30 percent commission fee for buyer and seller deals closed from leads generated from the brokerage’s website, Ward said.
After adding brokerage licenses in Florida and North Carolina this year, the firm is now licensed as a broker in eight states, including California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Texas and Washington.
In April, Estately expanded into Houston and Austin, Texas, which doubled the firm’s footprint in the Lone Star State, previously limited to Dallas and San Antonio.
"Texas is wrapped up … so we are moving on to other markets next," Ward told Inman News in April.
Estately has since expanded into Philadelphia in the Northeast and Florida metros Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville along with Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill in North Carolina. By the end of the year, the firm will enter Boston and the Detroit metro area, Ward said.
Part of what accounts for Estately’s rapid growth, Ward said, is the quality of the MLS-sourced data in the firm’s property search platform, which, like other property search portals with feeds directly from MLSs, is updated every 15 minutes in most markets.
Along with pent-up demand, enhanced listing data, like the ability of Estately’s home search system to name specific public schools assigned to a particular listing’s address, also has accounted for Estately’s 2012 growth, Ward said.
Estately is now looking for partner agents, Ward said, to help meet growing demand the company’s seeing in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and in the firm’s newly added metros in Texas and Florida.