After doubling the number of major markets it worked in in 2012, Seattle-based online real estate brokerage and referral site Estately Inc. announced that it has entered six new states: Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina and Vermont.
Estately co-founder and CEO Galen Ward talks about the brokerage’s structure and growth.
At the end of 2012, the 6-year-old firm was in 26 large metros, many along the West Coast, including Seattle, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. The firm, which powers its home search with listings from 35 multiple listing services in 15 states, started 2012 in 12 markets.
“We’re growing like crazy right now,” said Galen Ward, CEO and co-founder of Estately.
Estately has a referral-focused business model. That means the brokerage prefers to refer business to the 550 current partner agents in the markets where it has listings, taking a 30 percent cut of buyer and seller deals it sends on from its website, Ward said.
In those markets where MLSs require firms to represent buyers and sellers to access their listing feeds, the firm brokers a nominal number of deals, Ward said.
Ward touts the firm’s map-based search and the added data it puts around listings including school attendance boundary zones and commutability estimating metric from Walk Score as keys to its success.
Currently, Estately has 688,000 listings, after a 10 percent bump from those coming on board from the markets in the six states. Estately entered Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona, Columbia and Greenville in South Carolina, Toledo in Ohio and most of the markets in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Ward said.