Flat-fee real estate startup Trelora expanded from Denver to Seattle — and angered some Seattle residents with a marketing stunt in its new city.
Trelora put up cutouts of green pigs around the city, hoping curiosity would lead locals to try to find out why the pigs were there and what they represented. But in a city sensitive to issues around affordable housing, the move from a real estate startup didn’t go over very well, the Seattle Times reported.
Residents complained about the disruption, the eyesore and the message. “You should know that you have read our region wrong. This is not the sort of thing we respond well towards,” one resident cited by the Seattle Times wrote on Reddit. “We take our parks very seriously and are so proud of them, that to see them used for free advertising is insulting.”
“We’ve done the pigs in Denver — we did monkeys and elephants — and what we’ve learned more than anything in doing guerrilla campaigns is not everyone loves you,” Trelora CEO Joshua Hunt told Inman. “We’re very used to not having people love everything we do.”
Trelora, around since 2011, launched in Seattle on Wednesday. The startup charges clients a flat fee of $2,500 to sell their homes. The company is based in Denver and chose Seattle as its second city.
“It’s an innovative city. It’s a great market with a lot of similarities in MLS platforms,” Hunt said. “It makes sense for us.”
The startup has launched features including a chat option that allows sellers to talk directly to buyers without getting other brokers involved.
In Seattle, Trelora plans to donate $2,500 to the parks department and donated $10,000 to the Pike Place Market Foundation in support of community housing.