Tech-centric Miami brokerage Home61 has found success helping clients buy and rent homes with its emphasis on speed and data. Now it’s launching a new business line: a flat fee for home sellers.
Home61 clients will pay $6,100 — like the number in Home61’s name — for a dedicated agent who works through a tech platform to list, market, handle viewings for and close their property, the startup announced Thursday. Those agents report back to homeowners every two weeks with the latest updates on their listing.
Part of Home61’s philosophy is that homeowners should pay the same amount of money for the same service — not thousands more if their home is worth more money. And homeowners whose homes are worth less shouldn’t worry that they won’t get adequate service.
“Companies are coming in with a whole new approach. We’re seeing the market completely changing,” Home61 CEO Olivier Grinda said in an interview with Inman. “The tech revolution everyone has been expecting for a long time in real estate is absolutely coming.”
Home61’s tech platform does automatic scheduling, includes a marketing plan, and quickly incorporates feedback from potential buyers who come to see a listing. The platform also handles some elements of contracts and updates potential numbers based on other relevant sales every day. The startup beta tested the platform with a Miami condo that sold for $745,000 in 41 days.
“It’s the human feedback of people visiting and the objective feedback of data,” Grinda said.
Not much is changing on Home61’s original buy-side business, but the startup created a new dedicated team of four agents so far to move into selling. The company has 65 of its own agents on the buy side who use Home61’s technology and pay 50 percent of their commission to the firm. The startup says its internal office and agent recruitment program runs much like a tech accelerator, with similar training, only for agents instead of an early-stage startup.
There are many other startups working to reduce commissions through technology and flat fees. Grinda compares Home61 to Purplebricks, the U.K. flat fee real estate startup that recently launched stateside.
But Grinda thinks many of those startups are more similar to a traditional for sale by owner model. Home61, he says, provides everything a traditional agent would.
Home61 launched its buying service in January 2015 and has done $100 million in transactions. The startup hopes its new service will appeal to first-time sellers and anyone who’s been dissatisfied with an agent experience before.
“It’s between people who have had bad experiences in the past and want to see something different and people where it’s their first time selling,” Grinda said.
With Miami as its first market, Home61 has developed strategies for single-family homes, condos and downtown apartments.
The startup aims to sell 200 homes in 2018 and double that in 2019. Home61 raised $4 million for these plans in a funding round in October, and a total of $5.3 million since launch.