Realhub, a global residential listings website that goes back over 20 years to the early consumer internet, announced Monday that it is planning a relaunch that it hopes will help real estate agents find new clients from around the world.
The company also announced it has hired Bill Coffman as its new chief technology officer and that Harrison Turner will be its new chief financial officer. Realhub did specify when the two employees had joined the company.
Realhub did not immediately respond to Inman’s request for comment Monday. The company’s website also had little information about what new features the relaunch might include or how it might specifically work.
Unlike in the U.S., many other countries around the world don’t have regional multiple listing services and instead each brokerage is responsible for maintaining its own listing records and pooling only with those it sees fit.
The relaunched website will go live in “in a few months,” according to a Realhub statement, and should help both buyers and sellers, “feel empowered.”
Realhub CEO Steve Chainani added in the statement that “the cross border residential buy-sell market is the fastest growing segment of the overall transactional space, with some estimates that peg its size at $1.5 trillion in dollar volume.”
“It’s exciting to leverage our global brand on a bigger footprint and serve this vast market segment with convenience and efficiency,” Chainani continued.
Connecticut-based Realhub has operated since 1998 and described itself in its statement as “previously the most visited online real estate platform,” though it did not specify when it was the most visited platform, nor how many visitors it had at that time.
As of Monday, the company’s website also described the business as the “world’s first global listing service.”
Realhub further claims on its website that it will have 7 million homes listed from 22 countries at the time of the relaunch.
However, the site did invite would-be users to “imagine searching for homes anywhere in the world with a click of a button.”
“Then you meet the realtor online and get all the information you need to make a buy or sell decision,” the site adds.
In a LinkedIn post, Chainani also explained that the relaunched version of the site would include “a mobile-centric suite of tools and artificial intelligence data analytics.”
A slideshow presentation that Chainani added to his LinkedIn page states that the company wants to have 100 million listings within two years. The presentation also reveals that the company is (or was) looking for $1 million in funding in order to reach profitability.
None of the materials Realhub has so far released appeared to include a specific timeline for the relaunch.
However, in a statement Turner indicated that funding and investment will be Realhub’s next priority.
“Realhub intends to make the large investments necessary for our platform development and scalability,” he said. “We do not anticipate any difficulty in closing funding to take Realhub to the next level.”
Realhub’s announcements of a relaunch and new hires come at a time of increasing expansion for U.S. real estate franchises and brokerages abroad, and vice-versa, with Keller Williams recently announcing its first office in Morocco, and the German-based Engel & Völkers announcing its continued expansion across the U.S.
Last year, another global listings portal, the aptly named Global Listings, announced it was purchasing trade publication World Property Journal for $33 million, highlighting the interest in offering Zillow-like websites for properties around the globe.
Zillow and Redfin, two popular home search websites here in the U.S., have also been bolstering their international presence with the addition of Canadian property listings in the last year.
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