Zavvie, a brokerage-oriented iBuying platform, and home leasing startup EasyKnock have jointly announced a new partnership meant to help more homeowners seamlessly sell their property — even if they aren’t quite ready to move yet.
The new partnership, revealed Monday to Inman, brings EasyKnock’s homebuying service to zavvie’s real estate industry clients. The homebuying service works when homeowners want to sell or tap into their equity, but aren’t ready to actually move out. In such cases, the company steps in and buys the house, then leases it back to the former owners while they look for a new place to live.
The idea is that this process gives consumers greater flexibility and can potentially make their offers more competitive by eliminating contingencies. The concept is consequently similar to a bridge loan service, though significantly it differs from other products in that category that more traditionally focus on helping people buy without first selling a home.
EasyKnock was already offering this service to interested consumers. However, what’s changed is that zavvie is now bringing it directly to real estate brokerages. Zavvie is a software platform that teams up with brokerages so that the agents in those brokerages can collect, compare, and present iBuyer offers to clients.
The partnership with EasyKnock means that the agents using zavvie will now have one more option to present to their consumers.
Lane Hornung, zavvie co-founder and CEO, told Inman leaders from the two companies first met at an Inman Connect event. They quickly noticed that there was a “synergy” between what the firms were doing, and eventually decided to work together.
Hornung went on to say EasyKnock’s service is already available for a number of brokerages, and that it’s being rolled out to others now. He expects that within a month between 15,000 and 20,000 of the roughly 30,000 U.S. agents who use zavvie should be able to present the service to their clients.
The response so far from both industry members and consumers has been positive, Hornung added.
“We have seen a number of consumers already applying,” he said. “The first thing they said was ‘cool, I didn’t know this was possible.’ They didn’t know they could unlock the equity in their home and sell it without moving.”
In a statement EasyKnock co-founder and CEO Jarred Kessler also said that the two companies “share a common vision of giving homeowners innovative options to make selling a home easier and faster.”
“By working with zavvie, real estate agents can help consumers selling a home make their best decision by exploring all of their options,” he added.
EasyKnock’s options vary depending on which specific product a consumer chooses, but Hornung said that for the most part the service will allow homeowners to remain in their properties for six months after selling.
The news comes just weeks after zavvie announced an updated version of its Offer Optimizer. The updated version includes “bridge” features meant to help homeowners buy new properties without having to sell their existing house.
Additionally, EasyKnock revealed last month that it had raised $20 million in new funding.
Hornung was ultimately optimistic about the new partnership, saying that in particular the coronavirus pandemic has thrown many real estate consumers’ lives into flux — and potentially making them more interested in innovative housing solutions. And he argued that providing those solutions is key for successful agents.
“Agents who are really going to add value are going to bring all these solutions to their clients,” Hornung said.