EasyKnock CEO Jarred Kessler argued during Inman Connect Now Thursday that agents need to show that they’re on the cutting edge.

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Earlier this month, a man approached real estate startup EasyKnock about cashing out of his house. The man needed a liver transplant, EasyKnock CEO Jarred Kessler recounted during Thursday’s Inman Connect Now, but he also revealed he didn’t have the money for his surgery.

“We basically within an hour gave him a deal,” Kessler recalled, explaining that the deal allowed the man to get money out of his house before he was ready to actually move out.

Kessler co-founded EasyKnock four years ago, and today the company buys homeowners’ properties, then rents those properties back so the owners don’t have to physically move to a new location. The product can function as a kind of bridge loan, allowing shoppers to have cash while looking for another place to live. Or, it can let them pull all of their equity out of a house so they can use the money for something else — like a medical expense.

Jarred Kessler at Thursday’s Inman Connect Now Credit: Inman

EasyKnock is consequently one of many startups currently working to diversify the real estate transaction and give consumers more options. But during Thursday’s Connect Now — which took place virtually — Kessler also said that he finds the work rewarding because real estate involves both an emotional need for home, as well as financial needs.

“You’re solving both of those problems,” he continued. “There are very few industries or areas where you’re able to do both those things.”

That’s all well and good for EasyKnock, but what does it mean for real estate professionals?

During his comments, Kessler went on to say that at this point “agents have to differentiate themselves.” The implication is that amid rapid change and an increasingly competitive real estate landscape, only the best agents will manage to excel.

“They have to present that they’re on the cutting edge and that they have more and more solutions,” Kessler argued.

EasyKnock is potentially one of those solutions, and Kessler noted that when working with agents the company pays a full commission. For consumers, the service costs 2.5 percent of the purchase price of the home — not nothing, but also a cost some consumers are willing to pay for the added certainty of having cash or for the convenience of being able to stay in their home even after selling it.

Plus, certainty and convenience have both become more important than ever this year during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The importance of home and that environment has become even more accentuated,” Tushar Garg also argued during Connect Now. “It’s always been important but I think people can feel it now.”

Garg, the co-founder and CEO of Flyhomes, appeared with Kessler during Thursday’s Connect Now. Flyhomes offers an iBuyer product for homeowners. For homebuyers, it steps in and purchases homes on consumers’ behalves then rents the homes back to them until they secure funding to buy it themselves. The idea is that for buyers, a cash offer is more competitive.

“What we are doing is essentially focusing on the buyers,” Garg explained.

Tushar Garg at Inman Connect Now Thursday. Credit: Inman

Products like Flyhomes, EasyKnock and many others that have emerged in recent years give consumers more tools in the toolbox. The same is true for the real estate professionals who, according to Thursday’s panelists, can and should take advantage of those tools. But Kessler added that the greatest rewards of working in the space may actually be helping people.

“I think success,” he added, “is what you give, not what you take.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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