Pacaso, a real estate startup that aims to create co-ownership opportunities for second homes, has named industry veteran Marnie Blanco as its vice president of industry relations. Blanco will spearhead the startup’s strategic industry partnerships, industry relations and advocacy goals, according to a company announcement on Thursday.
“Marnie and I worked together for many years at dotloop, my previous startup,” Pacaso CEO and Co-founder Austin Allison said in the announcement. “I was always impressed with her real estate acumen and ability to execute. We are thrilled and lucky to have her on board.”
Prior to Pacaso, Blanco served as dotloop’s vice president of industry relations and helped the Zillow Group brand build partnerships with MLSs, associations and third-party integration partners. Blanco launched her real estate career as RE/MAX’s vice president of eBusiness, where she led technology innovation, product management, product marketing, and training for the network’s broker and agent technology platforms.
“I am enamored with the Pacaso concept,” Blanco said of the opportunity to work with the startup. “I think it’s brilliant and opens up so much potential to enrich people’s lives. Looking at second homes is actually a hobby of mine, and I feel fortunate to get to blend that passion with my industry experience in this new venture.”
“The Pacaso team, model and its momentum are incredibly exciting!” she added.
Blanco isn’t the only person enamored with Pacaso — the company clinched $75 million in equity funding and an additional $1 billion in debt funding only seven months after its launch, making it the fastest U.S. company to reach unicorn valuation.
The brainchild of Allison and Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff, Pacaso enables buyers to purchase a one-eighth to one-half co-ownership stake in a second home. Buyers can choose a home through Pacaso or another site, and Pacaso will partner with the buyer to purchase the home through its property LLC, The Pacaso Home LLC.
The initial buyer chooses their ownership stake in the home and then Pacaso will find additional buyers to purchase the remaining shares of the home. Buyers can purchase their stake with all cash, or offer a 50 percent down payment and finance the rest.
Through The Pacaso Home LLC, Pacaso secures funding for the home and signs the mortgage as the corporate guarantor. Meanwhile, buyers will sign an Owner Operating Agreement, which gives them 100 percent ownership interest in the LLC for the property.
Pacaso handles all the management and design aspects of the home for a 1-percent transaction fee, and co-owners can use the SmartStay app to reserve their time in the home from two days to two years in advance. Co-owners must wait 12 months from closing to sell their share, which Pacaso said works the same as selling a “whole home.”
Allison and Rascoff said Pacaso’s rapid ascent is due to a robust second home market and the fact that Pacaso allows everyday people to enjoy the benefits of a second home without the financial burden.
“The pandemic has caused that desire for second homeownership to be more pronounced and more intense than pre-pandemic and the reason why is flexibility,” Allison told Inman in a previous article. “You have more families that can work from home, more families that can work partially from home and even for the families that are going to go back into the office when this all settles down, we’ve entered a new world where there’s a new culture that promotes flexibility.”
“That has enabled us to accomplish what otherwise might have taken us a couple years, we were able to accomplish in six months,” he added.