Fresh off a $5 million seed round in April, the Altman Brothers-endorsed startup is banking on the idea that the industry will see its bidding process as a more direct marketing expense.

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For agents, the cost of doing business often comes about in countless forms, from marketing expenses and broker cuts to mobile phone charges and perhaps the most common — and often most uncertain — expense: paid leads.

But if the Altman Brothers-endorsed BidMyListing has its way, agents will be able to buy business with more confidence than any Zillow Premier account can offer. The company has set up a solution for agents to compete for the listing contract of willing sellers in an auction format.

Fresh off a $5 million seed round in April, the Newport Beach, California-based startup is banking on the idea that the industry will see its bidding process as a more direct marketing expense with a hard outcome, as opposed to paying for unvetted online leads.

“Homeowners are matched with top agents in their area who bid for the exclusive right to list and get paid upfront when they select an agent,” according to a statement from BidMyListing.

Additionally, the model is simply flipping the closing rebate, a marketing incentive often offered to buyers and sellers by a number of new companies.

“BidMyListing disrupts an incredibly flawed and antiquated system that has resulted in generations of sellers rewarding speed over substance when picking an agent,” said BidMyListing Founder and Chairman Matt Proman, in a statement. “Our marketplace allows for better decision making and facilitates the best possible match between sellers and agents, while also benefiting the seller financially.”

Granted, there is no guarantee that a deal will close and agents need to be work that risk into how they bid for a seller. Proman emailed Inman, saying that’s part of the risk of doing business.

“The comparison is it’s no different than spending $6,000 with Zillow and having them come up with a lead,” he said. “You’re buying leads, but leads don’t get you a guaranteed result, but BidMyListing gets you the actual listing. So we’re bypassing the lead process, but the agent still has to do their job.”

The company also makes promises that the seller will be matched with the best possible agent. However, being able to pay more for a listing does not mean the agent is the best match, nor does it account for top agents in a market simply not registering with the system.

However, before brushing off BidMyListing as another way to dislodge sellers from time-honored sales traditions, know that the company has some serious horsepower behind it: The Altman Brothers.

The dynamic reality TV duo has openly invested in the company, and Josh Altman’s testimonial to its effectiveness is featured prominently on the website.

In a statement on the company’s launch, Altman said this model can help homesellers feel more confident about the investment an agent is making in their relationship.

“It evens the playing field for agents across the industry, and for the first time ever brings comfort to homesellers with an agent fighting for them who believes in the property and has skin in the game,” Altman said. “Your money is as good as any industry veteran at BidMyListing. You get in front of real sellers that you normally wouldn’t have a chance to. At the same time, we are educating sellers on who the best choice is to sell their biggest investment in their lives. Real estate agents are putting money in homeowners’ pockets up front! It’s a win win.”

An automated listing system helps homeowners quickly get their property in front of potential bidders. They need merely to enter an address, confirm its details, provide a description and set a target sales price. The agent matching algorithm does the rest.

Agents wanting to compete can enter a bid that includes a cash up-front incentive, and among other bonafides, a projected listing term, marketing skills and stated commission percentage. Clearly, those agents with a sleeker, more honed marketing message will stand out among the seller’s suitors.

If selected, a listing agreement is signed and the deal is carried out in normal fashion.

BidMyListing operated under a soft launch in 2021, the release said. The company said its planning another round of investment to be announced later this summer.

Email Craig Rowe

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