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Part proptech, all brokerage, the hybrid agent company Prevu opened business in the state of Florida, according to an announcement the company sent to Inman.
The digital homebuying solution that heavily leverages detailed online search and buyer due diligence before engaging its salaried agents now operates in the Sunbelt cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.
“Florida homebuyers today are faced with a growing affordability issue with the combination of elevated mortgage rates and rapid home price appreciation in recent years,” noted Thomas Kutzman, Prevu’s co-founder and co-CEO. “Prevu solves this challenge for buyers by leveraging technology to unlock significant savings with a rebate that traditional real estate companies just can’t afford to offer.”
The rebate program stems from the agent’s reduced role in the front end of the process, a role supported by the company’s technology and a second professional, a dedicated client concierge. The licensed agent keeps the team between the gutters, compliant and on track. Upon close of escrow, Prevu buyers receive up to 2 percent of the home’s purchase price. The rebate amount is published alongside an available listing.
Collaboration is primarily chat- and email-driven and buyers can arrange showings, eliminate options, learn about the market and submit offers through the application. Agents are tech-enabled as well, provided with a number of administrative functionality, including a CRM, showing tools, buyer activity tracking and other useful productivity features.
Torri Homes and Luke are similar models, putting technology at the front of the relationship while actively integrating experienced licensed agents.
Kutzman’s co-founder Chase Marsh said in a statement that home prices in its new Florida markets offer their clients more opportunity to save, specifically because they remain out of reach for the middle of the market.
“What we see every day is that Prevu’s rebate provides homebuyers with the confidence they need to successfully purchase a home knowing that they will get back up to 2 percent of the purchase price.”
However, there is evidence that discounted service and agent compensation isn’t critical to buyers and sellers. Brian Boreo, CEO of marketing strategy firm 1000watt, presented an in-depth survey of 1,000 homebuyers and sellers at Inman Connect New York in January, revealing that most couldn’t identify how their agent was compensated and that the commission amount didn’t determine how they chose an agent.
Redfin’s abandonment of buyer rebates in 2022 serves as the impetus for Boero’s biggest misconception, the idea that consumers were seeking low-cost real estate.
“No one really cares. The entire notion that consumers were cracking low-cost real estate is really crumbling in front of us,” he said. “So how did so many smart people get this wrong?”
However, where Prevu’s model can succeed, based on Boreo’s findings, is in its ability to make the deal easier.
Fifty percent of 1000watt’s survey respondents said they would take a cash offer for less money if it came with a quick process and the dependability of closing on time.
It’s this growing segment of the market with which Prevu and other aligned business models are hoping to gain mindshare.
Prevu was founded in 2017 and currently operates in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Southern California San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Denver, Austin — and now, South Florida.