saas product to eliminate realtors -

5 replies
I am working on developing and interactive web application to be sold alongside an info-product which will enable homeowners to sell and list their homes in a virtual environment using very special marketing techniques.. I know this sounds almost cliche with how many FSBO offerings and free listing sites that are out there... However, over 1.5 Million people nationwide sell their own home each year. At even 1-2% of the action depending on what we price it at and after we add in the "up-sells" & supplemental they will need like live support and "canned responses" in other words they are purchasing a series of classes/modules which means they will actually have to work at it.. This won't be for everyone.. And I will tell them upfront what it takes to actually be successful; for them it's roughly a 3-4 hour gig, but for $15-30K from the market testing I have done in my own portfolio this could be very big.. its like a FSBO (for sale by owner) without the fee but with the automated benefits of an agent.. Almost like an AI..

Over the past 10 years I have methodically extracted and documented almost 40 years of experiences my father went through as an up and coming realtor (through 4 financial crisis he learned to survive at all costs) - Totally self made high school drop out but a brilliant businessman.. I want to make this unique knowledge (which I cannot find anywhere in the real estate industry these days) available to agents and sellers.. everything from AITDs, to hard money lending to exchanges we got info on it and I wanna get it out there.. its works because its true.. Maybe a forum format? Webinars have worked great so far as have whiteboard style visual representations..

The other day I probed my existing portfolio and asked some of my current clients if they would ever consider selling their own home (to save the commission) several indicated a high level of interest and stated they would join me in a webinar to speak about such things.. I had 11 turn out and all of them absolutely loved the idea, they especially loved the community format of the webinar because all the questions are pretty common to most people in a certain market sector.. and not only did they say they would buy the product, but by the end of the presentation they saw true value in my methods as I was teaching and coaching instead of saying "i am the best realtor in the world" and I ended up listing 2 of the 5 people who were seriously interested..

Some also attempt it then don't have the sand or don't wanna waste the time cause their mostly rich people with extra homes and I end up handling the deal when they become fed up.. Which is fine because later on we can possibly sell leads to agents from sellers..

The market shifted down about 4% over the last 65 days in orange county so some of them couldn't quite net enough to zero out and pay no out of pocket costs to sell.. Very common..

The idea came about organically when I mixed my marketing strategy of selling homes in less than 10 days and guaranteeing multiple offers with zero obligation to sell regardless of the price obtained (I can elaborate on how this is really done - I can break this thing down into 10 steps in 10 days and a 5 minute video for each step / Camtasia style kinda thing..

My own brother was recently in the same boat.. I recently coached my brother marcus through a successful no listing agent transaction via recorded webinar and it sold with 6 offers (all above list price) and after only a single group showing..
No signs no lockboxes no inconvenience of any kind.. It took a week and he saved 40,000 maybe had 2-3 hours of actual work / time involved including the thirty minute showing.. He never spoke to one buyer or agent. I prepared prerecorded messages, emails and pamphlets which the sellers are directed to hand out to interested parties rather than speaking which leads to trouble without representation.. even the buyer liked the process more than the conventional.. "you go high I go low game" / charge about $500 just to simply allow sellers to list their home on the local MLS (both have also offered affiliate fees/splits to push the product on their pages and theirs on mine... so I am thinking if the sellers will be saving $15k / $500k in sales price at 3% roughly (because usually there will still be one buyers agent involved who will earn between 2-2.5% + normal escrow / closing costs of course split 50/50 buyer & seller..

I mean who wouldn't pay $999- $1999 to save $15 grand.. And this thing is almost magically sellable because it was proven and documented back to inception, and with 1.5 million (10 x that in attempts) successful fsbo's per year @ 3% we would attempt to reach a quota of 30-45,000/year at say an average of 1K per product for base price (I really think we could also charge a bit more, but volume is everything here..) the potential profits are substantial plus they will need live support, prepped for up-sells, and lots of supplemental add-ons to complete their deal.. again we would retain and run ads specific to each market... buyer, seller, renter, borrower, lender, landlord, tenant, etc...

I would like your take on whether or not to implement my own marketing strategy locally while at the same time selling the products nationwide...I speak with my attorney tomorrow about agency legality and some states require attorneys to sell so we cannot capture 100% of the market, but the states that have the best figures are open season... My gut says to keep my local marketing techniques which are very unconventional (I take 10 day no obligation listing contracts.. no 6 months.. no open houses.. no waste of time. I then present my seller with multiple offers all confidential and revised to highest and best after the preset showings are complete and the offers have gone through the 48 hour highest and best offer revision process.. my listings consistently sell for OVER appraisal and they are usually forced to waive the appraisal contingency outright..

Help me figure this out! Any advice is appreciated and even if you can point me in the general direction I would be forever in your debt.
#eliminate #product #realtors #saas
  • Profile picture of the author kilgore
    Full disclosure: I know next-to-nothing about the ins and outs of selling real estate except what I learned when buying my own home.

    From a business perspective, however, I think you'd do well to study the way Redfin and Yelp rolled out their services (Redfin is obviously more in your area, but I think Yelp is instructive too). For different reasons, both decided to roll out in a single target market before gradually expanding to a small number of other markets, before expanding to a larger number of other markets and so on. One advantage of their strategy is that it's not only cheaper and more achievable to get critical mass in a single market, but you can learn from your mistakes and apply them to new markets going forward. That said, you may have good reasons to want to roll out nationwide right away, so don't take my advice to study successful businesses to be advice to copy blindly what was successful. It's rarely -- if ever -- cut and dry as to what's the best strategy for each unique situation.

    One thing I will say, however, is that while good ideas are nice, implemented good ideas are 1,000,000 times better. And implemented good ideas with a satisfied user base are 1,000,000 times better than that. So your first task is to actually build your application; your second task is to find users; and your third is to make sure those users are satisfied -- all of which (it seems to me) would be a lot easier if you concentrated on a single market at the beginning.

    My sense is also that your idea is a lot more complicated to implement that you might be thinking. Do you know what it takes to get listings onto the MLS? Is there a universal set of hooks/APIs that you can use to connect to various public property data sources? Do you have any systems in mind to help replace an agent's experise in things like pricing or just guiding sellers through the selling process? And this doesn't even begin to broach the legal or marketing challenges that you'll be facing...

    That said, if you can pull it off, I can definitely see how you could be providing a lot of value to your users, so I'm not in any way trying to discourage you. But it won't be easy. Then again, when has any startup been easy?
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    • Profile picture of the author cliqmoney
      haha i know; it is definitely a lofty idea.. but it is very possible- i am glad you mentioned redfin. different approach but a good example of innovation and its in a similar realm.. i shouldn't of said "eliminate realtors" actually believe they will still be around for some time but i see the future as more or less a la carte offering with substantially lower costs.

      the average homeowner is a savvy person in my experience.. there isnt one thing i do that i cant teach them.. i guess im confused about whether to make this an info product like a teaching product or an actual application-

      i envision both but i don't know where to turn to get the right answer?? talk with a developer? should i just draw out my vision on paper? i really need to implement something.. maybe i will make a landing page and survey.. maybe even just offer a webinar to help people sell their own homes and let the product create itself..

      the properties would still be listed on all sites and mls's as well- like on and there are MLS only list options available from brokers- which of course i would offer as a 2nd or 3rd tier offering..

      really the value is in the information i have as a broker but i dont want to go one person to one person my whole life- its been a decade and im already sick of humping people.. it would be nice to provide an information based solution that could be used by all people to sell property when needed.. it would eliminate the need to deal with unethical brokers (by far my most powerful motivation behind this products creation) who have long since lost all value to the public..

      i have many systems in mind (in fact its literally a - b - c) from pricing to fielding offers to contingencies for inspections, loans, and appraisals- i would cover seller financing and contracts-- all of it. but i know its HUGE. i often get overwhelmed but i am convinced the public needs something like this..

      thanks kilgore for your time and your guidance.. ill keep it it and hopefully i can post an affiliate offer on here and get some help selling it!
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  • Profile picture of the author BarbaraP
    You have experience in the real estate market so you know the power and influence of the national and large state/local Realtor(C) associations. They ferociously defend their marketing and listing turf (as well as their trademarked name for their members.)
    In the Houston, the HAR site is the #1 site for residential listing and sales here and to some extent the home leasing market as well. It's just hard to reach people with your cost-saving listing alternative. You are smart to get really good legal advice on the front end and think through your launch strategy before investing a lot of money and diving in a space that big companies have tried and seem to have limited success. Entrepreneurism in any market is a challenge. Competing with the real estate industry for listings in big markets (where you have a large enough pool of homeowners to try and get a decent return from) is I think an uphill challenge, steeper than El Capitan. The cost of re-educating your target market, getting to them before or on par with hundreds of agents direct mailing and online marketing to the home sellers you want --- in addition to the industry's investment in broad-based education on the benefits of listing and buying through agents --- makes it a very expensive and long haul effort before you begin to gain traction and acknowledgement as a superior alternative to the tradition. You are on a smarter track that instead of taking on the broad homeseller market, monetizing your expertise with education-based info products, webinars, and then add an opportunity to list through you (in the most cost-effective, ROI method for you) would be a "faster path to profits" as we tell our clients. This way, you could get to the people who are 6 months to a year out from listing and are looking for info and advice without having to sit down with a local agent who is going to push and pressure them to list with their firm. You know agents don't care about helping homesellers understand anything, they want the listing. You can quickly gain a reputation as a source on the homeseller's side. You could niche your info-products to retirees, boomer children of aging parents going into longterm care, young couples with growing families about to sell their first-time homes, etc. You're already sorting through the options, keep weighing the pros and cons and don't let your closeness to the problem source (brokers' offices) make you try to challenge the listing process. The financial benefit to you and the great value you offer homesellers is your expertise and the insider-info. They'll pay you $999 to save them $$$ just by knowing the secrets like back-end deals with title companies that most real estate brokers have, etc. Sharing valuable "secret" info is an easier sale than competing with a local agent/broker for the listing when the agent says "you don't pay anything up front and nothing until the house sells." The fact that homesellers never touch the money leaving them is a huge advantage to real estate agents. If homesellers themselves wrote a check to the agent/borker at the closing, it would be a totally different competitive landscape. Just thoughts for consideration ... cheers to your success!
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    • Profile picture of the author cliqmoney
      really appreciated your post!! im working on it, and i will post an update soon..
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    • Profile picture of the author cliqmoney
      what if i simply billed the product with an escrow demand.. just like a realtors fee- its all money back guarantee anyhow.. and if they fail.. i will simply list it and sell it or monetize them as a lead to a qualified rep..
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