Selling Your Home 2.0: REALICITY Set to Disrupt Real Estate Industry
NEW YORK CITY, JUNE 12, 2017 — The time may finally be at hand for technology to disrupt the long-standing real estate brokerage model. With the launch of REALICITY — a new, breakthrough realty company built specifically for the needs of property sellers — the days of lofty Realtor commissions could soon be a thing of the past. REALICITY combines professional, local Realtor experience with cutting-edge technology to enable home sellers to save tens of thousands of dollars by paying a low flat fee instead of the traditional 6 percent commission.
Unlike previous efforts to disrupt the real estate industry, timing appears to be on REALICITY’s side. As consumers have grown comfortable using mainstream technology platforms and apps like Uber, Airbnb and Etsy to make their lives simpler and better, homeowners — particularly GenXers and Millennials — almost expect there to be a more transparent, efficient and cost-effective way to sell their homes.
Once sellers connect via the website or phone, REALICITY starts with an expert, in-person consultation and home walk-through to determine pricing, devise a sales strategy, plan staging and recommend any prudent improvements. Then, REALICITY’s marketing engine kicks into high gear. Its team produces an immersive, 3D virtual tour of the property — providing 24/7 visibility to prospective buyers and eliminating voyeuristic tire-kickers. It adds high-resolution photos to go along with floor plans and a professional property description. Next, the home is listed on over 2,000 real estate websites, including the local MLS and listing portal powerhouses such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy and even major international and relevant hyper-local sites to generate maximum exposure among potential buyers.
To capitalize on the elevated consumer expectations of our digital age, REALICITY has taken the customer experience to a whole new level. Underpinned by its powerful and elegant technology platform, REALICITY’s online dashboard not only provides a simple way for sellers to schedule home showings at their convenience, it also solves a real pain-point by providing full, real-time transparency to offers from all prospective buyers. Sellers are able to communicate directly and anonymously with prospective buyers right from their desktop or mobile device.
First, prospective buyers can use the intuitive online platform to pick from the available showing times set by the seller. Then, the seller shows the property and shares deep knowledge of its key benefits with prospective buyers. Should a seller prefer not to personally show the property, a REALICITY agent will handle the showings. And serious prospective buyers can make offers remotely without ever physically visiting the property. Offers are submitted in real-time directly to the seller through the online dashboard. The seller can immediately compare and counter offers or accept with a click of a button. The real-time capability means no more waiting for important news to (hopefully) go through third-party intermediaries. Finally, the closing is initiated electronically immediately upon offer acceptance. From the initial pricing and staging consultation all the way through negotiations and closing, REALICITY agents are available to provide support whenever the seller needs it — they can be as “hands-on” or “hands-off” as the seller wants.
As part of its planned nationwide rollout, REALICITY is starting in the fast-paced, high-stakes New York City market, where the average home value according to the Real Estate Board of New York is $1.02 million across all five boroughs and $2.15 million in Manhattan. That means the avoidance of a 6 percent commission on the average million dollar property can result in an extra $50,000+ in the seller’s pocket — and nearly $120,000 for the typical Manhattanite — once the $9,900 fee is paid to REALICITY. And, because the fee is only paid after a successful closing, there’s no risk to sellers.
In addition to empowering consumers to save, REALICITY is a benefit corporation. Co-founders Philip Askeroth and Jacques-Philippe Piverger started the company with a mission to “do well by doing good.” As both share a passion for the environment, the company is committed to making a positive ecological impact in the communities in which it operates. To that end, the company will plant a tree for every transaction and will also support urban farming in inner cities to provide fresh, organic vegetables and fruits to residents who don’t have easy access to them.
On the business side, both founders bring deep industry expertise to REALICITY. Askeroth, a former broker turned innovator, has over a decade of experience in the commercial and residential real estate markets of New York City and beyond. Having overseen more than a thousand transactions, he has an intimate understanding of the industry and deep consumer insights around the historical pain-points of the traditional real estate model. A Georgetown and Dartmouth alum, Piverger brings a dynamic entrepreneurial sensibility with boundless empathy. During his former tenure as director at Pine Bridge Investments, he participated in over $10 billion of real estate and private equity transactions. As a founder of MPOWERED, Inc., The Soleil Group and The Council for Urban Professionals, Piverger has blurred the line between philanthropist and entrepreneur, and is well known for his history of generating positive social responsibility impact.
As Askeroth looks for ways to improve the business operating model, he observed that, “Traditional Realtors provide a full range of services to help people sell their home, but often the more expensive listings under an agent’s purview command the greatest share of a Realtor’s attention, given that’s precisely what the 6 percent commission model rewards.”
Piverger added that, “Sellers don’t have full transparency to all potential buyers and they don’t always hear about offers right away. Furthermore, they often feel overcharged having to hand over a huge five- or six-figure commission check, regardless of how much work the Realtor actually put into the sale.”
REALICITY solves these issues by offering a differentiated, world-class marketing approach combined with a tech platform enabling full transparency and real-time communications with potential buyers. Askeroth continued, “We built REALICITY specifically for homeowners to finally provide them with a more cost-effective way to sell their homes. For just a low fixed fee of $9,900, our expert agents help from sales consultation to closing and our powerful yet simple technology platform solves the transparency issues inherent in the traditional brokerage model. Sellers can now see offers from all prospective buyers in real-time and take action as relevant. REALICITY’s role is to serve as a trusted partner, and we put the power of the broker where it belongs — right into the hands of the seller.”
Piverger added, “REALICITY’s entire process is designed to make it easier for buyers and sellers to find each other and do business.” In fact, both sellers and buyers can benefit since a seller may be willing to sell for a lower price knowing there won’t be a huge 6 percent commission skimmed off the final selling price. In effect, by selling with REALICITY, the homeowner keeps significantly more of the profits from the sale versus the traditional Realtor model and the buyer can secure the home for less money — making both winners in the transaction.
Piverger continued, “In much the same way that Etsy lets makers connect with customers and Airbnb lets travelers find places to stay, REALICITY liberates the home-selling process, and lets sellers keep a lot more from the sale of their own home. To us, it just makes sense.”
Apart from the Founders’ unabashed enthusiasm, the proof is really with the customers who’ve already sold their home through REALICITY. Geovanni Rey, a recent seller, had this to say: “The REALICITY team was highly professional. They came by and did everything I’d expect a top-of-the-line real estate agent to do. They were easy to work with, did a great job marketing my home and it sold in less than three weeks for over my asking price. I saved tens of thousands of dollars versus working with a traditional realty brokerage and would definitely recommend REALICITY to my friends and family!”
The time for real estate digital disruption is finally here. And, for New Yorkers looking to sell their homes, now may be a good time to start thinking about how best to spend their newly found $50,000+!
For more information, visit http://realicity.com/.