RealTrade launches to cut out the middleman in real estate
Real estate! The ultimate wealth builder! Buying a home can be difficult and finding trusted realtors to help you with the process can be even more difficult. That's where RealTrade founder, Ryan Poole, is working to make a difference. His startup, based in West Palm Beach, Florida is on a mission to take on industry leader, Zillow.
"Platforms currently force agents to bid against each other. It's hurting the industry (agents, buyers, and sellers)," according to Poole. He's not wrong either, bigger platforms like Zillow and Trulia do not make it easy to get even simple questions answered by prospective buyers. Want to know how deep a swimming pool is? Good luck! Plus, they take a huge cut of agent's commissions.
Benefits of RealTrade vs Zillow
On RealTrade, you have access to all of a listing agent's details so you can easily get in touch and get up-to-date information on any listing. Transparency is important at RealTrade, the company does not sell buyer or seller information as leads, instead opting to charge a monthly subscription fee ($50/per month/user) to title companies, mortgage companies, and attorneys for the ability to create a professional profile and network with agents for referrals. Additionally, the company plans to offer an optional subscription-based CRM backend for agents as well in the future. Meanwhile, prospective home buyers can use RealTrade free of charge.
With RealTrade, Poole & Co. have built a traditional listing aggregator but baked in social components to help build trust within the community. As Ryan said to me during one of our calls, "I like to put a personal touch on all my deals," no doubt a common sentiment amongst many real estate professionals. That's a crucial piece of what will make RealTrade a success – building a vibrant and trusted community of buyers, sellers, and agents. Right now, the community is still growing and Ryan tells me he is looking to onboard more agents onto the platform (so if you're an agent, sign up! They're currently accepting agents from Palm Beach, Broward, and soon Miami).
Additional points of differentiation include the point system that RealTrade has built for agents who refer other agents to the platform. Agents with more points are suggested higher up on the recommended professionals list on the site, which in return, means you have a better chance of developing leads. In the future, agents will also be able to earn points by engaging on the platform as well.
Then there's also the crowdfunding option that RealTrade will be rolling out soon. The company is looking to raise between $2-$5 million at a $10-$20 million valuation with participation from agents on the platform. This will allow agents to get in on the ground floor of the company and partake in the future success. Again, the idea being that RealTrade is building a strong, curated community of real estate professionals that directly benefit from the platform on multiple fronts (leads, sales, equity).
As of right now, the biggest value of RealTrade is cutting out the middleman (e.g. Zillow), which will cut your commission in half if you try to build an online presence through those platforms, so, as Ryan says, "there’s a lot of value created by cutting them out and that added value can be shared back with the agents themselves as well as also with the buyers and sellers." Plus, with the added social elements baked into RealTrade such as the social feed and the ability to follow agents you want to work with, it gives both buyers, sellers, and agents more peace of mind.
But the value doesn't stop there. The big value add for buyers and sellers is that they get more up-to-date data than they do with any of the other portals since it's coming directly from the source: the listing agent. Additionally, sellers can also search out the best agents on RealTrade, get all their real time data of listings sold in a particular area to choose the best agent to sell their house. And buyers can use the platform to help them find the best buyer agents as well, which according to Poole is not offered on other platforms.
Whether you're an agent looking to cut out the middleman that is Zillow and keep more of your commissions or if you're in the market for a new home, give RealTrade a shot! The company plans to release a mobile-friendly version of the site in the next 30 days. In the meantime, use it on your computer!
If you're digging what RealTrade is building, be sure to check out their page on Product Hunt. And if you like what we're doing here at BestTechie, please consider a BestTechie Plus membership option to show your support and get even more value (including gaining access to the BestTechie Discord)!