Phoenix startup wants to rethink home buying

PHOENIX, AZ – A couple of Phoenix-based real estate agents grew tired of the way the industry treated home buyers and set out to redefine the industry.

The couple in question are Brandon LaVallee and Eugene Quackenbush, who both worked for real estate company Opendoor in Phoenix before starting their new business

The service, which launched on Monday, is an app-based home buying experience that enables on-demand home tours.

It also includes an article LaVallee and Quackenbush learned from their time in the industry that focuses on how much money real estate agents make on commissions.

This is why returns 50 percent of the broker’s commission on a sale to buyers, allowing them to afford better home quality than they would normally qualify if they had to pay the full commission cost.

“In my opinion [] is kind of the culmination of our experience in the industry, “LaVallee told Patch.” And when you look at some of the antiquated bits and pieces of it, you’re really trying to figure out how we can use technology to make home buying more efficient. ”

LaVallee believes the app-based system can greatly streamline the home buying process by allowing an interested buyer to jump into the app, browse properties, and submit a bid without waiting for demonstrations.

The streamlined process can make a huge difference to potential homebuyers, as the average buyer spends an average of three weeks before calling a realtor for a demo, according to research by the National Association of REALTORS. will continue to work with local real estate companies as the company plans to focus solely on the real estate buying part of the industry, leaving the sales side to others in the area.

The plan is currently to focus on the Valley with the aim of outsourcing the business to other locations if things go right.

Both LaVallee and Quackenbush know the industry well, with the former hailing from a family of brokers in North Carolina while the latter has been licensed in Phoenix since 2013.

Both are thrilled with the response to their early fundraising efforts, as the company has raised more than $ 3 million from pre-seed capital and technology investments to date.

Quackenbush says the response from people he knows, both inside and outside the real estate business, has been overwhelmingly positive since the company was founded.

He believes local real estate companies will take the opportunity to partner with as it will take away a lot of the pressure of planning tours and other tedious tasks.

“There are a lot of agents trying to hire show agents or work in virtual tours,” Quackenbush said. “And like any other company, they are trying to figure out how hard they have to compete for business.

“So I think people will get a little notification when you come in and are ready to give in half of your commission. So we’ve already seen a little of these conversations. ”

At the moment, says LaVallee, the company expects to steadily build a following in the region and offer first-class on-demand customer service that will win over potential homebuyers.

From there, he and Quackenbush can consider slowly growing their business, connecting more people with more homes in and around the Valley.

“I think for us it’s all about the relationships and the transactions that go really well and the buyers that have a great experience,” said LaVallee. “We have planned a slower approach, I think. We think it’s a conservative plan.

“We want consumers to use our app to tour properties and then use us to help them buy a home and really see the excitement by getting 50 percent of that commission back.”

Both LaVallee and Quackenbush believe that setting up the commission will allow homebuyers to purchase a higher quality home than they previously budgeted for.

LaVallee uses the example of a homebuyer who wants to buy a $ 500,000 home but has to pay a 3 percent commission that comes to $ 15,000.

He reckons that if homebuyers get half of that commission back, or $ 7,500, they can afford to pay a higher down payment, which in turn will make their mortgage payments and other costs more affordable.

LaVallee also expects local brokers to want to work for them as they make up for the loss of commission by paying employees higher hourly wages and have more flexibility to do what they love most, which is to bring people to their dream home.

“We’re going to have an hourly rate for our travel agents or the agents who are out in the field and open doors and help people actually get into the house,” said LaVallee.

It is planned to use a two tier employment system where travel agents are paid per home while in-house agents work with the home buyers on a full-time, salary basis from start to finish.

“It gives people some certainty about what they’re going to do,” said LaVallee. “And that has the advantage that they don’t go out and show houses because some agents really don’t like that. They don’t want to show houses, they are good at paperwork, they want … to be able to work at home or in the office and not drive around town.

“And it’s like two different kinds of personalities that we’re going to use.”

The plan, as far as hiring goes, is to start with a small group of agents before hiring aggressively ramped up by the end of the year, Quakenbush said.

The ultimate goal is to penetrate various markets while maintaining the company’s headquarters in Phoenix and employing more than 100 employees in the Valley alone.

It’s a bold blueprint, but one that LaVallee and Quackenbush wholeheartedly believe in.

Now the duo’s job is to put their newly found funding and wealth of experience into practice and build a brand from the ground up.

“GetYourNest has a goal to change the way homes are bought,” said LaVallee. “And we’re solving the problem of access and affordability for home buyers.”

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