Ever since “there’s an app for that” became a catchphrase, people have been suggesting that real estate might be disrupted in a similar way to the travel industry. The first brokerage/app model pushing that envelope has been founded in Palo Alto, California – Reali.
Reali is a fusion of “for sale by owner” and a lean brokerage model. To view a house, buyers unlock and tour the house with phone in hand, being prompted by tabletop beacons to view details of specific features in rooms. Cameras mounted strategically monitor homebuyers to ensure the safety of the seller and their belongings. If the buyer has a question, they can contact a designated real estate professional via the app to provide expert advice. It’s the “I’d rather text you than call you” philosophy of younger homebuyers taken to the next level.
Reali’s Real Estate Model
The homebuyer vetting process takes place via the app as well. Homebuyers “apply to become a qualified buyer through the app, submitting the documents of your prequalified loan. A person reviews those documents and validates them,” according to Business Insider. If they like the house, they submit a bid through it and get updates on counter-offers. They charge a flat $2,950 as a buyer’s agent fee and then refund anything above that in the 2.5% after closing. “On a $1.7 million home, that rebate would put around $40,000 cash in your pocket, according to Reali. Reali charges 4% commission on houses it lists as the selling agent.”
“Reali also presents buyers with inspection reports to help avoid downstream negotiations that tend to occur if an inspection turns up undisclosed property flaws,” according to Inman News. Their agents work on salary instead of commission in the role of expert support, leaving all of the confidential transaction work to the app and the brokerage, which includes a warranty on all transactions.
Reali is the brainchild of Amit Haller and Ami Avrahami who have experience both as real estate developers and high-tech entrepreneurs. The app is currently available for iOS devices via the app store.