Reali wants to change how people buy and sell their homes and now it has $5 million more to work on it, thanks to a Series A led by Signia Venture Partners. The company also today announced that it is expanding beyond to the entire San Francisco Bay area, including the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, and that its app is now available on Android, too.
The service aims to take the hassle out of real estate transactions for both buyers and sellers and also promises buyers a full refund of the standard buyer’s agent commission. Instead of this commission, Reali charges a flat fee of just under $5,000. The seller’s commission is also reduced to 4 percent. Given the markets Reali is active in, those percentages can add up quickly (though in some states, including Oregon, Kansas and Tennessee, these kind of rebates are actually illegal thanks to the tireless work of the local real estate lobbies).
It’s able to do this thanks to a focus on tech (like installing smart locks and Bluetooth beacons for self-guided visits in homes so that a potential buyer can tour it without an agent having to drive out to the house).
As Reali co-founder and CEO Amit Haller told me, the company plans to use the new funding to invest in its technology platform, enhance its operational footprint and expand its market reach.
“With our expansion to the entire San Francisco Bay Area, we want to demonstrate the excitement, adoption and trust that we’ve experienced on the Peninsula and strengthen our leadership position in this very competitive market,” Haller said. “Once we’ve accomplished that successfully here in the Bay Area, we plan to expand into other major California markets, as well as selected regions out of state.”
Haller doesn’t seem to be all that worried about competing services like Redfin. “Many of the other online brokerages haven’t changed the fundamentals of the business,” he said. “They are still heavily based on the use of traditional real estate agents, and most of their technology has to do with lead generation and discovery platforms. Unlike other online brokerages, Reali has invested in and created an end-to-end transaction and collaboration platform.”
He also argued that his company’s business model means it can provide better customer service and still give them all the advantages of working with licensed real estate brokers.