An Australian internet start-up believes it holds the key to simplifying how vendors and real estate agents interact.
Launched in May, Vendorable is an on-line platform that allows vendors to list a property they have for sale; agents can then view the property and bid for the opportunity to facilitate its sale.
The bidding process included agents submitting an application to vendors including information such as their costs, marketing strategy and estimates of the sale price they think they can deliver.
Vendors can then pick the agent they feel will deliver them the best result and enter into an agreement with them through the platform.
Use of the platform is free for vendors, while agents are charged a fee of 5.5% of the commission they receive from each sale generated through Vendorable.
Jason Weeks said he and his Vendorable co-founders, Harry Lehmann, Tom Taylor and Shane Niu, believed there was a gap in the current real estate market that their platform could fill.
“Harry’s a solicitor and he does a lot of conveyancing work across New South Wales and the ACT, he was dealing with a huge number of agents and he was having good experiences and bad experiences with them,” Weeks said.
“Harry was working with businesses and people who were infrequent vendors and their process for appointing a vendor was sort of who ever came along, so we thought couldn’t we come up with a way to make a simple process where we could vendors in touch with good agents.”
Data is collected after each sale to give agents on the platform a ranking so that vendors can make informed choices before deciding on who will facilitate their sale.
Vendorable was launched in May this year after more than two years in development and Weeks believes it will one day become a tool that everyday property owners and investors use.
“At the moment we’ve been focussing on government departments and other institutional vendors, but the everyday investor is somebody we see in the future using Vendorable,” he said.
“Part of the reason behind focussing on the institutional vendors and government side of thing was that if we could make a platform that was compliant with the regulations they have and met their needs, then we would have a platform that everybody could be confident in.”
While they haven’t been targeted by the platform as yet, the platform has attracted attention from private vendors.
“We’re still putting a few of the polished touches on it, but there’s nothing to stop people from putting individual properties up,” Weeks said.
“We’ve already had a lot of interest from people who want to list their properties, especially from ex-pats living overseas with a property to sell in a different country who want an easy way to deal with an agent.”
Eventually weeks wants Vendorable to become a household name.
“We want to be the eBay of real estate, while we’re not actually hosting the sales on the site, we want to be the first thing people think of when they have a property to sell.”
Though the finishing touches may not yet be applied, Vendorable is building a strong reputation.
The platform was one of 36 start-ups invited to participate at the 2015 RISE conference in Hong Kong earlier this year and after a positive reception there is preparing to launch in the US and UK.
While much of the reasoning behind the platform was to put vendors in touch with quality agents, Weeks said Vendorable is likely to make life easier for agents as well.
“After an agent and vendor enter into an agreement there’s a workspace in the platform where the agent can provide the vendor with updates on whether somebody has inspected the property or has made an offer, they don’t have to worry about putting together a report together, the platform does it all for them.
“The other thing it does is save time, if a vendor likes what an agent offers they click accept and then they’ve entered into the agreement, there’s no going back and forth collecting signatures or waiting for an office administrator to put together an agreement, that could be two weeks saved and the house already sold.”
Agents can see some aspects of what services their competitors are offering and it is hoped that and the ranking system will result in agents improving the quality of service they offer.
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