Selling an off-market property is no small accomplishment. Typically, real estate agents struggle to get these unlisted properties enough exposure to find a buyer. However, Trusty, a new property marketplace, is about to change all that. They’re uniquely focused on helping agents connect the sellers of off-market properties with interested buyers.
Here’s how they’re leveraging real estate data from ATTOM to make it happen.
Questioning the Traditional Way of Handling Off-Market Properties
Most industry professionals know that working with off-market properties can be a bit of a challenge. Rather than just inputting listing information into the multiple listing service (MLS) and letting the system do the work of bringing in interested buyers, off market properties often require a lot more legwork.
Porter Farthing, Head of Operations for Trusty, explains this struggle by saying, “Traditionally, agents have had to market their off-market properties mainly through word-of-mouth. Most of it happens through conversations, emails, or postings in select groups on social media. But, overall, the process is very time consuming, especially when you consider that they’re only able to reach a select group of people.”
However, despite all the work it takes on the agent’s part, a substantial percentage of homes still sell off market. According to Farthing, an estimated one out of every five homes that hits the market closes without ever being put in an MLS.
That percentage is part of the reason why Trusty’s founders, Tim Hyer and Nick Meyers, decided to create their marketplace in the first place. Once they heard that statistic, they became curious how these homes were being marketed and who was able to access them. They knew there had to be a better way for agents to be able to connect buyers and sellers who want more than what the MLS has to offer.
Facilitating Off-Market Transactions with a Marketplace
Although Trusty, a Y-Combinator-backed company, is still in its seed stages, their marketplace is proving to be a better way by helping users solve a variety of issues related to off-market properties. For agents, the main benefit is providing them with an easy way to keep track of off-market listings. Trusty is a central source that helps them give their listings exposure and keep their buyers in the loop about available properties.
Meanwhile, buyers and sellers benefit too. Homeowners who have opted out of the MLS can list their home for their magic number, or the price point where they feel comfortable selling. Once they’ve created their listing profile, Trusty will show their listing to a pool of verified buyers without risking their privacy or having their home splashed across the big home search sites.
Interested buyers, on the other hand, gain access to potential properties that they wouldn’t otherwise see. They’re also able to set alerts that will notify them when a property comes up that meets all of their desired search criteria.
Then, once a buyer and a seller are ready to move forward with a transaction, agents play a key role in helping them take that step. For users who don’t have an agent, Trusty is more than happy to help make a referral.
“We require you to work with a local agent in order to transact,” Farthing explains. “We’ll either work with an individual’s existing agent, or we’ll make a recommendation for them based on their neighborhood and list price or home search criteria.”
Since its inception in January, the marketplace has facilitated $12,750,000 in transactions.
Utilizing Data from ATTOM to Empower Agents and Their Clients
Trusty’s founders knew from the beginning that they would need property data to fuel their marketplace. For that, they turned to ATTOM. They’re currently leveraging ATTOM’s property data API, which helps to populate property-specific information for each one of the listings on their marketplace and an automated valuation model (AVM) to help homeowners figure out a realistic price point for their property.
However, in the future, they also plan to leverage other data as well. In particular, they want to create a dashboard where agents can use recent sale data to provide clients with an up-to-date comparative market analysis (CMA), as well as data on how many showings the property has had and how many qualified buyers have expressed interest.
On the buying end, this new dashboard will allow agents to keep information for all their clients in one place. It will also alert them when a property comes up that meets their clients’ needs.
As for why they went with ATTOM over other competitors, Farthing says that flexibility played a key role in their decision:
“They were willing to be flexible with us when other providers wouldn’t,” he says. “As a startup, it was important to us to find a data provider who could both work within our current budget and have solutions to facilitate larger data needs as we grow.”
Growing together toward national expansion
Right now, Trusty services San Francisco’s Bay area, but Farthing says that the company has much bigger plans for the future. First, they want to expand to cover the entire state of California and then grow nationwide.
When they do, Farthing is confident that ATTOM will be by their side.
“We know that ATTOM can work with us now as a seed-stage startup and we’re confident that they’ll have the capacity to help us once we grow regionally, and nationally as well.”