In 2008 our team started working with the largest banks in the U.S. to sell homes they had taken back after the big Financial Crisis of 2007. Our banking clients included Deutsche, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, GMAC Rescap, BBVA and Fannie Mae to name just a few and there were suddenly millions of homes that needed to be marketed and sold throughout all fifty states. The SoldBot Team obtained our real estate broker's licenses in multiple states and we began to list these homes for sale nationwide from a single office in California. This was a completely new approach to selling homes as we were a brokerage employing no local listing real estate agents. Instead of the agents, we used advanced proprietary technology through our website to conduct every aspect of the home sale. Over the next decade, our team would successfully sell over 30,000 homes nationwide.
What we learned about the real estate sales industry from selling these thousands of homes was amazing. Based on performance scorecards created by the banks to let their vendors (the agents and brokerages) know how they compared against each other, our home selling performance from one office in CA matched or exceeded the performance of the local listing real estate agents in each zip code throughout the country. With sales data pulled from the MLS and from our own sales data, we determined without a shadow of a doubt that in fact it was the MLS that was actually selling the home, not the marketing skill of our team or for that matter, the perceived marketing skills or experience of local listing agents. Our in-house brokers didn't live in the neighborhoods, cities or states of the homes we were selling and yet our performance, which the banks tracked carefully, were matching or beating the real estate agents who lived locally.
In other words, we discovered that the job of the listing agent had been proven to be a bit of a sham. A smoke and mirrors game. It's not negotiating skill, experience, open houses or a big smile that sells a home. It's listing a home at a price that is attractive to buyers and placing that home in the MLS. That's it. Nothing more. It doesn't matter if your home is worth millions or a few hundred thousand, the MLS is what sells your home, not the listing agent or brokerage. It doesn't matter whether you list your home for sale with a local agent in the well-known brokerage office around the corner from you or with SoldBot. The results for you, the home seller, will be pretty much the same. In other words, SoldBot is really no better than the top listing agent in your neighborhood and the top listing agent in your neighborhood is not any better than SoldBot.
We also found that the job of the buyer's agent was the only real value in the real estate sales game. Now let us be clear that when we were selling homes for the banks, we did find buyers not using agents. It was actually one of our main objectives. Finding a buyer not using an agent was of course wonderful news for the banks because we agreed not to collect the buyer's agent side of the commission as a stipulation to obtaining the large volume of listings from these bank clients. If we found a buyer not using an agent, the bank paid us only the 1% listing agent commission fee that we charged to entice the banks to use our company. The agents representing buyers however still had to drive their clients all over town looking at homes for free, spend a lot of $ on gas, help the buyer with financing and fill out the purchase contract correctly which we found most buyers didn't know how to do. So all in all, the buyer agents worked pretty hard for their money. The listing agents on the other hand spent about 15-minutes of data entry work to place the home in the MLS to earn their huge commission. Not what anyone would call an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.
As part of selling the home we also found that the buyers for these bank owned homes, many of whom were investors looking to fix up the homes and then flip them for a profit, wanted to use us after they completed their rehab work to then place the home back in the MLS and mange the sale. After all, the 1% listing commission we charged was a lot better than 6% that most of the real estate agents charged. These buyers we worked with had already experienced our abilities in selling the homes for the banks so they knew we could sell the home again after they had it fixed up. The trust with these buyers who then turned into sellers had already been established.
We also discovered that these buyers turned sellers almost always needed home improvement services like painting, plumbing, electrical, flooring, roofing, landscaping, new appliances and much more. Our services quickly morphed from just listing and selling homes to also providing home improvement services and home improvement loans to the buyers. Over time, our network of contractors grew until our database covered most of the U.S and our home improvement services actually started generating more revenue for us then the 1% listing commission we were earning to sell the homes as a brokerage.
It was at that moment that our team had an epiphany. We decided to really leave the real estate agents in the dust by eliminating our 1% listing fee all together and instead focus on our home improvement revenue model for consumers and bank clients. This made SoldBot the first, 100% free, full service, real estate brokerage in the country. After all, the consumers who were buying the bank owned homes and who then turned into sellers loved our service. So we figured the general public would love us too and boy were we right! Also, from a personal perspective, we enjoy helping consumers save money a lot more than we do the big banks. To this day, the reviews we receive back from happy home sellers who love our service always puts a smile on our faces.
So there you have it. SoldBot blends the most advanced technology of Silicon Valley with professional real estate brokerage services and expert home improvement services for the homebuyer which when combined, delivers the most powerful ROI service for home sellers in the U.S. When it comes to protecting a consumer's equity in their home, no one delivers on this promise better than SoldBot and you can take that to the bank. :)
The SoldBot Team