Sydney-based startup Vendorable is trying to fix what its founders describe as the biggest problem facing property sellers – finding the right agent.
Real estate sellers sign up to the Vendorable platform and list their property sales for tender. Interested agents can then pitch for the job and buyers can choose the most appealing agent. Vendorable then provides the platform from which the agent and seller can manage their relationship throughout the selling process.
Vendorable was founded by Harry Lehmann, Jason Weeks, Shane Niu and Thomas Taylor in 2013 and went live last month. The team has been self-funding the startup to date.
“If you wanted to sell your house out in the suburbs, at the moment what you’d do was go down your local street and take a cost proposition from three agents in the same suburb,” Weeks says.
“But other agents in the suburb next door, that knows the area well, might have a fantastic buyer looking for your property. They wouldn’t normally get a look in, even if they’re a fantastic agent that already has a great buyer on the hook.”
For agents, the value is a lead generator and an ability to focus their dealings with buyers during the sale process. Weeks explains Vendorable’s reporting tools help sellers track their agent’s progress throughout the duration of a sale. So after an open home, rather than an agent needing to give a full brief in the days following, they can speak specifics. With general information like offer prices and buyer interest tracked by Vendorable.
The platform costs nothing for sellers. Agents can sign up, win tenders and manage relationships for free, up until the successful sale of a property, where Vendorable takes 5.5% of the agent’s sale commission. For the time being, Vendorable is focusing on business to government and business to business sales because those segments buy and sell properties at higher rates than regular consumers, making it easier to achieve scale. Once the database has been built up the startup will then turn to Australia’s $5.7 trillion residential property market.
“We hope to first establish a business and government portfolio, and with it, grow a base of regular ratings of agents. Once we are confident we have enough ratings to offer guidance to less sophisticated vendors – the market segment with the greatest information asymmetry – we can broaden the platform to these consumers and drive global expansion,” Weeks says.