Real estate is a business where tech is only slowly starting to make a dent into the traditional way of doing things. But even the most technophobic agent now knows that an online presence besides just being listed in an MLS is a necessity. Everdwell wants to give those agents — many of whom aren’t all that tech savvy — an easy way to create an online home for their listings.
The service was co-founded by former Disqus engineers Mat Mullen and Joshua Sortino. As Mullen told me, the idea for Everdwell came to him based on his experiences of seeing his father and his colleagues work in the real estate industry. Even though a lot of the real estate search experience for buyers has now moved online with tools like Zillow, Estately and others, many real estate agents still post a sign next to the house they’re selling with a little box for printed flyers. Many also set up one-off websites for their properties (think: 2528NWUnderhillRd.com), but the tools for creating those are generally still clunky and complicated or aren’t geared specifically for the workflow of agents.
Everdwell gives agents a really easy way to set those one-off sites up and presents them with a list of good-looking templates for their images. As Mullen noted, agents often commission photographers to take great images of a home (sometimes going as far as using drones for aerial shots despite the FAA’s ban on this), but many of the existing online tools don’t really do them justice, so Everdwell puts those images front and center. Indeed, Mullen believes that the company’s sites could also work as portfolios for real estate photographers.
These one-off sites are often a lead-generation tool for agents, too. In markets where there is a lot of competition (like San Francisco), everybody wants to get access to the best listings, so sellers can be picky about which agents to work with. Being able to show a prospective client a nice responsive site for their homes can help agents put their best foot forward against the competition.
Everdwell launched the pilot for its service in February with a focus on the Bay Area. So far, a number of luxury agencies have signed up and the company has created about 200 listing sites since. The total value of the homes listed is about $150 million The average listing remained online for about 12 days and 95% of the listings on the service have been marked as “sold.”
Mullen admits that the problem the company is tackling is far from sexy, but it’s an area that is in dire need of innovation. “Most real estate tech services that exist today are archaic and ridiculously expensive but haven’t been challenged to innovate,” he told me. With its dead-simple product, Everdwell hopes to do its part in moving the real estate industry into the 21st century.