Open Home Pro, a business that allows realtors to run their open houses via the iPad and collect leads, has been sold to larger real estate search site HomeFinder.com. The app becomes HomeFinder’s first mobile application targeting realtors, as opposed to consumers like its previously launched iOS and Android applications.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but founder Andrew Machado says the deal was “all cash,” and ballparked it at “right around” a million. Open Home Pro had earlier raised a small angel round of $35.3K, and was lean but profitable.
We first covered Open Home Pro back in December 2011, describing the app, incubated at DogPatch Labs in Palo Alto, as something that solved a serious problem for a real-world industry. On the iPad, the app is an upgrade to the standard “paper and pen” info collection system still used at many open houses today, while also functioning as a CRM tool for real estate professionals. A complementary smartphone app launched a year later, allowing realtors to post new listings from their iPhones.
While the deal for Open Home Pro’s acquisition officially closed last month, Machado left his startup in spring 2013 to join ESPN, where he now works on the SportsCenter app. He says the business was profitable thanks to the app’s $15 price point introduced in summer 2012, and its premium subscription service ($10/mo, for accessing leads in the web browser or on their mobile devices). The service reached 35,000 realtors at the time of the acquisition, the majority of whom were using the iPad application. The realtors uploaded over 20,000 photos per month from their iPads, and collected 400,000 leads to date.
Machado says that he moved on from running the company because he had a child and decided to opt for having healthcare. Plus, it had become too expensive to further grow Open Home Pro due to the cost of integrating with the hundreds of MLS databases across the U.S.
So for most of 2013, Open Home Pro developer Robert Malko had been running the service instead. He will now join HomeFinder.com (owned by McClatchy, along with newspaper publishers Gannett Co., Inc. and Tribune Co.), which will have the resources to better support the product, says Machado.
“To sell any product like this to an organization like a Century 21 or any of those, we were going to need MLS and a full support team, and it was something we weren’t prepared as a team of three to do on our own,” Machado adds. (The third person, Open Home Pro’s designer, was not full time.)
It’s possible that HomeFinder will bundle its new app into its other premium services offering for realtors, which today includes a number of digital marketing tools, including access to a national media network with hundreds of local online newspapers.