Alberta startup Bōde Canada has launched a tech platform it promises will make home selling and buying easier and cheaper.
“The buyer ends up paying less, the seller makes more,” Bōde founder and CEO, Robert Price, said.
The augmented reality program allows sellers to list their properties for no fee upfront, then markets the listing to various sites. The seller and buyer then connect and when the property sells, Bōde takes a flat one per cent service fee on the final selling price.
Price said the concept is similar to sites like Airbnb or Uber, where two interested parties connect, eliminating the middleman.
“There’s a growing segment of people that already do business this way,” he added. “Five-trillion-dollars was transacted in 2018 online.”
Nam Dang-Mitchell is a developer and designer who signed on with Bōde. She’s selling four townhomes in Calgary’s Marda Loop and said this concept just made sense for her.
The small, custom home builder said while a lot of the larger developers have in-house marketing and sales departments, she doesn’t have that kind of budget.
Dang-Mitchell has never sold a property before but isn’t daunted by the prospect.
“I know a lot of realtors. They bring incredible value to the real estate game,” she said.
“However, I have designed and agonized over every detail of this project so I’m in the best position to tell the story.”
Calgary condo owner Jenn Johnson was one of the first private sellers to join the platform.
The convenience of doing everything online really appealed to her. So did the cost savings.
“I did some quick math on my condo here in the city,” Johnson said, “and I would be looking at $12,000 to $13,000 in output for realty fees if it were to sell at list price.”
But Bōde’s founder said this is not about edging out realtors.
“There will always be the need for an agent,” Price said.
“We’re not saying this is going to change overnight for that segment, but we believe this new segment of people would love to do business this way.”
Calgary’s Real Estate Board (CREB) told Global News innovation with different business models is important for the industry. But the manager for member practice Ryan DeLuca added licensing must be followed, as well as code of conduct and other industry rules.
Bōde has launched in Calgary and Edmonton and eventually hopes to expand to the rest of the province. If successful, it hopes to take the concept further, including internationally.
Watch below (June 10): Are you thinking about selling your house? Interested in buying? Curious how much homes on your street sold for? A new website is making this type of real estate information more accessible. Emily Mertz has the details.