Table of Contents
We worked our way down through the most superficial problems you will come across when buying a home, to the deeper, systematic ones that cause the former (and since we have been obsessed with analogies, we might add that you’ve peeled the real estate onion to reach its bulb). However, we would make for a terrible real estate tech startup if all we did was to tell you the problems and not put any effort into fixing them and improving the experience for the modern home buyer.
So we spent our first couple of months listening closely to every home buyer and real estate agent we could lay our hands on, to understand their biggest pain points, and to concoct possible solutions with them. As a result of all this research, we’ve been able to devise, prototype and finally implement these solutions for you (and we think they make for a great starting point upon which we aim to endlessly improve on based on your continued feedback).
In thinking of how best to convey the origin and motivation behind these possible solutions to the problems, we decided that we’ll work our way back up and match individual problems to specific solutions (perhaps the most fun and fulfilling part of a startup is being able to work through problems in a user-centric manner).
We’ve seen how much good it can do for the modern home buyer to have someone powerful by their side to support them if anything were to go wrong, but we’ve seen how this hasn’t been possible with the current system because of misaligned incentives (where brokerages end up prioritizing quantity over quality).
The obvious solution would be to match the incentives of all the three (initial) parties involved, ie. of you, your agent and of the brokerage. The only feasible way for this to happen is if the brokerage takes a larger stake in each individual transaction, so their incentives are more deeply tied with yours (they stand to lose as much or more than you if a transaction falls through), while retaining the incentives of the agent.
Here’s how we’re implementing change through Hutsy.
For a scalable solution, a brokerage must do everything in its power to enable an agent to succeed – the agent should be an extension of the brokerage, the means through which the home buyer interacts with the brand built by the brokerage.
A third of an average agent’s time is spent on acquiring customers/generating leads; a third in scheduling and managing paperwork for current customers; and a third on being on the ground (and the last third being the most important and also the most enjoyable for an agent as detailed in here). Hutsy removes the burden of customer acquisition from the agents to clear up 1/3 of their time.
This translates into an agent no longer having to sit behind their computers, figuring out how to create marketing campaigns on Facebook, sending emails over drip campaigns in the hopes to convert their email lists into clients, and printing out flyers to stick around your local grocery stores to generate leads.
Hutsy focuses on creating business for its agents (like a brokerage should) so that agents can focus on execution instead. Home buyers also end up winning because they can now point at a brand and associate pleasant experiences with – if the Hutsy home buying experience is bad, the modern home buyer has the power to bring down its reputation over social media (as brands’ reputations have become democratized over the past decade). This would have a much larger impact on Hutsy, as a brand, than with any individual agent. Therefore, Hutsy has the responsibility to ensure that every single home buyer has nothing short of an amazing experience with us, in a way never seen before from any other brokerage – the same way a smaller brokerage would otherwise build their own business off the ground.
We are voluntarily putting our brand at stake because it is the only way we can work to improve ourselves and bring the modern home buyer the experience they deserve and have been missing out on all these decades.
As Hutsy grows and serves its home buyers, not only by providing amazing corporate-level benefits that perhaps no individual agent would ever be able to (keep a look out for our rewards package), it can also provide them the peace of mind of having a large entity on their side if things were to go sideways in a transaction – the modern home buyer will finally be able to leverage both the intimacy of an individual agent, as well as the political backing of a large moving force to battle against any sort of discrimination they may face, to enhance their home buying experience.
The next question is of how Hutsy will be able to grow and scale that level of intimacy with every home buyer as it grows. What makes it different from any small brokerage that sets out with a similar mission to provide a concierge service for its local home buyers but ends up having to choose between forgoing this mission once they reach a point of hyper growth, or turning away customers because they are at capacity?
That’s where Hutsy’s next secret sauce comes into the picture – we automate the backend paperwork for the brokerage as well as for the agent for every transaction, enabling an agent to triple down on the work they love doing and serve you to their utmost. This means that we eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies along every single step of the process – a benefit that will directly translate into a smoother experience for you – and free up another third of our agents’ time they would have otherwise spent on administrative work.
In essence, we believe in scaling the good work of our agents, rather than scaling the number of agents we employ. This is very important because we’ve seen over and over again how quantity over quality is a terrible idea, but no one has successfully scaled quality through the means of technology (those that have tried focused on the wrong aspects, by either removing the human element entirely from the transaction, which greatly diminishes the experience for the home buyer, or focusing on a very small segment of the transaction, such as e-signatures, leaving the problem at large).
When every agent is significantly more efficient and is able to focus on serving more customers with even less time and effort spent, a scalable solution can be achieved where the human element of a transaction is retained for the modern home buyer, and the cumbersome process is simplified.
This alignment of incentives trickles down to not only having to worry about finding an agent and brokerage that will serve your best interests every single time, but also in every other interaction with third parties during the transaction.