LessThan6Percent.com making its first big moves
Launched in February 2013 by Max Diez and Simon Ru, LessThan6Percent.com was designed to be a more direct approach of increasing competition between real estate agents in an effort to help consumers to better understand their representation and research their agents, rather than hire the first agent they interview, which a National Association of Realtors study reveals is what the overwhelming majority of consumers currently do.
Since their launch, they’ve already partnered with over 300 brokerages and in an exclusive interview with AGBeat, the founders say the company is already expanding from California to Seattle, with aspirations of going national.
Ru explains the company by asserting that “LessThan6Percent has more depth than just a directory of agents with social network info and stats,” adding, “We are the only marketplace where sellers can request commission quotes and listing proposals. A directory service provides sellers with a contact info at the end of the flow. In a true marketplace like LessThan6Percent, with just a click of a button, our sellers will know exactly what services they are going to receive and how much they will cost. They can’t get that anywhere else.”
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Setting up shop in Seattle
The company says that Seattle agents have been demanding expansion into their city, attracted to the “premium” appearance the site gives to its partner agent. Ru said LessThan6Percent.com has been “sending photographers out to conduct video interviews and create magazine-style photos for our partners. What we have found is that agents appreciate that we are leveling the playing field.”
“Because our pricing is 100% performance based, our interests are perfectly aligned with our partners,” Ru said, adding that “agents are telling us they get a better ROI from our platform than sending out postcards or buying ads on other real estate sites.”
New features being added
The startup notes that they are already adding innovations to their offering, including:
- Interactive Home Appreciation vs. S&P 500 chart
- Magazine-style profiles for top partner agents
- Curated video clips on how to win listing presentations
How LessThan6Percent.com works
The founders say the company got its name because many consumers still believe that six percent is the law of the land, so they chose to focus on negotiation and getting attention from the seller. Because the founders’ background is big data analysis and microtransactions, they say they are comfortable with the accuracy of their transaction data. Not only can an agent enter their own data, the company scans the agent’s website to evaluate the accuracy of their claims and scan social networks to do the same.
There is no up front cost for agents and the company says that each magazine style profile helps an agent’s search engine optimization rakings, helps them win listings, and of course, earn more commissions. LessThan6Percent.com gets a 25 percent referral fee from transactions won through their site and they offer rebates to consumers which they so goes directly through them, as they are licensed brokers in California and now Seattle.
The company currently interviews sellers to match them with agents, and confesses this will be difficult to scale as they want to maintain this high-touch relationship with the seller and get involved in the process but be mindful to get out of the process and out of the way once the bid is won.
LessThan6Percent.com has replicated its model across California, and now Seattle, with goals to expand nationally by the end of the year.