Here’s a press release from the “Lending Tree of Real Estate Agents.”
Press Release: LessThan6Percent – Mon, Apr 29, 2013 6:39 PM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — LessThan6Percent (http://www.lessthan6percent.com), the online marketplace where home sellers can compare commissions and marketing plans from local real estate agents, is exiting its beta launch in the San Francisco Bay Area and expanding into Southern California. Founded in late 2012 by serial entrepreneur Simon Ru, LessThan6Percent provides home sellers a convenient platform to streamline the process of finding the best agents to represent their home.
"The problem home sellers face is that there are thousands of agents in any given market," says Ru. "It is difficult for home sellers to compare agents to find the best match. They don’t know what questions to ask, what to look for in a marketing proposal, or how to start the awkward conversation of negotiating services & commissions." This is where LessThan6Percent steps in.
LessThan6Percent differs from traditional agent-matching service such as Trulia (http://www.trulia.com/) and Zillow (http://www.zillow.com) by matching sellers to proposals submitted by agents rather than agents’ profiles. Instead of directing sellers to call agents’ numbers on a directory, LessThan6Percent transforms the matching process by having agents compete for sellers’ business. With a click of a button, home sellers would know exactly what services they are going to receive and how much they would cost. This level of transparency is unparalleled in the real estate industry.
You may have noticed that LessThan6Percent is one of our newest advertisers, featuring that oversized entry form on the right. We’re certainly in accord with their business model. Some home sales are pretty routine, and there’s no reason why the six percent commission rate has been enshrined as unchanging. Personally, we’d like to see home sales done as flat fees, because that would mean the buyers’ agent wouldn’t have a financial incentive to advise you to bid more than a home is worth.
Then again, we are in Bay Area Bubble 4.0, every house is worth more than it’s listed for, and you couldn’t possibly pay too much for a place in the Real Bay Area. That means your agent was right to tell you to overbid by 85%.
Meanwhile, LessThan6Percent says you can specify what you want in an agent and look over the proposals you get in response.
And if their algorithm predicts you may be likely to sell, watch for their ads appearing wherever you surf. This reminds us of that creepy datamining prediction that Target became infamous for: figuring out you were expecting before the rest of your family knew.
But LessThan6Percent also expects to reel in many leads through an algorithm that the company has created to identify people who are likely to sell. Ru said the algorithm scours a wide array of information sources, including social media, and then turns up likely sellers, like people who it’s discovered are having children soon.
The company then uses printed materials, cookies and keyword advertising to invite those people to use the site, Ru said.
According to Ru, the comments on this article were “getting heated” once a NAR official showed up. It appears Inman removed them by moving the article to a new location and conveniently neglecting to bring any comments along… or even allow them to be made.
LessThan6Percent envisions having agents slug it out for the right to sell your house. Why not have a good fight in comments on what you think of this idea?