LIVONIA, Mich., Oct. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Is the Uber of real estate right here in Detroit? ZipTours, recently launched by local brokerage Marketplace Homes, certainly seems to be causing an Uber-sized disruption.
"ZipTours is the biggest change the real estate industry has seen since the invention of online listings," said Marketplace Homes CEO Mike Kalis. "Sites like Zillow and Trulia have made it easy for consumers to find a home that they want to go see, but nothing's ever made it easier for them to actually go see it. ZipTours does."
The new technology platform aims to change the way home shoppers physically view properties, and ultimately improve the home buying and renting process. A buyer or renter simply shows up to a home they're interested in, clicks a button, and an agent appears on their smartphone using live streaming video. The entire tour is recorded, and IDs are validated by a licensed agent. When a homeowner uses ZipTours to purchase their new home, ZipTours will sell their old home for free. If the client's a first time buyer, they qualify for a rebate of 33% of the commission.
This new approach to buyer-led showings has the transitional industry calling foul.
Local agents are actively working to put an end to the app. Many feel that it jeopardizes the status quo, and the traditional 6% real estate fee. Some fear that clients may cause harm to a property if there is no agent physically present.
"Other companies changed search. We're changing showings," said Kalis. "Every service industry has already begun to adapt, and real estate just wasn't keeping up. There hasn't been an efficient way to access properties in a secure manner, now there is."
ZipTours is backed by a $1 million angel investment from Marketplace Homes, a national brokerage that is headquartered in Livonia, and serves as the tech arm of their company. The team has licensed brokers in nearly 20 states, and is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Last month alone, ZipTours reported over 1,000 showings across 10 states. This translated to nearly 100 homes rented or sold.
While Kalis understands the app's platform isn't for everyone, he stresses that there is a client that ZipTours benefits. "We live in an on-demand world, and our app gives buyers and renters the convenience of seeing homes when they want to. Finding a time to look for your new home shouldn't be complicated. ZipTours makes it simple."
In the future, ZipTours hopes to equip other agents with the technology as well. "We want to partner with other agents, and our ultimate goal is to make buying and renting as easy as possible for both sides," said Kalis. "My team's security is vital to me. We do a lot of work on rental properties, and work in many different areas. This is a far more secure way for our agents and clients to view a home."
SOURCE Marketplace Homes