New York startup TripleMint intends to become the Airbnb of the real estate business. The company has set out to simplify all the steps involved in buying and selling property by setting up a one-stop platform with a single agency approach.
When you set out to buy a house or apartment, you usually have to work through several real estate agents. Every property you visit often means meeting a different agent and going through all the administrative formalities each time. Now TripleMint (formerly Suitey) is tackling the real estate business head on and is attempting to simplify the entire process. Having just raised $1.65 million in investment from a number of venture capital firms TripleMint is looking to streamline the way it works, both for real estate professionals and homebuyers.
Buyers “have access to the same database that brokers see”
A potential buyer in New York City – for the moment the site only lists property in the Big Apple – can start the search right away on the TripleMint site. You can go through all the property for sale with a fine tooth comb before getting in touch with a TripleMint agent who will personally handhold you through all the stages of the process. The site is however not an aggregator like SeLoger.com in France or Trulia in the United States. TripleMint shows all the for-sale notices which registered real estate agents are required to post on the Real Estate Board of New York (RLS) website, i.e. virtually all the property in the city which is available for purchase. Explains TripleMint co-founder and CEO David Walker: “Basically, a buyer or renter can search all available properties on TripleMint and we’re actually giving them direct access to the RLS database. So they’re searching the same database that brokers see.”
TripleMint’s goal is to provide access to all property on the market via a single agent
Meanwhile the benefit for sellers lies in the greater visibility this approach brings. ‟Given that the vast majority of buyers start their search online, we’re able to increase the visibility of the properties quite considerably. We have over 150,000 unique visitors on average for each property listed,” David Walker underlines. The TripleMint CEO argues that by making public a database that up to now only brokers saw, the startup is increasing the likelihood that a property will find a buyer.
Technology set to “improve the buying and selling experience”
In fact the basic idea behind the TripleMint approach is to adapt the real estate market to the new generation of owners, as others have already tried to do by using the social networks. The New York startup wants to make the buying experience fit the image of this new generation, i.e. marrying online and offline along the lines of Uber and Airbnb in their respective fields. TripleMint is looking to emulate those two successful startups by bringing their approach to the real estate sector, which David Walker feels has been lagging behind. ‟The real estate business is on the verge of profound change now that we’re finally using technology to improve the buying and selling experience,” he predicts.
In order to change the experience, TripleMint is re-vamping the traditional brokerage system. Its salespeople are not independent brokers paid on a straight commission basis but full-time employees who receive a salary plus a bonus based on customer satisfaction. And TripleMint intends to extend that satisfaction beyond the sale, developing a concierge moving service and other house-move-related services.