Startup of the month: Trusty

If you’re looking to buy a home, Tim Hyer thinks the key is to be more social. Its Sacramento-based real estate social network, Sure, gives potential buyers a platform to do so.

“Why can you read reviews of where to eat or which hotel to stay or which vacuum to buy, but when it comes to the biggest financial purchase of your life, there’s nowhere to go ? Says Hyer, Co-Founder and CEO of Trusty.

Launched in Spring 2021, Trusty provides an online space for people to talk in real time about homes, neighborhoods and the wider market. They can share opinions, read property reviews, and get in touch with real estate agents. Think Zillow meets Yelp with a Facebook-style feed.

“I think a lot of times the ads are rosier than the real thing,” Hyer says. “We want to be a place where you can get the real story, not just the Photoshopped images and flowery description.”

For example, a recent ad on Trusty for a $ 375,000, 1,424 square foot home in Sacramento boasts: “Completely remodeled !! Houses like this don’t come often. Check out the square footage for the price! This home has a brand new heating and air conditioning unit, new flooring, new window coverings, a brand new kitchen with all new cabinets, counters and appliances, a newly remodeled bathroom, a new interior paint and much more! ”

In a review on the ad page, Daniel Sapata, a Berkshire Hathaway estate agent, wrote:

Hmm…. This house showed up very well with the photos but was a disappointment in person. My clients didn’t like the house and all I could see was the repair costs… The outside of the house was also showing signs of repair with a lot of dry rot visible on the house panels and on the facade. The neighborhood is nice and the location is pretty good.

Another reviewer wrote:

The house has been recently renovated, but the quality of the renovation is not up to par… I give the house a C and expect it to sell below demand.

Hyer has already launched startups, including a mobile app for the construction industry. He has also occupied the buyer’s seat six times in different locations. With Trusty, he wanted to give potential buyers more of a view of a place, which is especially helpful in avoiding buyer’s remorse for those who are making offers without seeing the house first.

“We want to be a place where you can get the real story, not just the Photoshopped images and flowery description.”

Tim Hyer, Co-Founder and CEO, Trusty

The listing agent can respond to any feedback that is not positive and clarify any misunderstanding, Hyer says, but adds, “There has been resistance from listing agents who want nothing more than a picture. perfect of their home appearing online “.

According to Sapata, an agent can say anything and it can be misleading or deceptive. But Trusty, he says, invites multiple perspectives. Sapata says he found successful leads on the social network. The ability to engage with a potential buyer online brings transparency to a process that is hard to find on other sites. But Sapata, a real estate agent for almost 10 years, is well aware of the pressure to maintain the status quo.

“Some agents want to be so controlling that they don’t want to change anything,” he says. “It is killing part of our industry.”

At the same time, he understands that agents can use the platform to reduce ads, so he appreciates the opportunity to respond to comments.

The platform is free and Trusty, which has a team of eight people and offices in Sacramento.

and the Bay Area, receives a referral commission if a real estate agent gets a deal from a buyer they’ve found through the site. As of August, the platform had 350 realtors with active accounts, covering about 80% of California, Hyer says. Last year, he adds, Trusty raised $ 1.6 million from two lead investors and four angel investors.

“It’s a big change,” Hyer says. “This is not the way the industry has operated for 100 years. It has always been a point of view. The fact that we are opening it up to other perspectives is quite transformational.

Stay up to date on business in the Capital Region: Subscribe to the Comstock newsletter today.

Source link