When Chad Torstenson decided to sell his house in 2015, it was a fairly typical process. A realtor came to his house to shoot some photos, put a sign in his yard and list the home for sale online. A couple months later, he parted with $28,000 in commission.
“At that point, I just kind of looked at what are the points of value to a consumer during that process,” Torstenson said.
In April, Torstenson launched ShowPal, an online platform offering home sellers the ability to list their homes for sale without having to pay commission fees.
“Marketing a home nowadays is social media and getting it out to these internet sites where buyers can see it,” Torstenson said. “That is not a special skill that realtors have.”
ShowPal’s platform offers a variety of plans, ranging in cost from $249 to $1999. For $249, homeowners get a market analysis, a photo shoot and a yard sign, a listing on Zillow and Trulia.
“We can do the same thing as realtors and make your life easy by packing a bunch of solutions, services, and technology together so that people can actually have a viable choice that doesn’t have anything to do with spending tens of thousands in commission,” Torstenson said.
Since launching in April, ShowPal has had 17 homes for sale on its platform, nine of those are sold or are sale-pending.
“It’s difficult to know who’s about ready to sell their home,” Torstenson said. “So we’ve taken on a multi-channel marketing approach where I’m trying various funnels and just really developing a brand awareness so that people who’re going to sell their home in 3 months or 2 years knows about us.”
Since starting the business, ShowPal has raised a successful $1.65 million seed round from friends and family and has plans to raise another round of funding soon, Torstenson told Clay & Milk. ShowPal intends to use the raised funding to branch out nationally.
“Everything we’ve built we can turn on in new cities overnight,” Torstenson said. “Having said that, our primary focus is Des Moines right now and we plan to be in Florida when they’re for sale season hits.”
Unlike in Iowa, Florida’s prime time to buy a home is typically October through March.