zavvie is Finding “savvy” Real Estate Agents
Jul 29, 2017
Real estate pros help sellers with neighborhood insight, intelligence not available online
BOULDER, CO–(Marketwired – May 23, 2017) – To characterize Molly and Michael Rowells as experienced home sellers is an understatement, considering that collectively, they’ve moved more than a dozen times. The couple has four children and both are retired U.S. military veterans.
They’ve known, interviewed and worked with literally dozens of real estate agents through the years and found one common experience: “I have never felt like anything other than a client,” Michael explains. That is until he says they discovered through a new Colorado startup — zavvie — their agent Chris Cote, a managing broker in Castle Rock.
Michael said for the first time, this time was different. “Chris has a great personality, but beyond the personality, he’s been totally transparent, treating us as a partnership instead of just being a client,” he said. They are selling their home with Chris — a nearly 5,000 square foot home with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms on a 0.18 acre in Terrain — and buying a new home — a 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom home with 6,400 square foot on more than 6.5 acres in Bell Mountain Ranch.
But it’s how these astute, highly skilled home sellers selected a neighborhood expert, Chris, from among the real estate agents they personally knew and the hundreds of licensed Colorado real estate professionals who spend tens of thousands of dollars touting their services online that exposed their services to Molly and Michael. Their personal search helps explain what makes zavvie — the new Colorado real estate tech startup — so different, and so valuable, to consumers looking to sell or buy a home, as it gives them unique access to real estate pros with the best local expertise.
“Chris is an expert,” said Lane Hornung, founder of zavvie, and CEO of Boulder-based 8z Real Estate. “And Chris was able to share his deep neighborhood knowledge and expertise through the zavvie platform — through Next Door, neighborhood Website and Facebook pages. That’s what lead Michael and Molly to Chris, and the unique value they have received from their experience, is exactly why we created zavvie and why zavvie is a better way to connect local real estate agents to their neighbors.”
Not all agents are created equal
When the Army transferred Molly and Michael from New Orleans to Colorado, they literally had to buy a home in three days and looked at literally dozens of houses. They settled on a great home in Terrain, but knew that someday, they would want more land. “Our son just turned 9 in January and we wanted more land so he could go beat a stick on a tree or go dig a hole where he wanted, you know?” Molly said. “We have so many reasons, but we are also looking for our forever home — our retirement home — and we hope this next one we move to fits everything.”
Molly confessed that they had worked with many real estate agents over the years and admitted, “We’ve had our fair share of really bad real estate agents, to be honest,” she said, adding, “One I even gave a second chance to, asked her to simply check out a house that we were interested in, she said ‘Absolutely’ and I haven’t heard from her in over a year.”
Cyberstalking: The good kind
It was online that Molly found her future agent, Chris Cote. At first, she didn’t even know he was a real estate agent. Chris was on Terrain’s neighborhood website — which is a service identical to what zavvie provides — and Next Door, as she watched how Chris, as a neighborhood expert, interacted with people. “He didn’t sell himself as a real estate agent; he sold himself as a neighbor,” Molly said.
It was his acute local knowledge that won Molly over. “Chris lives right down the street from me, and we are basically part of this big subdivision and all these houses are in different phases of construction, and Chris knows if someone had issues with a builder or contractor on a particular home,” Molly noted. At one point, some roofs were failing inspection on certain homes, built during a different phase than her home. “Chris knew all about it. He shares all these little tidbits of information and then adds all this research, including information on a class action lawsuit against a contract and then gives a link to the documents to submit a claim!”
Molly followed Chris and his posts for several years. “I would actually look for his posts, because they were that good,” she said enthusiastically. When it came time to find a real estate agent, Molly gave Chris’s name to Michael. “We are researchers by nature (both currently work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency),” Molly said, “and Michael did all this research on Chris and came back and said that everything was positive. Nothing online is going to show someone’s personality, but after we met him in person, he was super nice and we have not changed our opinion of him.”
Local expertise is the key
zavvie’s Hornung points out that the Rowells’ experience online and offline is typical: there is a plethora of real estate information available online — just search any home address and you’ll see a dozen property listings for a home that’s not even for sale!
“The Internet is filled with good real estate data and bad real estate data. Homeowners need a real estate professional to help sort through what is valid and what is fake,” said Hornung. “But more importantly, when you are looking to sell a home, that’s when you’ll need zavvie. These are the agents sellers are going to flock to. Chris, for example, has half the listings in his neighborhood, We say these are the ‘savvy’ agents because when you call them about a house in the neighborhood, they say ‘I’ve been in that house,’ they know it has a back porch with a western exposure for great summer sunsets, they know the carpet needs to be changed in the guest bedroom because it smells like cat pee — the Internet can’t tell you that — a zavvie agent can. These are the agents best qualified to help homeowners sell their homes.”
“When Molly was on Next Door or her neighborhood website, she got the best information about what was happening locally — that’s part of the zavvie platform. With zavvie, we build that for every neighborhood and make sure the most savvy local agents — like Chris — who have the deep local knowledge required, are creating a neighborhood site and Facebook page and are contributing to sites like Next Door and being that local expert,” Hornung said.
Hornung explains that what zavvie provides for consumers — for homeowners, sellers and buyers — are local resources of neighborhood information from local websites and neighborhood Facebook Pages that are created and maintained by local top producing real estate agents.
“They are local neighborhood experts who live in the area. Like Chris, they are your neighbors. They’re not there to sell you; they are there to help you. That’s the new model for real estate driven by social media and hyperlocal websites: the consumer picks the agent because they are attracted to what the agent offers — not because their photo is on a billboard,” said Hornung.
Read the original article here.