Bōde is an online peer-to-peer platform directly connecting buyers and sellers so they can work out a deal on their own time and on their own terms, without a real estate agent, thus saving consumers money.
“There is a lot of supply in the Alberta market right now and people are motivated to keep as much of their home value as possible,“ said Robert Price, CEO of Bōde. “So, the timing is ideal because the cost savings are dramatic, and the result is that homes sell faster, buyers pay less and sellers make more.
“It’s creating a direct relationship in a similar way that Autotrader or Airbnb or Amazon or eBay or a number of other very successful software services have to establish a more efficient and more customer-centric experience and eliminate the need for agents to middleman the process.”
Price said the listing service is aimed at a large and growing market of digital consumers who are already comfortable making large purchases online.
“The buyer can save money on an offer. The seller can price more competitively and still make the same amount or more. And the home sells faster. So we really see it as a competitive advantage versus the vast majority of the market that’s still doing it with the traditional four per cent commission structure. We’re at one per cent so 75 per cent cheaper,” he said.
“We’ve built what we’re calling the Bōdiverse, which is a marketplace of experts who are offering services that you need to be successful in the process. Lawyers, inspectors, appraisers, stagers, all those competencies that you need. You’re able to transact with them knowing their pricing.”
The real estate platform charges a flat one per cent fee once a property sells.
The process begins by a seller listing a property on the website, which takes about 15 minutes. Once it’s listed, the company will directly market that listing through other channels, including Realtor.ca, Zillow and 30 other websites, including Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji.
The system includes ways to make offers on properties and sign contracts, with a checklist to close with lawyers and transfer of fees.
Price said a model has been created that doesn’t require any human intervention from the start to the finish, just people’s interaction with the platform.
“We believe that homeowners are the true experts on their homes. Once people are armed with robust information and the tools to simplify the process, they are fully willing and capable to take the reins on real estate transactions,” said Price.
“We love Alberta and our family has been proud to be leaders in the pursuit of a diversified economy that does not simply rely on energy tax revenue. We have the experience that tells us when you create the right customer-centric answer, it becomes exportable. We want to prove that it works here and take it across Canada and beyond.”
Price said the company is planning to expand across the province in the coming weeks and upon that success, expand across Canada and internationally.
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.