In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Steve Johnston, the founder and CEO of Ideal Agent. We’re thrilled to have him as a recent addition to the Geek Estate Mastermind.
Without further ado…
What do you do?
Ideal Agent is a pro-agent consumer-focused home selling platform. We match home sellers with top-rated full-service local agents, whom in most cases are in the top 1% in their market if not, nationwide. Sellers experience better sales results and a smoother transaction with our agents because they are highly experienced and deliver 5-Star service at a fair commission as low as 2%. Agents love our high-quality listing referrals because we don’t waste their time competing against other agents and there’s no upfront or monthly fees.
What problem does your product/service solve?
Ideal Agent solves long-standing problems facing the residential real estate industry; high commissions, bad service and notoriously bad leads.
Discount brokerages historically have never gained any meaningful market share. The reason, the residential real estate industry was built on a cooperation model between the listing agent and buyer’s agent. Discount brokers often disparage traditional real estate agents, making fun of them in their ads and more pointedly their effortless work along with the ridiculously high commissions. This causes resentment and breaks the harmony of the cooperation model. Some/many agents won’t show discount brokerage homes. So, this hurts the consumer. The more buyers that participate, the more potential the seller has in selling for the highest amount in the shortest amount of time. We solved this problem. Our platform provides you with a top agent who is well respected by their peers at a fair commission. Our listings don’t get blacklisted and our sellers experience superior service and results.
We are building a platform where you simply inquire to sell your home and we connected you with one of the best agents in town at a fair commission.
What are you most excited about right now?
We are experiencing amazing interest right now and we continue to bring on the highest caliber of agents across the nation to handle our referrals. I’m most excited about our plans to grow our team and technology. We talk to sellers and agents every day and there’s nothing more gratifying than to hear their success stories and appreciation for what we are doing. We spent a ton of time figuring out what works and what doesn’t. If you look at our client reviews and agent results you can see that the foundation of the service is solid and it’s now time to scale.
What’s next for you?
To this point, we’ve been privately funded and we’re now seeking an investment partner that shares our vision to exponentially scale the Ideal Agent platform. Residential real estate is the primary focus at the moment, however there are multiple verticals to expand our platform in the near future. We have a title company in Florida, a property insurance company on the way, and a lending company will follow in short order.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I really enjoy mentoring start-ups in Tampa Bay. Tampa is a great place to live, work and play. It’s coming into its own on the start-up scene more recently and the growth of our downtown is amazing. Any chance I can advise new or young entrepreneurs not to make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past is rewarding and helps our community when they succeed.
Thanks to Steve for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).
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