A Toronto-based tech startup is bringing its online real-estate service to Edmonton after raising $22 million in total funding to expand within Calgary and to other Canadian cities.
“I’ve seen first hand how difficult it can be for homeowners to go through the sales process. Properly was created because we believe there are ways to improve the process,” said Properly CEO and co-founder Anshul Ruparell, originally from Calgary.
Buying and selling a home can involve a lot of what Ruparell calls “pain points,” things like inconvenient home showings, costly repairs, uncertain timelines and the risk of an offer falling through.
Founded in 2018, Properly tries to eliminate those hurdles, enabling homeowners to find out what their home would sell for on the open market within 48 hours using machine learning. Users would have the option to sell their house directly to Properly within as little as five days, at which point the company would arrange a third-party home inspection. If the home sells for more than Properly’s offer, the majority of the upside is refunded to the customer.
The service charges a fee that currently averages at seven per cent, but can vary between 6.5 and 10 per cent.
“We feel like Properly is changing the traditional real estate sales process in a way that hasn’t been done before,” said Ruparell.
The biggest benefit, Ruparell said, is in offering homeowners control. Like other services adopting new tech platforms to offer faster and easier-to-use services, Properly promises to save time and reduce stress.
The average home in Edmonton spends between 55 and 70 days on the market, said Ruparell. “That’s about two months of keeping the house clean for showings.”
Every city is unique, but the same challenges exist in a lot of other Canadian cities, he said. The company has been receiving messages from homeowners in Edmonton asking when Properly would be available to them, he said.
Properly launched in Calgary last summer, and is buying or selling a home nearly every day. In Edmonton, Ruparell expects Properly to hire between five and 10 employees directly over the next year and a half, but that doesn’t count secondary spinoffs as the company partners with local real estate agents and home inspectors, for example. Local experts will continue to play an important role, Ruparell said.
Properly’s equity funding was led by a founding investor in Compass, a New York-based real-estate tech startup, and investors in other major tech disruptors like Airbnb.
“It’s a nice validation from some of the top investors that were early investors in some of the best known real estate companies in the U.S.,” said Ruparell.
The service will roll out in Edmonton this fall and outside of Alberta next year.