“As we expand nationally, we are eager to apply the benefits of our Home Trade-In to different regions of the U.S., where the environment may vary but competition is still fierce,”said Sean Black, Co-Founder and CEO.
Knock employs Realtors: the company hires multiple Licensed Local Experts, or LLE’s, salaried agents with benefits. These are local licensed real estate veterans saturated in “technology-driven real estate solutions.”
Adrienne Kieschnick, formerly Redfin’s number one performing agent in Dallas, was one of Knock’s first Dallas agents.
“I joined Knock because I want to help the consumer, and I believe our Home Trade-In program solves for problems other brokerages do not,” said Kieschnick, a ten year real estate veteran. “Dallas is a sellers’ market, which creates a significant bottleneck issue for people buying and selling at the same time, which Knock solves. It’s brilliant, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Dallas home prices are up 5.2% year over year, with out-of-state buyers attracted to the area’s booming jobs market and the relatively low cost of living. Buyers from states like high-property-priced California can easily make cash offers on our area’s relatively low-priced homes. That creates a challenge for local home buyers, who are often selling a home at the same time, and forced to make contingent offers.
Knock’s home search engine which uses proprietary algorithms to highlight “Awesome deals on the market”, Knock Deals, shows that on average, Dallas homes priced $500,000 and under, the bulk of Knock’s price point, have the potential for savings of 3.79% off list price. By making a non-contingent cash offer on the customer’s behalf, Knock helps customers move quickly and reap savings, and compete with cash-infused buyers fresh from the closing table. This gives consumers more moving freedom as they make home changes based on life changes be it jobs, schools, or family size.
Knock has come out of the starting gate with 20 top-performing agents, some formerly of Redfin.
“Redfin is a great company, a great example of a disruptor that asked, could we do it cheaper in real estate?” says Sean Black. “But in reality, people want certainty and convenience and cost is not the first factor. Really, none of the zero models have taken off.”
But the point of most of these disruptors, to be perfectly honest, is to chip away at the Real Estate agent’s commission, then pass the savings back to the customer somehow.
“We came at this in 2005 thinking the 6 percent commission was ridiculous,” says Sean. “Now, 13 years later, as the internet has made it so much easier to find and buy a home, let’s pack a whole lot of value into that commission if we are going to continue it.”
If? For now, three percent is where Knock is starting.
“Over time, as we get critical mass, we can bring that commission down,” says Black.”We are building a platform to make the home selling process much less laborious.”
Sean notes that real estate agents earned $60 billion in commissions in 2005 and are on track to earn $80 billion in 2018.
“But in 2005, you were basically at the mercy of the Realtor for all information. Not anymore: we can do something in two seconds it used to take an agent a whole day to do,” says Sean .