Digital Platform Modernizes Outdated Brokerage Model and Empowers Agents
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 18, 2020 – Avenue 8, the only mobile-first residential real estate brokerage built expressly for modern agents, today announced it has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Craft Ventures, Zigg Capital, and Good Friends, the early-stage fund from the founders of Warby Parker, Harry's, and Allbirds that invests in businesses with a consumer lens. Designed from the ground up to be the most efficient and user-friendly digital real estate platform for agents, Avenue 8’s subscription-based model gives agents the tools and support they need to be successful and enables them to keep more of their commission. After a quiet beta rollout in the San Francisco Bay Area and greater Los Angeles markets, Avenue 8 will put the funding toward further platform development and expansion into New York and other major markets.
“Real estate agents have been beholden to an age-old brokerage model that elevates infrastructure over individuals and radically underserves their interests. The tide is now turning; agents know it and are looking for a better way,” said Justin Fichelson, Co-founder and CEO of Avenue 8, and former residential real estate agent. “Avenue 8 empowers agents to be more entrepreneurial, giving them the tools they need to be successful and drive better outcomes for their clients.”
Like many industries, real estate has been forced to quickly embrace technology amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and Avenue 8’s mobile-first approach put the company ahead of this curve. Both part-time agents who want to optimize earnings and full-time agents building a big business and brand use Avenue 8’s suite of powerful tools to help them spend more time with buyers and advocate for clients’ interests.
With a simple, powerful user interface, Avenue 8 supports agents across the entire transaction lifecycle, from valuation analysis to omni-channel marketing support and digital closings. With Avenue 8, agents can focus on what they do best: closing sales. Current platform features include:
- Market data + analysis: Avenue 8’s platform integrates directly with multiple MLS data feeds to generate real-time market insights including Comparative Market Analyses, which agents receive through the platform, delivered in a beautiful, responsive design.
- Marketing automation: Avenue 8 serves as the performance marketing partner for its agents, supporting them across asset creation, distribution and optimization to make their omni-channel marketing investments more efficient and more impactful.
- Valet program: Sellers that work with Avenue 8 agents access a vetted team of designers and vendors that manage the staging and renovation process from end-to-end, with no upfront cost - sellers only pay for these services once their home is sold.
“Most new real estate platforms have shifted the power to buyers, or completely cut out the agent - who we feel remains at the center of the real estate marketplace. Avenue 8 gives power back to the agent with a full-stack platform and the tools they need to accelerate growth, close transactions from anywhere, and keep more of what they earn,” said Michael Martin, Co-founder, Avenue 8.
“At Good Friends, we continuously look for opportunities that disrupt and transform archaic industries in ways that enhance the customer experience in a meaningful way. We see this through improved efficiency that speaks directly to the customer and their needs - all while preserving value, improving access, and lowering your cost center. We believe that Avenue 8 is doing just that for the residential real estate space and its agents,” said Neil Blumenthal, General Partner at Good Friends and co-CEO of Warby Parker.
Avenue 8 was introduced to top California markets earlier this year, and has since seen incredible organic growth, demonstrating high demand for something different. Since Avenue 8 was built as a digital, mobile-first platform, the company didn’t have to shoehorn a traditional brokerage into a digital model.
"Avenue 8's organic growth is clear evidence that the market demands a mobile-first, digital platform,” said Jeff Fluhr, General Partner at Craft Ventures. "Michael and Justin have a clear vision for modernizing real estate while keeping agents at the center. Avenue 8’s model helps agents take home more even in today’s environment where commissions are compressing.”
“We’ve heard time and time again that agents struggle to identify and leverage the technology and tools to successfully manage their relationships and properties. Changing buyer/seller expectations have accelerated the digital transformation of most agents’ workflows,” said Ryan Orley, Partner at Zigg Capital. “Avenue 8 is building and integrating the right software and resources for our new reality.”
About Avenue 8
Avenue 8 is a digital and mobile-first residential real estate brokerage for modern agents, empowering them to be more entrepreneurial, to close from anywhere, and to keep substantially more of their income. With an emphasis on simplicity and design, Avenue 8 provides premium services at scale through a mix of automation and human expertise, from marketing a home to making an offer. For more information, visit: https://www.avenue8.com