SALT LAKE CITY — Draper-based online realtor Homie is taking its agent-less home buying and selling system to Phoenix, and beyond, in the company's first expansion outside Utah.
Co-founder and CEO Johnny Hanna said the move is the first in a longer-range plan for building a national presence.
"We've been perfecting our technology since we launched here in Utah and are ready to handle a new market," Hanna said. "We plan to open up Phoenix and probably Las Vegas shortly after."
The company is also preparing for a Series A round of funding this spring or early summer and that cash injection will help finance further expansion, first to a select group of metro areas followed by a national effort, he said.
Hanna said his company has found the perfect mix of technology and personalized service to redefine an industry he noted "hasn't seen any real changes for decades."
Launched in 2015, the Homie system initially focused on offering its services to home sellers but last fall added a buyer-side option as well.
Homie's system is set up to automate and streamline processes where practical — think signage, photos and listings — and create access to real estate professionals where necessary, such as contract reviews and negotiations.
Listing a house through Homie will cost you about $1,500, while buyers can access the company's services for free. Additionally, the company said buyers who work through Homie can also qualify for a $5,000 refund on homes with a buyer agent commission.
Hanna said choosing Phoenix as the first step in growing Homie outside Utah was a decision fueled by both analysis and interest.
"We had more people trying to sign up for Homie from Phoenix than from anywhere else," he said.6 comments on this story
Hanna also noted that the Pheonix area has much in common with what's been happening along the Wasatch Front, including a growing economy, a hot housing market, similar demographics and a lot of homes that are easy to price.
Homie customers are saving an average of $10,000 on their real estate transactions, he said, and according to a running meter on the Homie website, Utah customers have saved more than $17 million since the company began offering its services.
Editor's note: Deseret Digital Media, Inc., an affiliate of Deseret News Publishing Company, is a media partner of Homie.