Spotlight: Rich Shapiro, RealEZRealty

Rich Shapiro is a Navy Pilot turned serial real-estate investor and entrepreneur. We sat down with him to discuss his most recent venture, RealEZRealty, a new real estate P2P platform where you can buy, rent, or sell your property. 

Why did you create RealEZRealty and what problem are you trying to solve?

When I first got into real estate about 15 years ago, I would start my property search online. When I found something, I’d call an agent to show it to me and help with the transaction. Eventually, I got my own license to save on commissions. But, 87% of people still pay an outside agent to facilitate their transaction, even though 75% of them start their search online and 50% actually find the home they close online, So, I started asking why?

It turns out that 1) most people think an agent is required and 2) there is simply no easy way to do a real estate transaction online and in one place. The fact is, with just a little work and some help, most people can easily handle their own transactions. That could be a savings of 5-6% in commissions, which translates to $14,000 on the average home sale. Imagine how powerful it is to have that extra 5-6% to play with when trying to buy or sell your home. 

So, that’s why we started RealEZRealty. We want to take the hassle and fear out of buying or selling your own home, make it easy, and totally commission free. It's a real estate marketplace where people can find homes, make offers, do the paperwork, and even plug-in professional services like title companies, lenders, and inspectors. The goal is to make home buying and selling so simple that people will feel confident in doing it themselves and maximizing their savings in the transaction. 

Who is your ideal customer?

Anyone who wants to get the most out of their home and preferably has a little bit of a DIY attitude. It will still require the buyer and seller to get the deal done together, but they will have the benefit of using our user dashboard and online guided tools to stay organized. Of course, if someone still really needs help, they can always hire an agent or real-estate lawyer to answer questions or even guide them through the process for a nominal fee. 

How is your relationship with a customer different from a real-estate broker?

I’m glad you asked that. We are not a brokerage at all. We do not take commissions or fees, and do not provide any sort of professional advice. We created a marketplace where buyers & sellers can connect and get the transaction done as easily as possible between themselves. We simply provide the platform and tools to do it.

What’s your favorite customer success story?

Gary’s parents passed away a few years ago and left him with a beautiful home in a 55+ retirement community on the outskirts of Philadelphia. His parents always dreamed of having a home big enough to host the entire family for holidays, including extra rooms for people to stay the night. Unfortunately, the size ultimately made it harder to sell since most retirees are in downsizing mode. Gary just couldn’t get an offer to cover the remaining mortgage, agent commissions, transfer tax, and other closing costs. Fortunately, he decided to try it himself with a little help from us, and we were able to guide him through the transaction and save about $21,000 in commissions.

What do you wish every homebuyer and seller knew before getting into the market?

There’s so much I wish buyers and sellers knew from the start. We actually just finished publishing our first ebooks, which give actionable insights on what to do if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home. Check them out here

Where is real estate technology headed in 2020?

I think we will continue to see more parts of the real estate industry going online. We are seeing online title companies like Spruce and for notaries come into the mainstream. RealEZRealty is trying to bring all those pieces together in one place for people to use together.

Coffee, Tea, Or Other?

I definitely love coffee, tea, and the occasional “other” (depending on what that might be of course). When I lived in Italy it was definitely a lot more macchiatos than anything else, but lately I’ve been switching back to tea. if you haven’t tried Double Bergamot then it's a must!

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