How this Philly-based real estate tech company is expanding its team in the District - Technical.ly DC

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Jan. 10, 2019 12:31 pm

How this Philly-based real estate tech company is expanding its team in the District

With employees already working out of D.C., Houwzer raised $4.5 million from real estate investment guru Ira Lubert, NBA star David Robinson and past investors.
Mike Maher, CEO of Houwzer.

Mike Maher, CEO of Houwzer.

(Courtesy photo)

Our sister site Technical.ly Philly reported earlier this week that Philly-based real estate startup Houwzer, a tech-enabled real estate brokerage, aims to expand its presence in Philly and D.C. through a $4.5 million “seed extension” round of funding. Investors include basketball star David Robinson, real estate guru Ira Lubert, past investor Ben Franklin Capital Partners and angel investor syndicate Broad Street Angel.

The company’s founder, Mike Maher, also cofounded coworking company Benjamin’s Desk, which you may now know as 1776 He told Technical.ly that he chased Lubert’s backing for awhile before he made the large investment.

“The simple answer is: he turned me down three times before he said yes,” Maher told our Technical.ly Philly lead reporter Roberto Torres. “Like any entrepreneur, you keep selling your story and sticking to it. He first saw the deal as just a PowerPoint, but at the end of the day it came down to traction. We now have great traction in our home market.”

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Houwzer employs 75 full-timers between its Philly and D.C. offices, which explains why the company wants to expand in both areas, plus a third big market over the next year.

After expanding into the District, the real estate tech company recently hired a general manager to oversee the 12 agents in the area. In 2018 the real estate tech company serviced D.C.,  Arlington, Alexandria, Silver Spring, Bethesda, McLean, Potomac and the Hyattsville areas. Houwzer expanded its services further west into Northern Virginia and more north in Montgomery county to include Springfield, Burke, Annandale, Fairfax, Vienna, Centreville, Chantilly, Reston, Herndon, Great Falls, North Bethesda, Rockville, Falls Church, and North Potomac.

The modern brokerage leverages technology and full service, salaried realtors to save home sellers an average of $15,000 and provide home buyers a pressure-free experience, the company states. The company says it has saved D.C. metro home sellers over $250,000 in listing commissions. The average number of days a property is on the market is 17, and there’s a 97.89 percent average settle/list ratio. Houwzer said some of the funding will also go toward building its proprietary technology platform to create a one-stop shop experience for home sellers.

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