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Aquisitions / Business / Real estate

Tech-enabled real estate brokerage Houwzer has acquired competitor Trelora

The addition of some new executives comes alongside a B2B operation for Houwzer, which will focus on a new vertical that the company calls "brokerage as a service."

CEO Mike Maher (center) with Houwzer staff in early 2020. (Courtesy photo)

Tech-forward real estate and mortgage brokerage Houwzer, which got its start in 2015 in Philly and has expanded to neighboring states, has acquired next-gen brokerage Trelora.

The news comes amid a year of growth for Houwzer. The Center City-HQ’d company raised an $118 million Series B early this year, a mix of $18 million in equity and a $100 million warehouse line of credit, led by Edison Partners. It had plans to launch three new consumer products, the company said then: Cash Advantage, Convenience Offers and Buy Before You Sell. It also launched the RiseUp Fund in April, a nonprofit to bring grants and resources to low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers.

And with this acquisition, it now adds Trelora’s flat-fee, full service real estate offerings to its portfolio. Houwzer CEO Mike Maher said in an emailed statement that he’d been in contact with Trelora, based in Denver, since 2018. Though they were a direct competitor, he saw them as a “sister company” also looking to disrupt the real estate industry.

“This is a material inflection point for Houwzer,” Maher told Technical.ly. “We see an opportunity to innovate, build, and scale a transformational enterprise serving customers during this seismic market shift.”

The acquisition expands Houwzer’s footprint to 14 states. It currently operates in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and DC, and it adds Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington.

Maher will remain as the company’s CEO and on the board of directors, while Rod Ward, CEO of Trelora, will join as chief revenue officer, leading a newly formed enterprise division. Colby Sambrotto, cofounder of ForSaleByOwner.com, will also join the executive team as chief marketing officer.

This enterprise division, a B2B operation, will focus on a new vertical that the company calls “brokerage as a service.” Ward’s team will work with institutional clients in the single-family rental market, the iBuyer market, rent-to-own market and new home construction segments. Houwzer is also expanding its business lines as it makes a move from mortgage broker to fully delegated lender. It recently purchased intellectual property from former next-gen brokerage, Reali, to continue to offer more products to clients.

Maher added that he’s excited to bring on talent from Trelora at all levels of the organization. He sees the acquisition as a chance to further develop Trelora’s line of business serving enterprise clients, and that Houwzer continues to be open to other opportunities to accelerate a national expansion.

Daniel Herscovici, partner at Houwzer’s lead investing firm, Edison Partners, said the acquisition will be a “game-changer” for the two companies.

“Houwzer now has a platform at scale, allowing it to further transform the home buying and selling experience and make it easier and more affordable for consumers across a much wider audience,” he said in a statement. “This acquisition brings Houwzer far closer to the goal of becoming the next-gen brokerage category leader.”

Companies: Houwzer
People: Michael Maher
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