March 8, 2012
Founder Guy Wolcott of DC-based startup Sawbuck wants to change real estate.
“We saw how anti-consumer the real estate business was. Real estate brokers hoarded access to the secret MLS data to protect their old models. So we wanted to give consumers more control – starting with giving them easy access to more information and better tools than any agent had.”
Thus, Sawbuck was born. But first, about that name: Back in frontier times, a sawbuck was another name for a sawhorse, which then became slang for a $10 bill. Homes + money = Sawbuck. Pretty clever.
Sawbuck’s brand new app, HomeSnap, goes way beyond moving “home search” to a smaller screen to answer “What’s the deal with THIS HOME right in front of me?” You might not even know the name of the street, but if you snap a picture, the app will tell you all about that house.
Operating in just 13 cities, Sawbuck already gets over a million unique visitors a month – and they are about to open that up to the whole country. As they grow, Wolcott said they will use their existing reach and user base to market HomeSnap. “Beyond that, we’ve tried to build the first real estate app that has a network effect – HomeSnap executes a very simple idea with a bit of magic. We think iPhone users will show it off to their friends and family and help us get the word out.”
Because Sawbuck is a licensed real estate brokerage, they connect consumers to top local agents and only make money if and when a user buys or sells a home. They don’t have ads on the app, and they don’t sell leads. As they grow, their goal is to build a trusted national real estate brand. “Sawbuck gives consumers what they want – simple, powerful tools; complete, real-time information; access to top local agents; and the freedom to do what they want without being invaded by ads, turned into a lead or pestered by an agent,” said Wolcott.
You can learn more about HomeSnap in the video below – or stop by to meet the team at our #StartupLife Celebration at SXSW on Saturday night, where they are a showcased startup.
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