If you follow Deloitte’s Fast 50 list of the 50 quickest-growing companies in Canada, you probably came across a new name among its 2022 winners: Nobul. The trailblazing company topped the list this year, riding on a wave of recent success disrupting the real estate industry.
So, what exactly makes Nobul so revolutionary? Why has it caught on with real estate consumers? And how is it helping reshape the industry as a whole?
In this article, let’s explore the seismic shifts Nobul is making in real estate – and potentially indicate where the industry is headed in the next decade.
The Open Marketplace: Meritocracy, Accountability and Transparency
Nobul’s claim to fame – its flagship offering and the primary reason for its skyrocketing usership – is its unique approach to real estate agents.
As any homeowner knows, finding a real estate agent is (or was) a frustratingly opaque process. Agents often hid (or fixed) their commission rates, swept negative reviews under the rug, hid transaction histories and made it difficult to compare services between agents. Basically, the ball was in their court. Consumers could look for votes of confidence from personal recommendations. But for the most part, agents pursued and acquired consumers – not vice versa.
Sensing the broad consumer dissatisfaction with the status quo, Nobul introduced an open digital marketplace model in the industry. On Nobul, a consumer can see all their options, alongside critical stats like transaction histories, verified ratings, transparent commission costs, etc. Consumers can also input their criteria and receive individualized recommendations generated by an AI-powered algorithm.
Then – and here’s where things really get interesting – agents can compete for the consumer’s business. Listing agents can compete with each other by offering lower commission rates or more attractive terms. And a selling agent might compete by offering more robust services. This places the ball squarely in the consumer’s court. They’re in charge. They make decisions based on transparent information.
Some agents balked at first. Some didn’t like the idea of ceding control to consumers. But the model has profoundly affected the industry, fostering a new environment of meritocracy. As CEO and founder Regan McGee put it in an interview with SuperbCrew, “Nobul brings choice, accountability and transparency to an industry that has – for decades – been widely regarded by homebuyers as opaque and challenging.”
On-Demand Convenience: The Uberization of the Real Estate Transaction Process
Aside from its open marketplace model, Nobul is one of a handful of proptech companies disrupting the industry by making it more convenient. Naturally, convenience is an extension of the company’s open marketplace model – but Nobul promotes convenience in other ways.
The company bills itself as an “end-to-end real estate platform,” meaning that they stay with the consumer throughout the real estate transaction process. After helping the buyer/seller land the right agent, the company offers a plethora of resources aimed at consumer empowerment: buying guides, market conditions indicators, mortgage calculators, affordability calculators, etc. Nobul also facilitates quick communication with your realtor via direct message, and offers a cutting-edge blockchain component for consumers to track their real estate agreements.
Because of this wholesale approach to consumer convenience, the Financial Times dubbed the company “The Uber of real estate.” It’s fast, consumer-centric and empowering – not adjectives you traditionally associate with real estate.
Considering the press releases from the company over the past year, it’s safe to assume that the company isn’t finished being disruptive. McGee has alluded that Nobul will continue adding features and functionalities, further solidifying its position as an industry disruptor.