It’s not often that a mature industry faces a groundbreaking revolution, but the real estate investing industry may very well be about to experience exactly that.
The software platform, Trelly, is on a mission to streamline the outdated and inefficient acquisition and disposition process for real estate investors.
Today, most investors are using direct mail, cold calling, yard signs, local meetups, and Facebook groups to find new properties to buy and sell their existing inventory. While reliable, these channels are inefficient and time-consuming. This makes it difficult for investors to scale their businesses without increasing costs and manpower dramatically.
Josh DeShong wants to change this.
As a veteran Realtor and real estate investor, he knows exactly how much work goes into real estate investing. And he knows where the biggest challenges are for investors. More importantly, he’s made it his personal mission to help them scale their businesses.
“Increasing your income is always the first step because it gives you more stability and security. But I’ve found that most people, once they’ve achieved that, want to do more to help others. They want to create a better life for their employees. They want to contribute to their communities, and donate to charities. I want to empower more investors to do that,” DeShong explains.
He first got into real estate investing while he was a Realtor with Keller Williams where he was ranked among the top 100 agents. DeShong quickly grew to a point where he was buying and selling hundreds of investment properties each year.
And that was when he started to see the cracks in the acquisition and disposition channels most investors were using. The same channels he was using.
Something had to change.
DeShong says, “These channels are fragmented. Worse yet, they’re not cost-effective to scale. Direct mail is wasteful and costly. Cold calling is even worse. You can find some real gems in Facebook real estate investing groups, but it’s completely hit or miss. And there’s no way to efficiently monitor multiple groups once you get to a certain scale without increasing the size and cost of your workforce dramatically.”
So he set out on a mission to change that by launching the software platform, Trelly.
At its core, Trelly is a double-sided marketplace for real estate investors. The platform enables investors to quickly buy and sell properties amongst other investors.
Since users are all investors, they’re all on the platform for the same reason.
They’re either looking for properties that fit their “buy box,” a real estate term meaning a property that meets specific criteria, such as price, location, condition, etc., or they’re selling properties from their portfolio.
This means an investor can close a transaction faster and easier than they would when dealing with the general public. It also reduces costs because a Realtor isn’t involved in the transaction, so users don’t pay the standard six percent commission. Instead, the seller only pays a much lower flat fee.
DeShong says his team developed the platform specifically to serve real estate investors who want to run their investing like a business.
“It’s all about maximizing your time and results. Some investors only want to do a little investing on the side and they don’t care how efficient they are because they aren’t putting in a ton of time. But other investors want to maximize efficiency because they want to scale their business. These are the investors who will get the most out of Trelly,” he explains.
Now, instead of spending hours trying to find the right deals, investors can simply enter their buying criteria. Then they’ll be notified when another investor uploads a property that matches the criteria to the platform. In that way, it operates a lot like the MLS system, except instead of serving Realtors, it serves real estate investors.
Why is this revolutionary?
DeShong says it’s because the vast majority of the time real estate investors spend in their business is looking for the right deals.
“The real estate industry is generally about ten years behind the rest of the world when it comes to technology. That’s a big part of why there’s so much inefficiency. But I’m confident Trelly will solve that problem for investors. The time saved can be used to find more deals and scale their business. In doing so, Trelly will help them to scale their businesses. But more importantly, it will also empower them to add value to their teams and communities. It’s a ripple effect,” he says.
The industry is definitely behind compared to others. And it seems obvious that if these investors grow, they’ll have to hire more staff. But it goes beyond that.
If they’re buying houses, it means they’ll also have to hire contractors to renovate them. Those contractors need to buy supplies. There are also opportunities for landscaping, pest control, and alarm companies, to just name a few. And new tenants may need to buy furniture and decorations. Some of these tenants could then hire nannies, personal trainers, and maids. And the taxes on all of this go to support local schools, roads, and postal services.
The far-reaching ripple effect of that increase in productivity is incalculable but obvious. And as we’ve seen with previous technology, the impact can be profound.
E-commerce seemed insignificant at first. A few companies were selling products to a few people. But in 2020, ecommerce revenue in the US alone was 431.6 billion dollars. 431.6 billion dollars all because someone decided to create a platform to solve a particular problem.
DeShong hopes to have a similar impact on the real estate industry and beyond with Trelly.
He says, “When we help a real estate investor scale, we help so many other people they come in contact with. I’m excited about what Trelly can do for investors, but I’m even more excited about how that will impact their families, teams, and communities.”