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My Thoughts on FLIPT

FLIPT LogoYou may have seen the interview with Andrey Nokhrin earlier today. I had the chance to sit down with him last week in Pioneer Square and discuss the product/business he is working on, Flipt. Watch the following video for a summary:

Here are my high level thinkings…

  • Is whether or not to buy and hold, flip it, or rent it out an interesting data point to know when buying a property? Yes. But is it a pain point that will get consumers to jump through a hoop or two to find it on their own? Will they share it with their friends? I’m not convinced.
  • The first question out of my mouth: what is behind those scores, and why should I trust them?
  • If Flipt had existing distribution (ie Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com), then I can see a viable path to consumer traction.
  • The opportunity to differentiate from Zillow and Trulia, in my mind, is to go uber simple. My hunch is 3 scores (rental, buy-hold, and fix-flip) per property isn’t simple enough.
  • I’m curious where the for sale data is coming from (example property listed for sale). There are really only three ways to get listing data – buy it in bulk, source it from IDX, or go agent/broker direct. Or you can scrape it, as I mentioned in my recent post. Doing so certainly won’t win you any points in this industry. It’s not IDX and it’s not sourced direct from agents or brokers, so it’s either scraped or purchased from a provider like ListHub.
  • They are buying traffic, and selling it on the other side (see the “connect with an expert” call to action on the side). That’s a very, very hard equation long term, with slim margins. If the traffic doesn’t come organically over time, this business model will break down.
  • A subscription product targeted at real estate investors and/or agents seems a better path to revenue.

In summary, I think Flipt is an extremely interesting niche product for investors, and extremely analytical buyers with an investment mindset — but not a mainstream consumer product. If you have thoughts of your own, feel free to chime in with a comment.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • The minute an online product claims to be able to tell you if a home is priced right or not, I’m out.

    The macro trends based on location are very useful, but that doesn’t allow an individual buyer to make a better individual property decision. If you’re buying 20 homes at a time, this could help you make broad decisions. Otherwise, it’s another data placebo that makes you think you’re making a smarter decision when a pair of trained eyeballs could do a better job on a single home basis.

  • Already shared this with Drew privately, but for anyone else who happens to land on this post…

    I’m curious where the for sale data is coming from.

    The data (and photos) on Flipt were straight-up scraped off of Zillow, as it turns out: Zillow slaps down Flipt, issues cease-and-desist letter alleging improper use of data

    • My hunch was correct.

    • If they were going to scrape, they should have scraped agent idx sites…way less chance of getting caught.

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