Please welcome Realm, a tool unlocking property potential data for homeowners
HQ: New York
Founder: Liz Young
The problem: Homes are one of the biggest pieces of the average American’s financial profile, with the average homeowner’s property comprising 62% of their assets overall. Unlike other financial assets, they’re a total black box. To understand them, homeowners either have to sort through mounds of data on their own (time consuming and non-intuitive) or find a local expert that they can trust (which is hard because of misaligned incentives). Most owners have a clear desire to invest in home improvement, with the average homeowner spending thousands per year to upgrade their space. But with no central hub for advice or data to turn to, those often-large financial investments can become mostly expensive guesses.
Realm’s solution: Instead of telling homeowners what their property is currently worth, which is now standard with tools such as the Zestimate, Realm shows them what their home could be worth and how to access more of its potential value. They analyze thousands of data points to offer homeowners personalized insights and practical recommendations so they can make informed home investments. In this way, Realm tells homeowners how their home could increase in value through square-foot add-ons, renovations, rental income, and other areas, helping families to enjoy their home more in the present while getting more value from it down the road.
Origin story: Liz started working on Realm after spending time in commercial real estate technology, where she helped real estate professionals put data to work to make better investment decisions. She saw an opportunity to democratize that data to help homeowners across the country make the most of their biggest asset.
Why we’re betting on it: We’ve been lucky to work with Liz in the past via our portfolio company Reonomy. She has proven to have an uncanny ability to combine large, opaque data sets with commercial applications to drive value for end users. Her skillset has helped build Reonomy into a large business for institutional real estate. When she told us about her idea to apply this approach to helping homeowners, we were hooked.
Our take: As we saw in 2008, the value of your home can be out of your control. That said, we do know that institutional real estate funds usually have some level of insight into the value of their portfolios. Realm democratizes these insights by providing a data layer for homeowners that gives them the ability to invest in their home wisely. Through our past investments in Paintzen, Block, and now Realm, we believe that homeowners will continue to tap into new ways to improve their homes for personal enjoyment now, and for financial benefit later.
Further reading: “Realm raises $3m seed round to help homeowners tap into their property’s $175,900 of potential” via PR Newswire.
Learn about careers at Realm.