Behind the Investment: iad – Transforming the Way we Buy and Sell Homes

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Imagine you’re looking to sell your home. You start by walking into your local real estate agent’s office and they explain the process. They’ll get started on the paperwork early next week; they need to come over, spend a couple days adding staging furniture, waiting for the right weather, and taking photos. Then they’ll list on a few sites – just the “best” ones, they tell you. For all of this, they’re charging 6% of your total price. They’ve got to keep the lights on in their office somehow.

But what if there’s an easier solution? What if you could go online, find the broker closest to you, have them come over, take pictures of your house as-is, digitally stage it, give you an estimate of where you should price based on market trends, and list the house that week to every site imaginable. On top of it, they’re only charging 3% — half of what a traditional broker charges – because they don’t have to pay for that fancy main street office. This is the future iad envisions.

When we first met Executive Chairman Roland Tripard, CEO Clément Delpirou, and the iad team, they painted us a picture of success. Their 14,000 agents in France, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and Italy become over 40,000 agents world-wide; they sell across Europe and in the US, and they are the global leader in digital real estate intermediation. The total residential real estate commission pool in France alone is nearly €7B, and after adding in iad’s additional markets, plus their future growth plans, the total market opportunity quickly swells to over €80B. This is the market iad wants to capture.

In France, traditional agencies currently hold around 80% market share, but over the past 5 years, the presence of digital networks like iad has multiplied exponentially, from 4% to about 20%, and this number is likely to accelerate over the next few years. Sellers recognize the value proposition of a tech-enabled brokerage like iad, which can offer faster, better listings that reach a wider audience for a fraction of the commission.

Agents recognize iad’s unique value proposition as well. iad’s core feature is its vast agent network, under which tenured agents recruit new agents, train and develop their skills, and help them recruit agent mentees of their own. For this, they are compensated well—iad agents receive 69-80% percent of the total commission, compared to 30-50% at a traditional brokerage. It’s a true win-win-win for the seller, the agent, and the buyer who walks away with the keys to a beautiful new home.

We saw the potential in iad, as the winning player in a vast market with a differentiated and highly effective model. We also recognize that Clément, Roland, and the iad team have the opportunity to become the leader in the real estate market. This is why we are incredibly excited to announce the closing of our strategic investment in iad. There is a long road ahead, and we look forward to helping the iad team build out their platform to become the true leader in global real estate intermediation.

  • Kuran Malhotra, Onsite Analyst

    Kuran joined Insight in 2020. Prior to Insight, he worked at UBS in the Investment Bank, covering fintech companies and financial institutions. He also managed the finance and accounting team for Compass Coffee, a DC-based Coffee Roaster, and has worked with multiple non-profits in the financial literacy and microlending space. Kuran graduated…