BrokerageIPO / M&A

Flat-fee firm Houwzer acquires Denver-based Trelora

Flat-fee firm Houwzer, which built its model around salaried real estate agents, fixed listing prices for sellers and high attach rates for ancillary services, recently acquired Denver-based Trelora, a brokerage founded on the premise that the traditional brokerage model is broken.

Houwzer and Trelora are both well known for their flat-fee, full service real estate offerings. According to a release, the combined companies have saved consumers over $125 million in cumulative real estate commissions.

This acquisition expands Houwzer’s footprint to 14 states. including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington state.

“This is a material inflection point for Houwzer,” said Mike Maher, Founder and CEO of Houwzer in a statement. “We see an opportunity to innovate, build, and scale a transformational enterprise serving customers during this seismic market shift.”

In a past interview with RealTrends, Maher said, “Houwzer’s model is based on aligning incentives for the brokerage, agents and consumers. About half of an agent’s compensation comes from a base salary and half through bonuses based on specific transactions or overall performance.”

He adds, “We have full-service local agents, but compensate them differently because we want their focus to be on customer service, not being a small business. We provide about 90% of their leads and take care of everything except for the actual closing of the deals.”

Maher said that “the Trelora acquisition provides meaningful scale and operating leverage driving powerful unit economics.” Maher will maintain his position as CEO and remain on the Board of Directors of the consolidated company.

Trelora was founded in Denver in 2011 with the thesis that the traditional brokerage model commission structure is unfair to consumers.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Houwzer,” said Rod Ward, CEO of Trelora. “Like Trelora, Houwzer is a mission-oriented brokerage that shares our commitment to elevating the future of real estate by putting the consumer first, while providing a more efficient and exceptional experience for home buyers and sellers,” said Trelora CEO Rod Ward in a statement.

Ward will be joining the consolidated company as Chief Revenue Officer, leading the newly formed Enterprise division. This B2B division will pioneer a new vertical in the category that the company describes as ‘Brokerage as a Service.’ Ward’s team will work with institutional clients in the single-family rental (SFR), iBuyer, rent-to-own (RTO), and new home construction segments.

Houwzer will expand its business lines as it moves from mortgage broker to fully-delegated lender, further enhancing the depth and breadth of products offered to consumers. To accelerate the transition, Houwzer also recently acquired intellectual property from former next-gen brokerage, Reali.