A new tech company called LemonBrew has launched its so-called “custom matching platform” to link up home buyers (and sellers) with local, expert real estate agents.
The team behind the operation consists of “experienced entrepreneurs and operators” who work in the real estate and mortgage industry.
Their goal is to create a frictionless home buying process and improve efficiencies in what is often a daunting and stressful endeavor.
Initially rolled out via pilot in local markets across North Carolina and Florida last fall, LemonBrew plans to launch nationwide throughout 2020. It appears they are currently live in 15 states.
The platform has a “couple thousand” Partner Agents in its database, but expects that number to climb above 50,000 by the end of the year.
How LemonBrew’s Matchmaker Service Works
- Answer basic questions to get matched up with local real estate agents
- Questions include property type, budget, number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- If you already have a home picked out or are still looking, when you want to buy, etc.
- Then get top 3 matches in your area to choose from
It can be difficult to choose a real estate agent. Do you go with someone a friend or family used, someone you saw in an ad, or do you respond to a flyer or freebie you received in the mail?
All of those methods are pretty old school, yet still effective for agents for the time being. But are they the best approach for home buyers and home sellers? Possibly not.
LemonBrew feels it’s super important to go with a high-quality agent, and that’s exactly what they set out to do.
After you answer a series of questions, you’ll be matched up with a local expert based on factors beyond just location.
Your match also considers things like personal budget, down payment, property type, and various sales history metrics such as how fast an agent can help you find your dream home.
The company’s proprietary algorithm then presents prospective home buyers with the profiles of the top 3 matches and lets them choose who to work with.
Ostensibly, this will lead to greater success if/when you purchase or sell a property, as opposed to just going with someone random or referred to you.
Your LemonBrew BrewScore
- Prospective home buyers are assigned a BrewScore
- Which is based on thousands of analyzed data points
- The more complete your profile, the higher your score
- Those with higher BrewScores qualify for larger rebates at closing
The company comes up with a custom score known as a your “BrewScore,” which is based on thousands of data points analyzed by their proprietary algorithm.
The more information you provide and securely verify, the higher your BrewScore.
This includes verifying your credit, income, assets, and employment to ensure you’re a qualified buyer, similar to getting a mortgage pre-approval.
And the higher the BrewScore, the more money you can receive at closing to offset closing costs.
BrewScores range from 0 to 100, with a score north of 70 considered “good,” and high enough to qualify for a rebate back at closing.
It’s not totally clear what you can do to ensure your BrewScore is as high as possible other than providing all information that is asked of you.
But the general idea is someone with a higher BrewScore is more motivated (and likely) to buy/sell soon, and thus can qualify for a higher rebate because it’s closer to a sure thing for the real estate agent.
LemonBrew Provides a Rebate to Home Buyers and Sellers
To sweeten the deal, LemonBrew provides rebates to both home buyers and sellers who use a LemonBrew Partner Agent.
These real estate commission rebates back to the buyer are allowed in 42 of 50 states, along with DC.
If you’re selling, you can save up to 2% off the listing fee, which instead of 3% might be just 1%. On a $500,000 home sale, we’re talking $5,000 versus $15,000. Those are big savings.
And this is for a full-service agent, which might differ from other discount real estate brokerages.
If buying a home, you get a rebate that can be used to offset your closing costs.
It’s unclear what percentage or amount this is as LemonBrew does not disclose it. But as noted, it’s based on your BrewScore.
Rebates aside, LemonBrew is 100% free to both home buyers and home sellers.
If and when you buy/sell with a LemonBrew Partner Agent, that individual pays LemonBrew a referral fee, which is 25% of the gross commission.
While agents may receive less than they would if prospecting clients on their own, greater volume may lead to higher overall income.
- A mortgage brokerage formerly operating as SD Capital Funding
- Headquartered in New Jersey with loan origination contact center in Charlotte, NC
- Currently operational in 19 states nationwide and DC
- Expect to roll out to all 50 states by the end of 2019
The company also operates an affiliated mortgage brokerage called “LemonBrew Lending,” which used to go by the name SD Capital Funding (and still does in New Jersey).
They were apparently ranked #1 with Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS), receiving the wholesale lender’s Top Partner Award for 2019.
LemonBrew Lending complements the real estate side of their business, allowing homeowners and home buyers to enjoy one seamless transaction from start to finish.
They currently operate in 19 states nationwide, along with the District of Columbia. The company expects to expand to all 50 states by the end of 2019.
(photo: Marco Verch)