What is Listing Llama and what does it do?
Tarynn: Listing Llama is a free app available in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and online at listingllama.com.
Our free tool helps home buyers and sellers to find the realtor who is right for them. It helps realtors make a real-time connection with committed, legitimately active home buyers and sellers. Buyers and sellers anonymously connect with realtors by posting their specific needs called “an opportunity.” This anonymity is a key difference with Listing Llama. For a seller, the opportunity they post could include what they like about their home, neighbourhood, a few pictures and for the buyer, what they’re looking for and their budget.
Realtors on Listing Llama review the opportunities and send back proposals that detail their services and expertise and why they’re a good fit.
Clients can engage in an in-app chat with the security of anonymity so they feel free to ask some of the tough questions, like what the commissions cover and what services can be expected, down to the finer details.
It creates a space that’s a win-win for all parties. Everyone knows what to expect and can start off on the right foot before signing any contracts.
Where did the name come from and how did the idea come about?
Tarynn: In their native environs (mountains, prairies and farms), llamas are guides and guards. Those are our two key words. We aim to be great guides on a buyer or seller’s real estate journey, while guarding their precious assets, namely their identity, at this sensitive moment on the real estate journey.
No one wants door knockers and uninvited guests, after all. Buyers and sellers choose when or even if they want to share who they are.
Listing Llama is independent from all realtors and real estate associations. We aren’t a list selling service. We don’t influence a buyer or seller in any way – we aren’t biased. As a llama, we’re a guide, helping people build that real connection. No realtor gets special treatment. We provide a secure space to make a sound choice for one of the biggest financial decisions of most people’s lives.
Listing Llama only works with licensed realtors, so you can expect to work within the safety of the ethics and law that govern the realtor profession.
What makes this different from other traditional ways to buy and sell a house?
Tarynn: It’s quite different because we’re starting at the important first step: finding the best realtor to help you. With a more competitive market these days, a great realtor is a must. But how do you find the one best for you?
That’s the most important step, yet most real estate experiences start off with a lot of unknowns, from asking friends’ opinions of potential realtors to signing a listing contract before you even know what you are paying for. There are usually uncomfortable moments in a number of these kinds of situations because few want to have the tough face-to-face conversations of what the whole transaction ultimately costs, and whose wallet it’s all coming out of. We Canadians are very polite.
So with Listing Llama, we’ve made a place to easily ask those tough-to-ask questions without being confrontational, and where both sides get a chance to form a real connection before a first meeting. It takes the pressure off that meeting where a realtor often feels they have one chance to push for business while the client is too shy to ask what they need to ask. That can set the relationship off to a rocky start.
What kind of response have you been getting?
Tarynn: We’ve had a great response, a strong response.
Some of the more traditional realtors are skeptical but we aren’t worried. Buyers and sellers are online these days, and they’re increasingly more comfortable starting off relationships from an online connection. It’s a chance for both sides to connect in a real way that benefits everyone.
The real estate experience works best and generates the best results when both sides start from a solid foundation. That’s the real secret of Listing Llama. And since you can do it anonymously from your phone, people are comfortable doing that, rather than have the first meeting a face-to-face in an office, coffee shop or at your kitchen table where both sides might feel some uncomfortable pressure.
For realtors, a small monthly fee gives them direct access to committed buyers and sellers. Since realtors are treated equally on Listing Llama, they have a chance to compete fairly for a buyer or seller’s attention by reviewing opportunities and sending proposals that match a client’s needs exactly.
What’s the vision for the future for the company?
Tarynn: We’re planning to quickly grow to include California and much of the rest of Canada within 2019 (we now serve Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton). We expect to have continued growth into the rest of the U.S. through 2020. We’re also expanding the educational component for buyers, sellers and realtors so they can get more out of Listing Llama. That’s coming soon!