Home buying and apartment rental company Urban Compass just raised $40 million from investors, bringing its total valuation to $360 million, reports Bloomberg.
Urban Compass streamlines the apartment renting process. Prospective renters and home buyers can search listings and arrange viewings on the website and mobile app. When the company first started its brokers worked on salary, not commission. The hope was that brokers would be more inclined to find the right apartment for you rather than pressing you to sign a lease. However, they’ve since moved to a commission based model. “We wanted to recruit the best, most experienced agents out there. And to attract the best and the brightest, we changed our compensation model to that of commission-based,” says Sofia Song, head of research and external affairs at Urban Compass.
There are already a number of platforms that connect buyers and renters to potential new digs — Craigslist, Trulia, and Redfin to name a few. But the market is getting hotter with new services like Apartment List, that lets interested renters tour apartments remotely, emerging all the time. Urban Compass is trying to differentiate itself with brokers that add a personal touch.
Advance Publications, Thrive Capital, Founders Fund, .406 Ventures, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault contributed funding. The money will be used to help the company launch nationally.
Urban Compass is expected to roll out in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. later this year.