Norban is a real estate tech company helping people buy and sell homes through an integrated marketplace and brokerage service.
Q: Tell us about yourself?
I am a former management consultant within strategy and innovation. I always knew that at some point I would leave to become an entrepreneur, and the opportunity came when I met my partner and co-founder who was active in the real estate industry.
Q: What is the inspiration behind your business?
Norban was founded to solve clear customer pains. We help homeowners by making it easier and more profitable to sell your home, and we help buyers by increasing the supply of available listings for sale.
Q: What is your magic sauce?
We make it extremely easy, and fun, for homeowners to list their homes for sale.
Homeowners download our app and within minutes they are listed on our marketplace, Pre-Market™. After listing your home you can follow the interest it generates in real-time (including the visits it gets and the ‘followers’ it has), while our brokerage takes over to build a complete listing and take care of potential buyers. The app is your companion throughout the selling process to make the whole experience transparent and smooth.
Norban takes care of every single aspect of the transaction, just like you expect a “traditional” brokerage to do. We employ our own brokers, support team, photographers etc. But we give homeowners the possibility to sell on their own terms before moving becomes urgent.
If you get an offer that you are willing to accept on Pre-Market™, great! But you can also decide to list your home on the open market.
If you sell your home on Pre-Market, you as a homeowner pay nothing – instead, the buyer pays a fixed fee. If you sell your home via the open market you as a seller pay the fee, the buyer then pays nothing.
Norban also has no lock-in or exclusivity, meaning that we make it super easy and risk-free to use our service.
So for sellers, we offer a better full-service brokerage service with the added value of being able to test the market and sell if you get the right offer.
The value we create for buyers is that we quite simply increase supply – we have listings for sale that otherwise would not be on the market.
Q: Where do you see your company going in 5 years?
We aim to be fastest growing business model in Europe with operations in several European countries.
Q: What has been your biggest setback so far?
I’d rather talk about challenges. And the biggest challenge for us is earning trust. Selling a home is a big decision that comes with a lot of financial commitment, anything new is always a bit scary at first.
Norban is designed to create new opportunities and improve a very important service, but we don’t radically change user behavior. As a brokerage service, you get everything you expect from a high street agent – but better. We have been very careful to design an experience that sounds too good to be true.
Another challenge has been communication. Norban combines a marketplace with a brokerage – this is new and people tend to assume things based on how things have worked. So we are faced with the challenge of “educating” consumers.
Q: What is the next big challenge for your business?
Moving into a new international market.
Q: How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
We are looking for people with experience in building and scaling a service marketplace across several international markets.