MIAMI, May 10, 2022 — Homeward, a modern home finance company that enables real estate agents to give every client the power of cash, has expanded its markets to include Miami, Florida.
Miami was an obvious choice for Homeward, which already operates in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, and other markets in Florida. In March of 2022, about 30% of Miami's single family homes were purchased with cash. And more than 50% of townhomes and condos were purchased with cash, signaling record-high competition. (source)
"Miami real estate agents and their clients — like so many major metros in the US — are facing unprecedented challenges in regards to rising prices, competitive inventory, and an investor-dominated market. We're thrilled to partner with agents and clients in Miami to provide a solution that will make homebuying a reality for more people,"says Homeward's CEO and Founder, Tim Heyl. "By turning the traditional buyer into a cash buyer, we're answering the question agents are facing on a daily basis – how can I buy a home in this market? We're enabling agents to change the conversation and, in turn, help their clients purchase their next home."
This announcement comes on the heels of Homeward's recent expansion into Arizona in January, and a successful Series B fundraising round in May 2021. The startup secured growth capital of $371 million, including $136 million in equity and $235 million in debt to accomplish several growth goals.
"We're really focused on how to expand our services into additional markets," says Heyl. "After successfully optimizing and scaling not just our product, but our support teams to meet agent and client demand, we're ready and excited to support new markets like Miami."
The Homeward Cash Offer was designed to eliminate the limitations of the traditional financed offer, turning the everyday buyer into cash buyers. By partnering with real estate agents, Homeward will make a cash offer on behalf of the agent's client. Then, clients obtain a mortgage, from Homeward or the client's preferred lender, and buy the home back from Homeward.
"Miami real estate agents and their clients are fatigued from the endless competition of the last few years, with no relief in sight. In March alone, 64% of properties in Miami received multiple offers," said Brian Gubernick, Homeward's Chief Real Estate Officer. "Sellers aren't just looking for the highest offer — they're looking for the strongest offer that they can rely on not to fall through. By eliminating the finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, our Homeward buyers go under contract more frequently, making it a win-win for all parties."
Growing in every sense, except in housing
In the past ten years, Miami has experienced a 14% increase in population. Dubbed one of America's "boomtowns", household names like Blackstone, Goldman-Sachs and even Subway, are choosing to open offices in Miami. With population on the rise, as of February, the area has experienced a 29.7% increase in the average cost of a home year over year, but it still falls below major cities like New York, San Francisco and the like, sustaining its appeal.
Cost coupled with population growth has put a strain on the housing supply; as of March, Miami's year-over-year inventory of single-family homes decreased 29.2%, meaning more business, more people and less homes.
Three companies, one great experience
Homeward launched two affiliate companies — Homeward Mortgage and Homeward Title — which are both now licensed to operate in Florida.
"Traditionally when you purchase a home, you're shuffled around from company to company to get the deal done, often paying thousands of dollars in closing costs," Gubernick says. "At Homeward, we believe we can bring the cost down for clients, without sacrificing agent's commissions. By having Homeward title and mortgage under one roof, we're able to minimize redundancy, streamline the process, and as a result, save money for the buyer."
"Bundling services saves homebuyers money, time, and effort", Gubernick says.
Partnering with real estate agents
Demand for Miami real estate will only increase as the population and job opportunity grows. Real estate agents are facing an outsized need for innovative solutions to help their clients.
"With our entry into Florida, we're continuing to scale and expand our services while keeping the real estate agent central to our mission," Gubernick says. "So many real estate innovators are looking to diminish or replace the traditional real estate agent, but we believe the agent will continue to be the root of the transaction, guiding clients through this major purchase."
Homeward's solutions are available to any agent, but the company strategically partners with top brokerages and teams, providing dedicated support, white-label branding, and digital marketing tools to help them generate more leads.
Homeward has continued to build on last year's success. Through Feb '22, the company recorded a revenue increase of ~5x YoY while launching partnerships with over 50 brokerages across the country.
"Our team at Homeward is really excited about helping Miami agents and their clients," Heyl says. "We know that buying a home is a huge financial decision for clients and a complicated process for agents. We're looking forward to offering a better, more convenient experience."
Creating customer-centric solutions
Both of Homeward's solutions — Buy before you sell and Buy with cash — involve two transactions. Homeward buys homes with cash on behalf of a client, then the client obtains a mortgage and buys the home back.
Cash offers are four times more likely to beat financed bids. Compared to the national average of 27% of US home sales made in cash, as of March, Miami was seeing cash offers account for 52% of condo closed sales and 28% of single family homes. For Miami homebuyers, remaining competitive with a cash offer has never been more important.
Buy before you sell customers get the competitive advantage of cash plus the ability to move into their new home before they list their old home. This gives them the confidence and certainty they need to put their old home on the market.
"Although interest rates are rising, the market shows signs of continued competition," Gubernick says. "From the first-time homebuyer who is struggling to get their foot in the door to the client who wants to buy a vacation home in South Florida, there are countless ways the clients and agents alike can leverage our Homeward products to win in this market."
The expansion into Florida marks an exciting step toward Homeward's goal of launching up to 20 new markets by the end of 2022, with plans for expansion into the coastal markets of Oregon and Washington later this year.
Homeward is a modern home finance company that helps real estate agents and their clients overcome the limitations of traditional mortgages. The Homeward Cash Offer eliminates finance, home sale, and appraisal contingencies, enabling homebuyers to win with cash and, when necessary, to buy their new home before they sell their old one. Homeward has an office in Austin, TX, but operates with a fully remote workforce. If you're an agent, please visit https://landing.homeward.com/fl/florida to learn how to make every client a cash buyer.