Own My Pad LLC
Innovation: New for-sale-by-owner realty website
For a lot of people, the process of buying or selling a home without help from a licensed Realtor seems like a daunting task. However, more than 700,000 homes in the United States. were sold in 2007 by owners, according to Cory Savage, president of Franklin-based Savage Solutions, LLC.
Since there are so many homeowners who decide to sell their properties on their own, Savage is trying to tap into that market by making the home buying and selling process easier.
“My wife and I had been house hunting with a Realtor for a few months,” Savage said. “We stumbled across this great for-sale-by-owner house, and our Realtor couldn’t even help us make an initial offer. There was no one to help us.”
Upon further research, Savage discovered that the for-sale-by-owner home market was an increasingly popular one, but no one, in his mind, had really capitalized on the idea very well.
He developed the idea for a new website called Own My Pad with his business partner, Jim Higgins.
“Own My Pad is different from other for sale by owner websites in that we have a very clean look,” Higgins said. “Everything about the site is clean, simplistic and easy to navigate.”
Throughout their research, Higgins discovered that the for-sale-by-owner home market is heavily dominated, both on the seller and buyer side, by suburban middle class families who know little or nothing about real estate.
“We wanted to make the platform as easy to use as possible,” Savage said. “That was the plan from the beginning. We know these people aren’t experts. They don’t know everything about real estate. They just want to sell or purchase their house.”
Higgins has had experience working with major consumer brand corporations such as McDonald’s Corp., The Coca-Cola Co., and Kellogg Co., and is responsible for the design of both the Own My Pad site and its cartoon frog that Savage hopes will warm the realty industry.
“The frog is really representative of the friendly nature we want to portray in our site,” Savage said. “It’s remarkable to me how Jim was able to make it really come alive.”
Savage first came up with the idea of the cartoon frog in their first meeting about Own My Pad. By the end of the conversation, Higgins had sketched the frog nearly identically to the way it appears on the site today.
Own My Pad is a subscription-based service. Users pay $19.99 to post their listing on the Own My Pad website and have full access to Google maps, yard signs and upload capabilities for photo and video.
“It only made sense for the service to be subscription based,” Savage said. “It was a good way for us to make sure that only current listings stayed on the site, and it helps out customers by only charging them for what they use.”
According to Savage, other online for-sale-by-owner sites typically charge an annual flat rate fee and can have listings up that are three or four years old.
“This way, people only pay for what they use, and members will be more likely to take their listing down once sold if their credit card is getting charged every month,” Savage said.
One of the most unique feature capabilities on Own My Pad is the ability to upload home videos, Higgins said.
“It allows homeowners to give a personal tour of their home, and highlight key points they deem unique,” Higgins said.
Users are able to shoot video footage and upload it to their Own My Pad account in a matter of minutes, and then shoppers can take a real life tour of the house for sale via the home video and even communicate with the seller on interests or things they want to see more of before coming to visit, Higgins said.
The Own My Pad website is currently live and accepting new listings. Higgins and Savage are still looking for investors, and hope to add a simple how to tip list on selling a home without a Realtor, and what to include in a home for sale video and listing. The two plan to launch the website in the Midwest first and expand from there.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for someone to sell their home on our site,” Savage said. “We want it to be a one stop shop for home sellers and buyers, and we want to do it in a friendly easy to use and understand sort of way.”