New site matches homebuyers with sellersJuly 11, 2018
By KATHLEEN MESSMER
Herald News Intern
HUNTINGBURG — Father and son duo Tim and Jacob Brewer of Huntingburg have cofounded a new company, VillaPar, to ease accessibility and communication between homebuyers and sellers.
About a year ago, Tim and his family were in Florida for a spring break trip. During their trip, they were interested in looking at purchasing a vacation condo or home; however, it was difficult for the family to schedule a period of time to do so because real estate agents were busy.
“We thought to ourselves, ‘Well, perhaps the person who was in New York or another state who had their vacation home down there really wanted to make sure that the property is always readily available for prospective buyers. But they really have no choice when they are at home or somewhere else,” Tim said. “If these homes had digital lock capabilities, we could just go in and look.”
Thus, the idea for VillaPar was born. The website launched about two weeks ago.
Though Tim and Jacob are the cofounders, Tim’s wife, Cindy, and their daughter, Amanda, also help out with the company.
Tim has been doing technology-type work for over 20 years, with an undergraduate engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
His son, Jacob, is entering his senior year at West Virginia University, double majoring in finance and management information systems with a computer science minor.
Tim and Cindy also flip houses on the side, buying and selling homes and reconditioning them to make them more viable to the community.
The cofounders, Tim and Jacob, combined their knowledge of technology and homes to create VillaPar.
The goal of the VillaPar platform is to make homebuying pressure-free and convenient. It is an entire system for homebuyers and sellers, including online scheduling, negotiations, updates and feedback.
“Homeowners may sell their homes on the website as a ‘for sale by owner,’ enabling them the opportunity to sell their home at a fraction of the cost than through traditional real estate agents,” Tim said.
If a buyer comes across a home listed online that they are interested in, VillaPar gives sellers the option to allow prospective buyers to walk through without an agent or seller present. If a buyer chooses to do so, they have the ability to schedule, view the home in person and negotiate their agreement without speaking to a single person.
Although VillaPar allows buyers to search for homes on the site, buyers can also inquire about homes they drive past and then walk through the home without having to contact anyone.
“Popular in new home construction, but can also be added to homes, are digital lock systems,” Tim said. “If you (homeowner) get a digital lock, VillaPar will provide you with a pass code. If you say you want to look at a home, it will text you the code and you can do the walk through.”
While walking through the home, prospective buyers can also receive property-specific messages via text from the VillaPar website that are related to the home.
“This gives the buyers more privacy and feel more comfortable,” Tim said. “If they really like it, they can even make an offer from the front porch on their phone.”
The buyer and seller can then negotiate online via VillaPar and come up with an accepted agreement.
The goal of VillaPar is to be accessible across the globe.
The cofounders recognize that the concept of no in-person contact resonates with some people and does not resonate with others.
“People are already doing it with companies like Airbnb or buying a car online,” Tim said. “But you don’t necessarily have to open up your home without being there, you can still be there. The digital lock technology is just an option.”
As Airbnb is for short-term rentals, VillaPar works the same way, only for the home sale market.
Tim says the company hopes to expand into the rental and commercial markets, and even land sales.
“We want to continue to grow, expand and add new features,” Tim said, “We have the technical knowledge, background and experience, so we have the opportunity to bring this capability forward to individuals who are looking for a platform to help sell their homes at a significantly reduced cost.”
Describing VillaPar as a “final exam,” Tim says the company is a culmination of his family’s work. With Tim’s background in technology consulting, his and Cindy’s experience in flipping homes and previous work with e-commerce, and his children’s knowledge of social media and marketing, the Brewer family is confident in the future of VillaPar.
“We are really excited to see traction and for this to take off,” Tim said.
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