Direct Real Estate: What is it?

Nick Narodny
Nov 12, 2021

What is Direct Real Estate?

Over the last decade consumers experienced the shift to direct models across multiple industries. As you read this right now you have the ability to book flights, arrange a vacation rental, and buy a percentage of stock in a company all in a matter of minutes. Gone are the days of booking with a travel agent, calling a taxi company, or working with a stock broker. It’s not just time and money consumers are saving today, but we are more empowered and more informed than ever before. 

10 years ago the problem was we didn’t know there was another way - a better way - until Collaborative Consumption/The Sharing Economy/Access-Based Consumption rapidly evolved the consumer experience for the better. Now we have the resources and the confidence to book that trip or make that trade. It’s the new normal, and when that ease of access isn’t available it feels abrasive, frustrating, and disempowering. 

So, why hasn’t real estate gone direct?

We feel the economy of the sale is broken for consumers, and we should celebrate anything that removes the middleman. In a typical real estate transaction you can have 30-50 different people involved, and the timeline of a sale is typically 3-4 months. Not only does all of that add up to fees and commissions being taken out of your profits, but there’s a greater likelihood for miscommunication and it’s all too likely that something will slip through the cracks. People enter into a real estate transaction hopeful and optimistic only to come out on the other side feeling burnt out by the entire process. As we’ve seen in other industries, going direct creates a streamlined transaction. In the case of this industry, direct real estate creates more liquidity for the ease of movement that younger generations want and need.

Why we haven’t seen the shift to direct models in real estate is due in part to the fact that real estate transactions emerge in certain lifecycle stages (post-college, working professional, newlywed, starting a family), and when someone is ready to transact they will not typically repeat that process for 5-10 years. Unlike using Uber around the city which we might experience 10 times in a week, buying or selling a home is something you might experience once every 10 years. 

For a long time, middlemen played a key role in American life. Consumers just didn’t have the knowledge, influence, or technology that is now available to us on demand. And today, for all that consumers do for themselves, even that term — consumer — doesn’t really fit any more. A more accurate term would be something like Director. Today people direct their lives, insist on going direct, and expect to hear directly from the source. But as anyone who’s bought or sold a home in the last hundred years can attest: Direct isn’t the norm everywhere. 

In fact, real estate is anything but Direct - It’s opaque, complicated, and filled to the brim with middlemen, each taking their cut. The result? Billions in earned equity siphoned from an already struggling American Dream. 

At Aalto our view is simple: homeowners should be able to share their selling timeline and terms directly with qualified buyers who can then make offers when a matching home comes along. It’s more convenient AND financially friendly to sellers and buyers, alike. The only downside (for iBuyers, anyway) is that the arbitrage disappears. Aalto is the direct real estate marketplace, democratizing real estate for consumers.

For too long, real estate has been made for the middlemen and the industry, not consumers. 

The direct real estate marketplace allows for a transparent, simple, and efficient experience.

Aalto is made for the consumer who is frustrated with the current real estate industry and craves a different way to get the job done. Technology has changed everything in their lives, and they will welcome a tech-based solution to handle their biggest asset. They are not luxury consumers, but rather, they seek a practical blend of value and quality. Sellers get top dollar with no stress by simply getting started on Aalto with no overhead. Then, they can easily move forward empowered with data, a waitlist of buyers, and fair fees. Buyers get access to new inventory with no games, more transparency, and less wasted time. They can also get educated by fair, unbiased resources that help them make the right purchase. 

With Aalto’s direct listing, both buyers and sellers can now hit their real estate goals.

Share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us at We’d love to hear from you and we’re here to help!

Aalto is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, License #02062727 and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. This article has been prepared solely for information purposes only. The information herein is based on information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy of the information. Aalto disclaims any and all liability relating to this article.

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