Condo.com founder Richard Swerdlow and Haüskey founder Neel Kawale partnered to launch Condos.com, an iBuying website for new development and preconstruction condos, The Real Deal has learned.
The partners are hoping to capitalize on growing demand for new condos and the rise of buyers embracing online shopping for real estate.
Swerdlow and Kawale said they invested several millions of dollars in Condos.com, which includes a 24/7 concierge.
Swerdlow, a Miami-based real estate and proptech investor whose other ventures include BulkCondoDeals.com, has owned the Condos.com domain for about a decade. The pandemic accelerated his and Kawale’s plans to partner on the website, as developers pivoted to virtual sales, Swerdlow said.
Condos.com follows a similar model as Kawale’s Toronto company, Haüskey, does in Canada.
Condos.com launched with about 60 projects, the majority of which are in South Florida, as well as some in California. Buyers can pay for their units using Escrow.com, Better.com, Spark, and if they want to use cryptocurrency, BitPay. Condos.com will generate revenue off of commissions and will offer commission rebates to buyers that can range from $10,000 to $100,000.
The website includes a combination of listings that are exclusive and not exclusive. The new development marketplace is fragmented and lacks transparency in its current state, with developers controlling the release of units and pricing, Swerdlow and Kawale said. Prior to the pandemic, they often required an in-person visit to a sales center for deals to move forward.
“In new construction, developers don’t release all the inventory at once. Brokers don’t disclose all of the pricing,” Swerdlow added. “We wanted to peel the curtain back.”
They plan to expand to markets such as Austin, Nashville, Chicago and Atlanta, Kawale said. Condos.com is selling units from PMG, OKO Group, Newgard Development Group and other developers.
Unlike Condos.com, Condo.com features listings for resale units across the country. Condo.com provides weekly condo data to TRD. Last year, Swerdlow teamed up with South Florida developer Bruce Goldstein to launch Bulk Condo Deals, betting on the growing distress of condo markets in the U.S.