Gravy, an application built to support renters in their homebuying process, has been acquired by Clever Real Estate, a company that specializes in educating consumers about agent choice and the overall transaction process.

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Gravy, an application built to support renters in their homebuying process, has been acquired by Clever Real Estate, a company that specializes in educating consumers about agent choice and the overall transaction process.

Inman learned of the deal in a Jan. 8 press release, which, along with not disclosing terms of the deal, said that Gravy executives and co-founders Jeff Dinter, Jimmy Lien and Will Dunn, will become part of Clever.

Gravy’s core competency is in financial literacy and resources for renters, anchored by a rewards program that deposits a percentage of a user’s monthly rent payment into a savings account intended for future homeownership. It was reviewed by Inman in 2022, and noted as a “beautifully designed app inspired by fintech user experiences, but not weighed down by all kinds of account access features or internal up-sells.”

“Clever gives us a platform from which to expand the scope of Gravy’s mission,” said Jeff Dinter, Gravy co-founder and CEO, in the release. “In the future, our tech will serve not only renters but also homeowners, sellers, and repeat buyers. With Clever, we’re tapping into an engaged audience of over 10 million people each year coming to Clever for online advice, data, and education — who we can now bring into personalized interactive experiences inside the Gravy platform.”

Dinter will become Clever’s Vice President of Product.

Clever’s model is similar to Homelight in that it attracts agents willing to work at a reduced fee in exchange for its consumer-facing marketing outreach and available resources. The company states its network includes 20,000 agents across every state.

Clever finds its leads with extensive content marketing and reams of articles on its website designed to educate consumers on a vast range of real estate topics. The company uses calls-to-action, published research, and other tactics to vet potentially actionable buyers and sellers, and only begins the matching process when a user explicitly states they’re ready to speak to an agent.

In a February 2023 call with Inman, Clever’s Senior Vice President of Partnerships Tony Chahal said that more than 20,000 sales have originated with its service.

“Typical online leads close about three [percent] to seven percent of the time, ours close at 13 to 17 percent,” Chahal said.

An in-house team further vets the lead and gathers basic details, such as budget, location, wants, needs and the other items essential to being defined as a quality lead.

Leads that surface in an area with competing agents registered with Clever will be sent to the agent who ranks higher according to the company’s performance evaluation. There’s a timed response mechanism for claiming leads, too.

“We were blown away by the quality of Gravy’s technology and the impressive traction their LaaS [Loyalty as a Service] platform had with lenders and real estate agents,” said Luke Babich, Clever co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “There is a loyalty arms race in real estate, as lawsuits challenge the structure of buyer’s agent fees and incumbents such as Rocket Mortgage invest huge amounts into their own loyalty apps. Clever is leading the charge in equipping our lender and Realtor partners with the networks and technology they need to compete with the best — and win.”

Gravy’s LaaS is a white-labeled solution for real estate agents and mortgage providers that centers on sustaining client relationships after an initial transaction, a long-standing business hurdle for both industries.

Clever states that it has saved consumers “more than $160 million on Realtor fees” and has an average TrustPilot rating of 5-stars.

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