The new Podium program aims to give agents an easy way to sell their most difficult properties to investors.

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A new program from New Western invites agents to partner with them and help offload their most difficult listings to its network of investors.

The Podium program — an acronym that stands for pocket listings, outdated, distressed, inherited, ugly, move now — was launched by New Western at the beginning of 2024 with the goal of offering agents an easy way to sell their most difficult properties to investors on New Western’s platform.

Kurt Carlton, president and co-founder of New Western, told Inman he believes the program should hold significant appeal to agents for two reasons: it will help them offload difficult-to-sell properties almost instantly, and they will get a 2 percent referral fee for every transaction.

“Most Realtors don’t look for or don’t advertise for properties that are $100,000, and you leave the property with fleas,” Carlton said. “These aren’t the ones they want on their websites. They’re not the ones that are the most profitable for them.”

Since launching in 2008, New Western has built a business model of acquiring undesirable homes and selling them to local investors for rehabilitation. Its platform currently has over 200,000 investors in markets across the nation. With Podium, they aim to help real estate agents tap into that pool of investors.

“They’ve got to have this tool in their tool belt, especially since we’re expecting a lot more of these distressed value-add opportunities to start coming through,” Carlton said.

Carlton said he hopes the program helps to correct a number of misconceptions he believes those in the real estate community have about investment properties, such as that investors have to buy below-market properties and that the MLS is the most efficient marketplace for investment properties. 

“We’ve purchased thousands and thousands of properties directly from the MLS, and we’ve resold them for more on our marketplace,” he said. “So for these types of properties, there is just diagnostic proof that the MLS is just not the best place for them.”

Since launching at the beginning of January, Carlton said the program has been met with some skepticism from agents who say they already work with investors and don’t need any additional programs to help them do that. Carlton’s response is that New Western’s platform opens them up to a whole new network of investors they may not have had existing access to.

“Why don’t you add us as well? We’ve got 200,000 real estate investors on the platform, so if you’re thinking about maximizing value, that is just a great resource,” he said.

New Western is partnering with eXp, Keller Williams Realty, and Mark Spain Real Estate for the program, which is so far active in the Denver, Washington, D.C., and San Antonio markets, with approximately 1000 listing agents currently signed up.

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