7 Seattle Startups Changing Our Housing Market for Good

These Seattle real estate companies and startups are changing the housing market as we know it.

Written by Quinten Dol
Published on Jun. 18, 2024
7 Seattle Startups Changing Our Housing Market for Good

Think piece articles that do little more than groan about Seattle housing costs are about as tired as out-of-towners commenting on the rain. We all live here. We all get it.

So while commentators grumble and Amazon rumbles with city hall over the head tax, a swath of local startups are bringing innovation to the real estate industry from all angles. Here are some of our favorites — and they’re all growing.

Top Real Estate Startups in Seattle

  • Knock
  • Flipt
  • Faira
  • Blokable
  • CityBldr
  • RentHoop
  • Flyhomes
Flyhomes Startups Seattle

What they do: Flyhomes is giving home-seekers the boost they need to secure their next house at an excellent price. The company offers affordable loans and mortgage options while providing additional home-buying services. Customers can focus on their new house as the Flyhomes team sets up their current home for the selling process.

How it’s changing real estate: Clients can enjoy more peace of mind since Flyhomes gets customers pre-underwritten and helps them avoid bidding wars. In addition to these benefits, the organization delivers rates that are faster and more competitive than traditional options. Flyhomes prepares and lists a client's current home while providing financial support for the new one, making the transition between places seamless. 

Location: Seattle  

Founded: 2016


knock rentals seattle real estate companies
Knock Rentals

What they do: Knock Rentals provides an online communication and booking platform which facilitates communication between real estate agents and home seekers. Their dashboard provides real estate agents with analytics, prompting them to follow up with potential buyers and serving up lists of prospects who might be going stale or people who’ve booked a tour at a listed property. Agents can also call or message their prospects through the platform.

How it’s changing real estate: The industry’s average response time to listing inquiries is a sloth-like 40 hours, and the interactions themselves generally involve a convoluted back-and-forth across phone calls, emails and text messages. By bringing all those interactions onto one platform, Knock hopes to simplify the process.

Location: Seattle

Founded: 2014


flipt real estate company seattle

What they do: FLIPT combines AI and big data to help real estate agents win listings from home sellers at earlier stages in the selling decision.

How it’s changing real estate: FLIPT’s artificial intelligence sifts through social and housing data to identify homeowners going through life-changing events (empty nesters, retirees, etc.) who could potentially be looking to sell their house. The technology then creates targeted, personalized ads on mobile apps — reaching them long before the competition.  

Founded: 2014


faira seattle real estate companies

What they do: Faira works with real estate buyers and sellers, aiming to improve transparency as a home changes hands. They provide a technology platform, transparency reports and marketing services to all parties — so no nasty surprises after buyers have made their down payment. The service is free for sellers, while buyers are charged 0.5 percent of the final sale price. The company is betting that access to independent inspections, disclosures about possible issues and a title report on the listing will give buyers enough confidence to justify the fee.

How it’s changing real estate: Buying and selling homes is a confusing and costly business, and Faira claims to save the average seller around $20,000 in various fees.

Location: Kirkland

Founded: 2015


blokable seattle real estate companies

What they do: Blokable has garnered a fair bit of media attention for its small, portable housing units, which measure between 18 and 34 feet long. The units are built at a facility in Vancouver, Washington — the company’s software, manufacturing and product teams work in Seattle — and are then shipped to their new owners. They come fully integrated with smart home technology to control plumbing, heating and electricity, and can be stacked five-high. Best of all, they start at just $58,000 per unit.

How it’s changing real estate: In a city plagued with issues of affordability and homelessness, it’s not hard to see the applications for cheap, portable and dignified low-cost housing in Seattle. Founder Aaron Holm said he’s convinced that the world needs a “beautifully designed, safe and software enabled building that can be ordered and delivered rather than built on site.”

Location: Based in Vancouver, WA with teams in Seattle.

Founded: 2016


citybldr seattle real estate companies

What they do: CityBldr uses artificial intelligence to gather disparate sources of city data and decide the best use for pieces of land. The company functions as a real estate broker, connecting developers with owners of underused properties, and takes a fee off the transaction.

How it’s changing real estate: A year ago, GeekWire reported on seven landowners whose Shoreline properties sat near a planned light rail stop. They’d recently been rezoned from single-family to multi-use residential properties, which, together, would create enough space for a large housing development. CityBldr identified the opportunity and contacted the landowners, informing them that their properties would fetch far higher prices if they all sold up together.

Location: Seattle

Founded: 2016


renthoop seattle real estate companies

What they do: Frustrated and adrift in Craigslistland, founder Paul Burke (pictured above with his team and favorite work snack) took the Tinder “swipe left-swipe right” model and applied it to roommate hunting. Targeted at recent college grads, Renthoop helps home seekers briefly vet potential roommates before they swipe and begin chatting.

How it’s changing real estate: The traditional roommate vetting method (i.e., wait until after you’ve signed the lease to discover your new roommate’s psychoses) was ripe for disruption. Renthoop hopes to eliminate some of the guesswork.

Location: Seattle

Founded: 2015


Images via featured companies, social media and Shutterstock.

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