By M.L. Dehm HBJ Freelance Writer
SMOKEY POINT — Asset Realty Group, a leading technology-based real estate brokerage, is opening a new office at Smokey Point. It will be the first Snohomish County location for the company that opened in Kirkland in 2005.
“We’re very excited to be expanding into Snohomish County more aggressively,” said company founder and president Chad Storey. “We’ve done a lot of business there but we’ve never had an office.”
Storey sees the new location as an anchor for top sales producers, giving them a local base so they don’t have to drive to Asset Realty Group’s main office in Kirkland.
What has made Asset Realty Group stand out over the last seven years is a unique software tool Storey developed himself. The software automatically identifies undervalued listed properties in real time and alerts buyers immediately.
“When banks liquidate properties or someone just wants to sell their property quickly, our software is constantly scanning the market, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), every five minutes,” Storey said. “The minute a property comes on the market that is listed below value, we notify our subscription base.”
Similar to online retailers such as Amazon.com, Storey’s software tracks the type of properties subscribers want and builds a profile based on their preferences. When a below-value property comes on the market, the database is scanned and an email alert goes to people looking for properties that match a location, price range, square footage and other variables.
It’s a tool Storey built using his own real-estate investment experiences and programming knowledge from his time with Microsoft. The Texas native is descended from a prominent Dallas real-estate investor. When Storey sold his venture-funded company, Lockdown Networks, for a handsome profit, he found he needed to reinvest his money. Real estate was in his blood.
“I wanted to have a bunch of rental properties that were creating residuals,” he said.
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Storey began buying properties but soon became frustrated. He didn’t believe he was getting very good deals and he knew there were better deals available. The more he researched bank foreclosures and distressed properties, the more he became aware of how hard it was to identify good deals in time to purchase them.
The old process of identifying undervalued properties was cumbersome and there was no quick, easy way to be notified when a value-priced property came available in his desired area.
“I wanted to be notified in real time,” he said. “Like a text message or a tweet. Give me the information when the property comes on the market. But the real estate agents didn’t have a way to do that.”
In order to overcome this difficulty and ensure better deals on future investments, Storey became a real estate agent. This gave him better access to the MLS and other data he needed. His next step was the long-term development of his software.
“It’s been a long road but it has been very, very fruitful,” Storey said.
He has enjoyed watching agents using his platform and feels humbled that industry veterans have praised the resource. It’s a tool that should be useful regardless of the state of the market. It has already shown its worth in the post-meltdown real estate market.
Now more than ever, Storey explained, investors are able to purchase bank-owned properties at low prices as financial institutions try to recoup their losses. Investors can sometimes pick up million-dollar properties for half the price, but buyers must be prepared to act when a property comes on the market or it will be gone. Properties listed for a fraction of their value typically get several offers upon listing and are pending immediately. Prospective buyers who don’t know the property has been listed can’t make an offer.
For those who want a fast turnaround on a property to sell, Storey’s tool ensures that investors looking for similar properties will be instantly notified when the listing becomes active.
Asset Realty Group has offices in Kirkland, Silverdale, Tacoma and Olympia. The Smokey Point branch, which has had a soft opening, will celebrate a grand opening on Dec. 4.
“I believe in the north end. There is a lot of opportunity,” Storey said.
He has plans to open offices in California next year and hopes to expand to Hawaii in the next few years as well.
For more information, go to www.assetrealtygroup.com.