Former Coldwell Banker CEO Joins Houwzer Board of Directors

Posted on Apr 14, 2021


The Move Signals Next-Gen Brokerage is Poised to Break From The Pack

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Note: Inman subscribers can read the Inman story here.

Charlie Young, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Coldwell Banker, is joining the board of directors at Houwzer – the all-in-one real estate company that’s re-defining the industry with proprietary technology, a flat-fee listing model, and salaried real estate agents. Young's belief in Houwzer is the strongest signal yet that the company has found the winning formula. 

Young joins industry veteran, Austin Allison, Co-Founder and CEO of Pacaso (and previously Dotloop which sold to Zillow), which recently raised its Series B round achieving venerable unicorn status. Rounding out the Board is pet-insurance veteran Natasha Ashton (former Co-Founder of PetPlan) and Michael Kopelman, General Partner and FinTech lead at Edison Partners, the Princeton-based growth equity firm that led Houwzer’s Series A funding round just over a year ago.

“There’s been a lot of attention paid to the iBuyer model, but not enough focus on next-gen brokerage models like Houwzer,” said Young. “Houwzer truly offers the consumer all the benefits you get from a technology company but coupled with experienced, well-trained, full-service real estate agents. With increased commission compression and growing scrutiny of the 1099 independent contractor model, Houwzer’s flat-fee, salaried agent model is the future of real estate brokerage.”

A veteran of both the mortgage and real estate industries, Young joined Coldwell Banker – one of the world's leading real estate brokerage franchises –  in 2004, first as SVP, Marketing and was ultimately promoted to President and CEO in 2016. Young stepped down from his role in 2020, but continues to be a prominent voice in the industry.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have someone like Charlie join our Board,” said CEO Mike Maher. “His depth of industry knowledge and experience is unmatched, and he brings a ton of strategic insights to the business. He also knows the complexity, uniqueness, infrequency, and emotion inherent in this transaction and why real estate agents will remain a critical component of the winning models over the long-term.”

Houwzer is exposing industry flaws and flipping the traditional brokerage model on its head, so adding a heavyweight from one of the oldest and most established traditional real estate brands validates its differentiation. Houwzer is re-imagining the real estate industry by creating significant consumer savings with its flat $5,000 listing fee, providing agents a base salary with benefits, leveraging new technology to streamline the transaction, and bringing mortgage and title in-house. This approach allows agents to prioritize client goals rather than commissions. 

“I’ve never seen agent productivity numbers this high – and especially at the level of customer service they’re delivering,” said Young. “Their mortgage and title attach rates are also the best I’ve seen over my career and across the industry.”

Home sellers save an average of $15,000 when working with Houwzer’s full-service listing agents, and the brokerage maintains a very strong 4.9/5 star rating average with thousands of reviews across multiple platforms. The company also just hit $1B in cumulative sales volume milestone, all while maintaining a companywide net promoter score of 84.

“Traditional brokerages put the agent first, but there’s no real connection to the customer,” said Young. “Other models attempt to put the customer first but intentionally cut out the real estate agent. Houwzer puts both the agent and the customer first. It’s the first model I’ve seen that elegantly reimagines  the relationships between the broker, the agent, and the customer — so everyone wins. I’m truly excited to work with this emerging brand that has the chance to fundamentally change the way people buy and sell homes.”


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