UPDATED: November 5, 10:30 a.m.: Warburg Realty’s Clelia Peters is branching out further beyond traditional brokerage.
Peters, Warburg’s president and an early investor in real estate tech startups, has joined the board of Side, a venture-backed brokerage based in San Francisco.
Founded in 2017, Side provides back-office and marketing support for high-producing agents who want to grow their personal brands. Unlike traditional firms, it gives agents the ability to run their own virtual businesses while providing access to white label tools and tech, including marketing and automatic transaction management.
The two-year-old firm, which counts 500 agents in California and Texas, has grown largely by hiring top agent teams. Last month, Ben Bacal, one of Los Angeles’ most prominent luxury agents, left Rodeo Realty to go out on his own. His brand, Revel Real Estate, is powered by Side.
A company representative said Side agents generate $5 billion in annual sales.
Peters said Side’s approach to brokerage is “extremely innovative,” particularly as new entrants look to disrupt the industry.
“I think Side is building the most interesting platform, targeting high-performing, entrepreneurial teams,” she said, “and I think that will be an interesting place to play in.”
Peters said she does not view her roles at Side and Warburg as conflicting. Side, she said, is almost like an alternative to the franchise model for the 21st century.
“In the world that I anticipate, there will be a space for high-touch services of the sort that Warburg provides to its agent clients,” she said, “as well as tech-enabled services like those provided by companies like Side.”
Until recently, Peters was a partner at MetaProp, the New York City–based accelerator and venture investor now raising a $100 million fund. MetaProp was formed by Peters, Aaron Block and Zach Aarons in 2015.
Peters said she left the team earlier this year. “I wanted to pursue other opportunities in this space,” she said.
MetaProp had been an early investor in Side, and Peters said she maintained a close relationship with founders Guy Gal, Ed Wu and Hilary Saunders over the years.
Peters said the firm is developing tools to “meaningfully improve” agents’ day-to-day workflow. For example, it developed a front-end tool that allows them to enter listing information only once rather than having to repeatedly enter data into the MLS and other portals.
Side has raised more than $36 million from investors including Trinity Ventures, Matrix Partners, 8VC and MetaProp, according to Pitchbook. The company said that figure is inaccurate but would not disclose its total funding.