Commission advance startup backed by Serhant launches in South Florida

Firm also offers advances to developers and brokerages

RLTY Capital's Briggs Elwell and Ryan Serhant  
RLTY Capital's Briggs Elwell and Ryan Serhant

RLTY Capital, a fintech commission advance startup backed by Ryan Serhant, is expanding to South Florida, The Real Deal has learned.

The New York-based firm, led by co-founder and CEO Briggs Elwell and co-founder Daniel Kennedy, is backed by Serhant’s brokerage, as well as by Related Companies Senior Vice President Chris Schmidt and Elegran CEO Michael Rossi. The company launched in New York City earlier this year and plans to operate across the country.

Like other commission advance firms, RLTY will purchase a stake in an agent’s commission for a discounted price. Unlike other firms, it does not need the approval of an agent’s managing broker or manager, and RLTY will typically pay the agent within a day, using its proprietary AI-enabled platform. It also does not limit the size of deals on which it will advance cash, which means it can provide advances to multimillion-dollar deals.

“There are a lot of commission advance companies. I didn’t want to do that,” Serhant said, citing firms that he said can be shark-like with exorbitant fees.

Serhant said the strength of the South Florida market is “one of the big reasons why RLTY chose to expand there next.”

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Residential sales have soared in the tri-county region, as out-of-state buyers continue to move to South Florida, driving prices up. Serhant, a celebrity broker, was involved in the nearly $123 million sale of a Palm Beach mansion earlier this year, which set a record for the entire state. (That price likely does not include commissions and other fees.)

Serhant said many agents in New York who also operate in Florida have been requesting the commission advance service.

“South Florida was a logical transition for us given the success we’ve had in New York,” CEO Elwell added.

In addition to agents, RLTY works with brokerages to provide advances on their share of commission, as well as with developers for new development deals, Elwell said. The startup will be presenting its services to brokerages in South Florida.

Serhant compared the advances to small business loans, and said they are geared toward agents who want to expand their businesses and their brands. RLTY will purchase up to 100 percent of a commission, but it traditionally targets up to 80 percent.

Since launching in April, RLTY has been involved in hundreds of deals and purchased commission stakes in the millions of dollars, Elwell said.

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