Meet the Uber of Brazilian real estate

The startup gets ahead by sidestepping brokers

Rio de Janeiro. (Credit: Pixabay, Max Pixel)
Rio de Janeiro. (Credit: Pixabay, Max Pixel)

A real estate startup is giving brokers in Rio de Janeiro a run for their money.

Quinto Andar, founded in 2012 by two Stanford MBAs, is a ready-made brokerage, property manager and insurer  offering would-be tenants and buyers an easy way to save money and find a new home — and, the best part for many? They get to avoid Rio’s current brokers as Bloomberg reports.

Quinto Andar was born out of a pervasive frustration with Brazilian brokers where bad quality photos on listings are just the tip of the iceberg. Brokers often avoid questions about properties, force interested parties to schedule a viewing if they want answers — often only to find the property is nothing like the listing — and that’s not counting the “hidden costs” and bureaucratic hassle before, and after, you ink a deal. (And you thought New York was bad?)

“This is a real pain for people, and it’s a 200 billion-real ($60 billion) market,” Gabriel Braga, one of the founders, told Bloomberg. “If we can fix this problem the consequences could be huge.”

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Quinto Andar’s 500-person team recently expanded into Rio and already its presence is being felt.

“There’s no way I’m going back to another broker,” Vicente Velazquez, a 31-year-old doctor, said to Bloomberg. He plans on using the service next time he’s moving home. “Quinto Andar is going to be like Uber is to taxis.”

Meanwhile, 200 brokers in Sao Paulo are getting nervous.

“They took a large part of rentals in Sao Paulo,” said Debora Mendonca, the Rio brokers’ association president, to Bloomberg. “We’re definitely concerned.”

The startup has raised more than $21 million in two funding rounds so far. [Bloomberg]Erin Hudson