17 Austin startups making the real estate industry smarter

Kelly Jackson

While real estate experts continue to talk of an Austin bubble in the market, these locally-grown companies have created solutions for buyers and sellers to get smarter with their home buying, selling and renting habits. 

From tightening renter relations between the tenants and the landlords to skipping the commission take by realtors, here are 17 Austin startups making it easier for realtors, renters, homeowners and leasers alike to operate in real estate.


What they do: The international vacation property rental online hub, HomeAway, lets travelers browse and book vacation homes, and property owners can advertise and manage bookings.

Founded: 2005


What they do: RealMassive supports commercial real estate professionals with a CRE marketing and management toolset that helps realtors research their markets, promote properties, and get real-time marketing performance insights based on listings. 

Founded: 2013


What they do: Homeowners looking to sell can skip the listing commissions — saving thousands of dollars — by using ListingSpark's full-service, self-directed online brokerage system for $7/day. 

Founded: 2013


What they do: The Accruent team offers comprehensive systems for facilities and real estate management by providing site management, lease management, project management, facilities management, asset management, and facility capital planning software and services built to specific industries. 

Founded: 1995


What they do: Online Rentals LLC created USARoomies as a members-only networking chat platform for finding roommates via a website. Users create their own profile, display the room available for rent, network and communicate with potential roommates and meet like-minded individuals. 

Founded: 2012


What they do: Home sellers have a faster, more efficient way to stage their empty homes for sale by utilizing the Virtual Staging Solutions' platform. Instead of having to move furniture in then immediately back out, users send them the photos of their place, then the team at Virtual Staging fills it. 

Founded: 2009


What they do: Renovate Simply connects homeowners with trusted contractors to find the best price by answering a couple of questions online. Their online tool analyzes pricing data from renovation projects to provide users with an accurate estimate for their project. Then they use a matching system to connect them to a vetted, certified contractor from Renovate Simply's local network.

Founded: 2015


What they do: Vast serves as a big-data-as-a-service platform providing consumer experiences — powered by data and analytics — for big purchases in automotive and real estate. 

Founded: 2005


What they do: Real HQ launched Agent Pronto, a free online service helping interested home buyers and sellers connect to local realtors. Users answer several questions about their selling or buying intentions, then Agent Pronto matches them with a realtor based on the realtor's area, knowledge, experience, performance, client reviews and personality.

Founded: 2010


What they do: Formerly Kwelia, the renter's online guide, RentHub provides a real-time market overview, with a rent calculator, map of hot renting spaces, and data analytics supporting the rental housing marketing environment.  

Founded: 2011


What they do: Winner of the 2015 SXSW Accelerator Award for Social Technology, RealSavvy builds websites for top realtors and brokers with a Pinterest-ish style and approach for home search, drip marketing and CRM. 

Founded: 2014


What they do: Simplifying the way tenants and landlords communicate back and forth, TenantCloud developed a free cloud-based service with personal portals. Landlords and tenants can pay and collect rent online, market rentals, communicate, store rental information, move in and out tenants, send maintenance requests and more. 

Founded: 2014


What they do: Homads offers a marketplace for short-term and monthly sublets in Austin, broken down by neighborhood. Users can make online payments via the Homads platform designed for subletting and include ratings and reviews of the properties.  

Founded: 2014


What they do: TurnKey Vacation Rentals presents a comprehensive online market and management service for homeowners renting their properties for vacationers. Their services include rate management tools and 24/7 inquiry responses, helping owners grow their vacation rental revenues by increasing bookings and maximizing rates. They have local, highly trained staff in each market, trusted vendors, and the latest technology to keep homes safe and clean.

Founded: 2012


What they do: For both commercial and residential real estate, Rethink gives the commercial broker a CRM and deal management system, and the residential brokerage with CRM and lead management tools, tracking the entire sales process from lead to close. 

Founded: 2007


What they do: For the hunting community, HuntingLocator lets hunters search properties to hunt throughout the country, granting access to communicate directly with landowners, outfitter and guides and visa versa to prep the next hunting excursion.

Founded: 2015


What it does: Based on a learning algorithm analyzing thousands of demographic, psychographic, social, mobile and traffic data points, the IdealSpot platform helps retailer and restaurant owners select business locations based on real-time data, without human bias. 

Founded: 2014


Images provided by listed companies, social media and Shutterstock. 

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