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New real estate web service plans 100 new Livonia jobs

Livonia Observer
Posted By Marketplace Homes on June 25th, 2015

A company that moved to Livonia only three years ago is already looking to more than double its workforce, adding 100 new jobs.

Marketplace Homes recently announced a spinoff company, ZipTours, a mobile real estate platform designed to give home buyers an online view of homes, online scheduling of appointments and live-streaming discussions with an agent regarding the home during a visit. As a result, the company is looking to expand their office, adding 100 new jobs in a variety of areas, including in real estate, technology and support.

The service will also allow home buyers to place an offer on a home right from their computer or smartphone.

“Now, all of a sudden, we’re going to need a whole bunch of people to do that,” said Dustin Bosscher, Marketlace Homes’ CIO.

The company moved to Livonia in 2012 after sharing office space in Plymouth. Their offices currently employ more than 80 people, and all 100 new jobs will remain in their offices in Livonia, even though the company works in real estate all across the country. The new service will become a separate entity from Marketplace Homes.

CEO Mike Kalis said the company began just as home values, especially in Metro Detroit, began to drop. The next step after working as a brokerage, Kalis said, is to expand this service, developed completely in Livonia.

“It’s been eight years,” he said. “It seems like a really short time, but also a really long time.”

Kalis said he hopes the service, which is available online and in the Apple App Store and Google Play, will become a revolutionary next step in real estate, much like how websites Trulia and Zillow advanced the online listing of properties for sale.

“These companies transformed the way search happens,” he said. “Today, ZipTours transforms the way people buy a home.”

Those with experience working with Ruby On Rails, a web application development framework, are especially desired, Kalis said. The company is located on Laurel Park Drive and its website is ZipTours.com.

Company spokeswoman Elyse Sarnecky said the online system went live Thursday, and is specifically designed for home buyers looking in southeast Michigan. The service is expected to expand to include rental properties for those not ready to by a home.

It’s a service, she said, that’s truly unique.

“No one else offers this at all,” she said.
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