DETROIT, MI--(Marketwired - Nov 17, 2015) - One of the hottest technology innovations in home buying and renting is not coming from Seattle or California's Silicon Valley: It's made locally in Metro Detroit. ZipTours is the first platform worldwide that allows consumers to use their smartphones to schedule a home showing and view the home with a real estate agent connected via a live streaming video. Buyers and renters can even make an offer on their mobile device.

Home buyers are also being offered extra incentives that could save them thousands of dollars in closing costs, simply by using ZipTours. "If you purchase a home using ZipTours, but need to sell your current home, we will sell your home before your move for only a 1% percent commission -- or we'll buy it!" says Marketplace Homes CEO Mike Kalis, the Livonia, Michigan firm offering this technology breakthrough.

"First-time home buyers and investors can also save thousands of dollars in rebates using this technology," Kalis adds, noting that first-time buyers receive a 1% discount when using ZipTours to buy a first home. "We realize there are people who still want to pay a much higher commission or pass on saving money, but if you'd love to save cash and still have a full-service brokerage experience, this is made for you!" Kalis says his firm's buyout program offers to relieve customers of their homes for "about what they would net out paying with a standard home sale."

ZipTours was created by Marketplace Homes, known as one of the nation's most innovative and progressive real estate brokerages. Being hailed as "the biggest change the real estate industry has seen since the invention of online listings," ZipTours, a home buying and renting platform powered by a mobile app, was "made for Millennials as it puts control of physically seeing a home in the consumer's hands," notes Kalis.

Research released last week by the National Association of REALTORS shows consumers need for on demand home showings: Nearly 2 in 5 of all home buyers -- 38 percent -- drive by homes they have found on the Internet, but don't get out of their cars to look inside, according to the 2015 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report. "Why?," Kalis asks. "Because agents are locking consumers out of seeing the homes they want to look at when they want to look at them. That's bad for buyers, renters and agents as it either delays or stops a transaction cold. It's a big inefficiency that the real estate industry can fix with ZipTours," he adds.

Kalis draws from this analogy by describing the impact of this new technology: "Zillow made it easier for consumers to find homes, ZipTours makes it easier for consumers to see them," Kalis says. Kalis explains that Marketplace Homes' staff of fully licensed real estate agents provides consumers "the most convenient and safest way to buy or rent their next home."

Millennials, Kalis notes, love ZipTours. "Millennials are technology centric and they want more control of the home buying process," he says. Now numbering 83.1 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials already represent 32 percent of the U.S. home buying market and 68 percent of First-Time Buyers, according to NAR research, and growing. They also are the largest source of new demand for rental housing, but Kalis knows that they will control the majority of home buying in the future, as 84 percent believe buying a home is a good financial investment.

Most importantly, NAR research shows that Millennials are greater users of technology to buy a home: 94 percent use online websites, 66 percent use mobile devices or apps, and nearly two thirds search for homes on a mobile device. These numbers are 50 to 100 percent higher than the number of Baby Boomers who use technology to buy a home.

ZipTours, because it powers a mobile device, has an "immediate appeal to Millennials," Kalis says. But it is the efficiency model that they like best. Kalis explains that Marketplace Home agents or ZipTour Specialists are instantly available during hours that most other agents are not. Because ZipTours technology empowers home shoppers to visit the home directly, Kails notes this eliminates the scheduling quagmire that other real estate brokerages put clients through.

"Today, other brokerages require consumers to schedule appointments at times that are convenient to their agents." Kalis says. "Then they have to wait for their agents to show up to be able to walk through a home. Every consumer who has gone through this process has experienced time wasted playing phone tag just to see a home -- and these are the hottest leads the world as they are ready to make an offer," he adds.

"ZipTours also delivers a huge benefit for agents," Kalis points out. "ZipTours gives agents back their lives: they no longer have to miss dinner or their kid's soccer game to run out for a showing," Kalis says. "We leverage mobile technology to improve agent productivity, and that means that a Marketplace Homes agent can show nearly 10 times the number of homes an agent without ZipTours can show. That increases agent productivity, it increases efficiency, our agents make more money with less physical effort and we are able to pass on more savings to client," Kalis added.

Kalis notes that for the better part of the last decade, the entire home rental process -- from application to lease agreement -- has been fully digital. In fact, Marketplace Homes has been using a technology similar to ZipTours, its one-of-a-kind intelliTour offering, to help thousands of consumers tour rental properties without needing a real estate agent physically present. It was the success of this technology that lead Marketplace CEO, Mike Kalis, to expand the solution to for-sale homes, and that's how ZipTours was born.

Kalis explains that while ZipTours is the name of its app available in the Apple Store (here) and Google Play (here), it is more than a mobile app. "ZipTours is really a technology platform," Kalis says. "It makes home shopping safer by verifying consumer credentials upfront, it connects the consumer to a licensed real estate agent via a live streaming video, and it records that video as the consumer enters the house and walks through it with their agent in their hands."

Kalis adds that ZipTours provide home buyers with built-in tools, such as a price score engine that helps a buyer make an offer, and "it even allows a buyer to make a offer for the home -- while they are touring -- on their smartphone, another industry first and a standard feature of the future," Kalis said.

ZipTours provided more than 1,000 tours last month in the 10 states where Marketplace Homes offers properties for sale, most often new homes. In the Metro Detroit area, Marketplace Homes only provides showings of its listings with the ZipTour mobile app. Last year, Marketplace Homes, which has been named Real Estate Company of the Year by the American Business Awards, to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's 50 Companies to Watch, and is listed as one of Inc. Magazine's fastest-growing company in the U.S., originated more than $30 million in home sales last year.

About ZipTours
ZipTours is the biggest change the real estate industry has seen since the invention of online listings. It is the only platform in the world that allows consumers to use their smartphones to schedule a showing, view a home with a real estate agent connected via live streaming video, and make an offer. A technology provided by Marketplace Homes (, one of one of the nation's most innovative and progressive real estate brokerages and based in Metro Detroit in Livonia, Michigan, ZipTours is more than a mobile app: it is a technology platform that makes home shopping easier and safer by verifying consumer credentials upfront, connecting a consumer to a licensed real estate agent via a live streaming video, and its recording that video as the consumer enters the house and walks through it with their agent appearing on their smartphones. The platform powers the ZipTour app, available in both the Apple Store (here) and Google Play (here). Details are available at

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Media contact:

Kevin Hawkins
for ZipTours + Marketplace Homes


Steve Cook
for ZipTours + Marketplace Homes