A San Francisco real estate technology company is opening a new regional hub in Tampa, and planning to hire more than 100 workers in the process.
HomeLight, a platform that refers home sellers and buyers to agents and other services, announced Monday that it will base the Florida operations of its title and escrow division, HomeLight Closing Services, in Tampa’s Westshore district.
The company’s offices at Concourse Center, 3505 E Frontage Road, will be its headquarters in a state that it sees as a key booming market. HomeLight plans to hire about 100 new workers in Tampa — tripling its current local workforce — followed by another 500 across Florida.
“We’re live in all 50 states, but a vast chunk of our growth — and I’m talking north of 50 percent — comes from the big three, which is California, Texas and Florida,” said Ankur Bansal, president of HomeLight Closing Services. “If I look at the next year, Florida is the most appropriate market for our product.”
While HomeLight is a digital enterprise, Bansal said it needs boots on the ground in key markets in order to comply with state and local regulations, understand local trends and better connect with agents.
“We really try to be really close to the agent,” Bansal said. “We don’t try to replace them; we try to help them with technology. Part of that is to be where our agents are. Agents are a local business. If our agents are in Tampa, we need to be in Tampa.”
The company looked at Miami and other cities for the hub, Bansal said, but picked Tampa for its culture, affordability and talent pool. It chose the Westshore area because of its proximity to other real estate and title companies, making it easier to recruit new employees. The company expects to hire not only from the real estate sector, but from law firms and banks as well.
HomeLight’s Concourse Center lease is for 3,500 square feet, nearly triple its previous space in Tampa. But the company has an option to lease the entire floor, up to 20,000 square feet. Bansal believes that if their hiring goes as planned, they could get there within a couple of years.
HomeLight CEO Drew Uher has said he expects the company to see revenues north of $300 million in 2021, and the company has explored launching an initial public offering.