Move acquires Doorsteps to ‘humanize’ buying process

Company helps educate homebuyers and connects them with agents and loan officers

Move

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information on leadership changes at Move and other recent acquisitions made be the company. 

Realtor.com operator Move Inc. announced today that it has acquired Doorsteps, a move that the company said enables it to take possession of new tools that shepherd consumers toward homeownership. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Doorsteps’ human and holistic approach in providing home buyers with the content, tools and professional advisers needed in the process aligns perfectly with Move’s vision and existing offerings,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, in a statement.

Doorsteps, which launched last year and opened its platform up to consumers in January, helps homebuyers and their agents walk through the homebuying process together. The platform details the steps homebuyers need to take to prepare for a home purchase — like understanding different types of mortgages and helping to determine an appropriate price range — and helps connect them with professionals along the way.

Real estate pros use the service to help walk their clients through the homebuying process and to advertise themselves to prospective homebuyers as the right person for the job.

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Video from Doorsteps describing the Doorsteps platform.

Doorsteps helps “humanize the process of connecting professionals with their clients” in a number of ways, Move said. They include:

  • A detailed, streamlined platform that guides homebuyers toward homeownership.
  • An online workspace that helps agents connect with leads.
  • A place for loan officers to connect with qualified consumers.

“Unlike traditional customer relationship management, which focuses mainly on ‘lead management’ and ‘sales pipelines,’ Doorsteps uses technology to facilitate, build and enhance the collaborative relationships between buyers, agents, lenders and service providers,” Move said in a statement. “The journey-based experience — and the rich data it collects — should translate into far-higher conversion rates than old lead-generation tools, which typically focus on quantity over quality.”

Move’s acquisition of the collaborative homebuying platform mirrors rival Zillow’s purchase of Buyfolio, a collaborative home search system, last October.

Move has taken several steps to refashion itself recently, bringing on some new execs, acquiring companies to bolster its services and re-branding its core property realtor.com.

In April, Move’s former chief revenue officer, Errol Samuelson, who also serves as president of realtor.com, was named chief strategy officer at Move. In July 2012, former Yahoo vice president of global consumer marketing Barbara O’Connor joined the firm to lead its marketing efforts. And late last year, Google exec Jennifer Dulski took a seat on Move’s board.

Move has also bought several companies in the last year. Most recently, the company purchased an electronic housing-trends newsletter produced by eFrogPond Inc. that agents who use Move’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool, Top Producer, may now subscribe to.

In October of last year, Move purchased Relocation.com for $11.5 million. The company is a lead-generation business for moving professionals.

Only a month before that, Move acquired real estate lead-generation and management firm TigerLead Solutions LLC for $22 million. The acquisition was intended to complement Move’s CRMs with the more immediate lead-to-close services offered by TigerLead.

And in the summer of 2011, Move snatched SocialBios at an undisclosed price. The company, named “Best Tech Startup” at that year’s New York Inman Connect event, helps agents transform their websites into hubs that allow visitors to see how they are connected to agents through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Gmail and Linkedin.

In March, Move rolled out a revamped realtor.com, the official real estate search portal of the National Association of Realtors, and an aggressive, consumer-focused marketing campaign to go with it, aimed at helping realtor.com regain some ground it lost to Zillow and Trulia last year in Web market share.

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