HomeFinder.com acquires Open Home Pro, maker of popular agent iPad app

Listing portal providing marketing services to network of 20,000 agents

Screen shot of the Open Home Pro iPad app.Screen shot of the Open Home Pro iPad app.

Real estate marketplace HomeFinder.com has acquired Open Home Pro, maker of a popular iPad app of the same name that helps agents capture and keep in touch with leads gathered at open houses.

In addition to collecting open house leads, the app also helps agents determine whether a prospect is already working with another agent, allows them to set up automatic emails and notifies potential homebuyers when changes are made to a listing they’re following.

The companies claim that more than 35,000 users have downloaded the app – currently for sale in the Apple Store for $14.99 – since its launch in 2010.

Launched in 2009 by media giants Gannet Co. Inc., The McClatchy Co. and the Tribune Co., HomeFinder.com features more than 4 million listings that attract upwards of 3.4 million unique visitors a month to a network of more than 375 news sites, including the ChicagoTribune.com, Azcentral.com and MiamiHerald.com. In addition to the 130 websites operated by its owners, HomeFinder.com powers real estate search on more than 200 websites belonging to GateHouse Media through a May 2011 agreement.

HomeFinder.com also sells advertisting and provides marketing services like Open Home Pro and single-property websites to a network of 20,000 real estate professionals.

“(The app) makes something agents do on a weekly basis much easier,” HomeFinder.com President and CEO Doug Breaker told Inman News. Part of the appeal for the acquisition, he said, was the app’s high rating in Apple’s app store and its lofty volume of paid users.

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With HomeFinder.com’s traffic, reach and large technology team, Breaker says his firm has the resources to take the proven product a couple of steps further. An Android version of the app is already in production, and other opportunities include integrating Open Home Pro into customer relationship management platforms, and giving users the ability to advertise their open houses through HomeFinder.com’s network.

Open Home Pro founder Andrew Machado, who had previously stepped down as CEO of the firm, will not join HomeFinder.com. Machado joined ESPN in April as a senior product manager of its “SportsCenter” mobile app.

“I’ve put a lot of time and energy into making an app that agents love and I feel good about leaving it in the hands of the team at HomeFinder.com,” Machado said in a statement. ”I know they will only continue to improve upon the work that’s gone into the app so far.”

Open Home Pro Chief Technology Officer Robert Malko will make the transition to HomeFinder.com.

Before the HomeFinder.com acquisition, which closed in December, Open Home Pro scuttled an iPhone app it released in December 2012 that helped agents create listings and single-property websites on the fly. That app just didn’t realize the same traction that the iPad app saw, Breaker said.

In February, HomeFinder.com joined more than 150 vendors chosen to participate in Re/Max’s “approved suppliers” program. Approved suppliers typically offer Re/Max broker-owners and agents discounts that Re/Max has negotiated for them.

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