Real estate startup Homing In has partnered with Century 21′s second-largest franchise worldwide, San Diego-based Century 21 Award, offering the brokerage’s 1,000 or so agents exclusive access to showing requests from the startup’s mobile app in their market.
Las Vegas-based Homing In offers a free mobile app that allows prospective buyers to find the nearest available real estate agent who has signed up with the app, and request a showing in real time. Home shoppers and agents can also share real estate photos and notes with each other, as well as anyone else with the app.
Consumers are matched with an agent based on patent pending technology that includes the proximity of the agent and which agents have already been inside the property that they want to see, the company said.
As part of Homing In’s strategic alliance with Century 21 Award, only that firm’s agents will get showing requests in the firm’s market area, which includes San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties, even if the listing agent is with another firm. Agents with any firm will still be able to take pictures and notes through the app and share them clients.
“Century 21 Award has always been committed to providing its agents with cutting-edge technology to give them an advantage in the marketplace. This alliance will allow us to better connect local buyers of real estate directly with our agents,” said David Romero, the firm’s president and CEO, in a statement.
This is Homing In’s first partnership with a brokerage, though other deals are in the works with well-known brands, according to Todd Miller, Homing In’s co-founder and CEO.
He declined to say how many properties had been entered into the app by agents and consumers.
“The numbers of properties doesn’t matter because for every showing request the user has to take a picture, so if it isn’t in the app, they just snap a quick pic standing out front and they can now request the showing,” he said.
“All the pics and data in the app are crowdsourced.”
The app’s current reach is limited: a search in Emeryville, Calif., turned up only Miller himself — who is a Las Vegas real estate broker — as the nearest agent. The nearest property was in Los Angeles, which is nearly 400 miles away.
Miller said that, for testing purposes, he shows up everywhere on the app and far-away consumers who reach out to him are told there is no agent in their area using the app. All other agents must be within 25 miles of the consumer to show up on the app.
A somewhat similar app, Curb Call, which connects agents and consumers based on their location and availability, was a runner-up in a “hackathon” hosted by real estate brokerage and franchise giant Realogy in November. That app has not officially launched.