A real estate lead generation service will unveil a new Web site enabling consumers to order valuations on any home in the United States, make unsolicited offers and write personal reviews on homes and automobiles.
Reply.com says it will relaunch a beta version of its site today that will include residential property and car data, aerial photos and parcel maps, and an area where consumers can provide feedback on a home’s interior and exterior, neighborhoods and communities, among other features.
The site previously included information for consumers on residential real estate, automotives, home improvement, moving services, insurance and financing.
Reply’s business model includes a lead-generation service that connects consumers with real estate agents, which will not change in the new launch, according to chief executive Payam Zamani. The company owns and operates two separate online real estate lead generation services — AgentConnect and RealtyNow — through which it qualifies and validates online consumer inquiries for real estate services, then refers them to real estate brokers and agents within its network for a fee.
Reply’s network of local service professionals includes more than 15,000 real estate agents, auto dealers, financial institutions and other service providers.
“Every home in the U.S. is for sale at the right price,” Zamani said, explaining the company’s new unsolicited offer service that enables consumers to make a specific offer or an indication of interest in buying a home. The company will deliver a hard copy package notifying the homeowner of the offer for a fee of $24.95, according to an announcement today.
Inman News last week reported on a similar concept created with Minnesota-based NeighborhoodNetwork.com. The site includes a pre-market for real estate transactions that allows prospective home buyers to shop for all homes, whether or not they’re actually on the market.
Also, Igglo, a company in Finland, has a similar site that allows prospective buyers to bid for properties that aren’t formally for sale. That company has reportedly photographed every building in Helsinki, and allows prospective buyers to post online offers that can be viewed by homeowners.
Another portion of the Reply relaunch centers on instant home valuations, which many online services and brokerage companies have been offering in the wake of Zillow’s launch in February. Reply says its twist is to combine public record data on more than 70 million homes with comparative market analyses. Reply also will attach a confidence rating to every home valuation, giving insight into what comparative houses were used, Zamani said.
The data used in determining property valuations comes from county records, title companies and companies aggregating this data, Zamani said. Consumers can then choose to connect with an agent for a full-blown comparative market analysis.
Reply was founded in 2001, and last year secured $17 million in funding led by BA Venture Partners. Zamani, one of the company’s founders who also started Autoweb.com, said the company has grown to about 300 employees in the five years since launch.