Online real estate service HomeGain is resurrecting a Web-based home-valuation tool the company created six years ago.
The company has revamped www.homevaluecma.com and made it live in beta, or test, form and plans to offer an API — which stands for Application Programming Interface — to its 300 partner sites, which include various newspaper Web sites and other portals.
An API enables those sites to place the home-valuation tool on their pages, attracting consumers to click through to HomeGain’s affiliated real estate agent sites. And HomeGain eventually will pay the partner sites for the traffic they drive to agent sites, according to Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain.
Cammarosano couldn’t say when the company would release the API and offer the pay-per-click program. “Right now it’s just a beta test of the Web site,” he said, and none of the company’s partner sites are displaying the home-valuation tool at this time.
HomeGain created the home-valuation program in 2000, but turned attention away from it to focus on its Agent Evaluator program, which enables consumers to compare real estate agents before selecting one to help them buy or sell a home, Cammarosano said. At the home-valuation site, consumers can get a property’s value estimate and also view homes for sale in the same area. Consumers also can find and compare Realtors and choose to receive offers from agents in their market areas.
After the initial computer-generated home-value estimate, consumers can choose to receive a more personalized comparative market analysis, or CMA, from a local Realtor. Cammarosano said consumers who take this step represent “more qualified leads” for agents because they were serious enough to request an agent’s analysis.
“We’re not claiming our site is the place to get information, but the place to find a Realtor to get the information,” he said. For nearly every home-value estimate requested, HomeGain has an agent partner to show consumers what homes are for sale nearby, he said.
A number of companies have launched Web-based home-value tools after venture-backed Zillow launched its beta site in February. Zillow also recently announced that its valuation tool would be available as an API for industry professionals to display on their Web sites.
This week, Visient, a real estate technology company, launched a home-value tool that uses public record and multiple listing service data. The home-pricing technology integrates into real estate brokers’ Web sites, and offers consumers basic property information and recent home values. For a more detailed look, consumers have to register and the broker will then send them a branded CMA.
HomeGain was founded by Inman News publisher Bradley Inman, who sold the company to Classified Ventures in July 2005.