Oh, mercy! How ’bout the interface on that app?!

Animated Estately Flip

Estately’s Flip lets you sift through homes by swiping listing photos.

Estately has launched “Flip,” a feature part of its iPhone app that lets users weed out listing search results by swiping photos on their touch screens, much as singles may filter out potential mates on the dating app Tinder.

“It’s a lot like dating,” Galen Ward, CEO of Estately, said about Flip. “If you look at the front of the house, and know a little bit about it, you can rule out probably 80 percent of them.”

Users may activate Flip from a traditional search results page and then swipe to trash or save listings. Then, when users return to the traditional search results page, saved listings will appear at the top of the search results page, with the trashed listings buried at the bottom.

Flip appears to be the second online real estate product to take a page out of Tinder’s book. Doorsteps Swipe, launched in April by first-time homebuyer tool Doorsteps, also lets users sift through properties by swiping.

Will other real estate apps jump on the Tinder bandwagon?

If the “swipe interface” is as suitable to listing search as Ward says it is, perhaps they ought to. Ward said in a statement that “flipping is the modern news feed” and that swipe interfaces are “easy to use and intuitive” for buyers.

“They help people quickly narrow down an overwhelming list to find their dream home,” he said in a statement.

Ward said Flip isn’t a “fantasy app” or testing ground for first-time or aspirational buyers, like Doorsteps Swipe (though Ward said it could be used in that way).

It’s an optional functionality of the Estately iPhone app that buyers can choose to use instead of its list or map-based format for listing results. One way Flip caters to more serious buyers is by displaying more information on properties upfront than Swipe.

Flip also can program instant alerts for properties that a user saves (by swiping) that notify a user anytime a home’s price or status changes.

Estately was a little late to the game with mobile, rolling out its first iPhone app at the beginning of  2014.

At the time, Ward said the company took its time to polish off the “first real estate app that is truly designed for the mobile era.”

“We’re focused on being 10 out of 10 on the iPhone,” he said, adding that Estately has no plans to release an app for Android in the near future.

In conjunction with the release of Flip, Estately also debuted its first iPad app, the No. 1 request from Estately users, Ward said.

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