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- Listingbook’s new feature allows agents to replace Listingbook’s logo and colors on the company’s platform with those of their brokerage.
- The feature may or may not help with concerns about the aesthetics of the tool.
- Listingbook chooses to prioritize what the platform can do over what it looks like. Not all companies have taken this tack.
For an extra $10 a month, real estate tech firm Listingbook is now allowing agents to brand the company’s platform with their brokerage’s logo and colors.
The new feature may or may not help with a larger concern some real estate pros have about the platform: its design.
A recent Inman story about the data-rich platform prompted a complaint commonly leveled at real estate tech tools in general: Why isn’t it prettier?
It is not lost on agents that tools and apps for consumers often look nicer and have more user-friendly interfaces than the ones agents use to do business. But Listingbook is an agent and a consumer tool, and therefore its looks can determine whether an agent makes a good first impression.
Some Inman readers thought the company could do better. They said:
- “Just from reviewing its website, Listingbook has a great platform but needs to invest in the aesthetics of the front end for consumers.”
- “The UI [user interface] is light-years behind the times and the feature set isn’t groundbreaking.”
- “The blockish Web design looks very 2001.”
- “I much preferred the old design. The new product is written in Flash rather than HTML5, thus it is slow. The map is not proportional in heights to width, and you feel claustrophobic trying to find a zone level that is big enough to read the streets yet covers a large enough geographical area. Sorry, but I quit using it after AI [the latest version of Listingbook] was released. Instead of having a planned migration adding features, they blew up the bus.”
In response to reader concerns, Listingbook said it was prioritizing what the platform can do over how it looks.
“We have learned that functionality is far more important than aesthetics — Listingbook has spent millions improving its functionality, and our agents have told us that they love what it does for their businesses,” said Listingbook spokeswoman Liz Kaplan in an email.
“We will continue to make improvements in Listingbook’s aesthetics, but functionality should always come first: There are a lot of pretty UIs that fail because they just don’t work and they just don’t scale.”
Not everyone has taken this tack. For instance, W&R Studios’ MLS listing alert tool Cloud Streams and Homesnap’s “Pro” mobile app have been specifically designed to offer beautiful user interfaces along with comprehensive data from local multiple listing services. Whether they offer as many functions as Listingbook is arguable, though.
Listingbook offers consumers a password-protected platform that serves up MLS data, local community information, points of interest, school information, property tax data from public records, geographic boundary overlays, and analyses of local market conditions and comparable properties.
The platform also includes a patented collaboration feature that allows agents to see their clients’ search activity, designate listings they think their clients would be interested in and exchange private messages with clients. They can see when their clients log in, what they search for, what they view and what they favorite.
The company’s new feature, dubbed “My Listingbook,” allows agents to control one aspect of the platform’s design: the branding. For $9.95 a month on top of a $19.95 monthly Listingbook Pro subscription, agents can replace Listingbook’s logo and colors on the platform with those of their brokerage.
“As far as the pricing, we believe Listingbook agents will find great value in creating a seamless experience for their online customer engagement that promotes their personal brand, not a third party,” Kaplan said.
“For only $9.95, My Listingbook will essentially allow agents to make Listingbook a complementary matching back end to their own personal websites so that they create a fully branded experience for their clients and prospects in all aspects of the home search.”
Kaplan compared the new feature to sprucing up a home.
“Before, if you had Listingbook Pro, you were able to put out a very nice, custom welcome mat. Now you’re able to paint the whole house,” she said.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that W&R Studios offers MLS listing alert tool Cloud Streams, not Cloud CMA as previously noted. Cloud CMA is another product offered by W&R Studios.