As easily as a seller agent could use the Homeselfe RE app to augment their listing presentation with an energy analysis, a buyer’s agent could use it to highlight outdated HVAC systems or an antiquated water heater — and justify concessions.
Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.
HomeSelfe RE is a home energy analysis app that allows agents to brand an array of reports and energy usage profiles.
Platforms: iOS, Android
Ideal for: All agents and teams; those who specialize in green homes or working with energy-conscious clients
Top selling points
- Enhances home marketing
- Interactive user experience
- Tracks down appliance/energy-related rebates
- Built by established energy data company
- The app could work in opposition to its intent. Buyer’s agents could use it to argue for a reduction in price due to inefficiencies.
What you should know
As easily as a seller’s agent could use the Homeselfe RE app to augment their listing presentation with an energy analysis, a buyer’s agent could use it to highlight outdated HVAC systems or an antiquated water heater — and justify concessions.
Neither case means the app doesn’t fulfill its promise to provide a comprehensive look at how a home’s major systems are performing.
Homeselfe RE asks for information about faucets, fixtures, electronics, water heaters, thermostats, light bulbs, heating and cooling, and major appliances.
The app checks a database of brands and products to look for potential upgrades, Energy Star ratings, and even rebates you may not have known were available.
Using the information provided, the app lists every opportunity to save money: changing a few lightbulbs, applying new seals, leaky windows and exterior facing doors — the works. It projects dollar amounts saved over time.
The reports have informative visuals and easily digested data. They’re fun to read. And with that, I find the user experience pretty slick.
Users stroll through the house, filling in data per room about every aspect of power and resource usage.
Common knowledge? Maybe for agents
I think most of the recommendations this app provides are already common knowledge for experienced agents, but when I spoke to Dawn Lane, a broker-owner with Professional Realty Group in Las Vegas and an early adopter of Homeselfe RE, she advised me that while agents may understand ways to save on energy costs, homeowners lose sight of it.
“People forget about these things once they’re in a home, and don’t know about the rebates that may be available to them. This app provides all of that,” she said.
Lane added that the app has provided her good social media interaction after she posts a report as a way to advertise services or simply share a client’s savings. “I get comments from past clients wanting home energy reports. I really believe in this app.”
Lane is also a member of the NAR (National Association of Realtors) REach mentor program, which helps connect innovative businesses with the real estate industry. (Lane has no financial or business relationship with Homeselfe RE.)
The branded reports could add a touch of flair to a listing presentation, but I struggled with how an agent is going to convince his or her client to make energy system upgrades in a home about to list for sale.
However, Lane said it’s not about that; it’s about showcasing the energy advantages that are already in a home.
“If I’m going up against another agent, I can walk the client through the house with the app and show them other things we can use to sell. They love it.”
The app was developed by Energy Datametrics, an established energy management software company.
Homeselfe RE also white labels a version of the app for agents to provide their clients. This would make a nice touch at closing, as the software’s real value is to homeowners, not real estate agents.
I would use this app to slowly implement changes over time after I bought a house.
This is no doubt a good-looking, sharp piece of mobile software backed by a sophisticated energy analysis company that works alongside big-timers. I admit that at first it was a stretch for me to envision how it could earn a real estate agent more business.
As Lane’s comments show, my opinion isn’t always the only one that matters.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.