- Agents can use HouseLens' new real estate vendor marketplace to find and transact with photography, 3-D tour and video providers.
Real estate agents are embracing the “on-demand” zeitgeist, increasingly answering email inquiries, firing off comparative market analyses (CMAs) and showing homes lickety-split.
“As real estate agents rise to the occasion in this area, their vendors have to do the same,” says Andrew Crefeld, CEO of HouseLens, a real estate marketing services provider.
To nudge real estate vendors toward an on-demand service model, HouseLens has unveiled an online marketplace where real estate agents can hire photography, video, 3-D model and drone tour providers.
At launch, the company is opening up the platform to its network of more than 100,000 real estate agents.
HouseLens, which has raised at least $3 million in funding, directly provides real estate photography, 3-D and video services across 40 markets. But HouseLens’ “MarketPlace” offers a hub where agents can discover and do business with any vendor who signs up, not just HouseLens.
“We saw a real need in the industry for an online hub where agents and photographers can connect directly, and we’re filling that need with an easy-to-use platform that puts everything at the agents’ and photographers’ fingertips,” Crefeld said.
On the platform, agents can search vendors, view their work (including 3-D home tours), request quotes, put projects out for bidding, receive content from vendors and send payments.
They can also post reviews on vendor profiles, creating the potential for a directory of rated professionals in the future.
In a sense, HouseLens will foster competition for itself through MarketPlace, pitting its in-house photographers against others. But the platform generates new revenue and exposure for HouseLens, putting the firm at the center of a business ecosystem.
HouseLens collects a $10 fee on every transaction conducted through MarketPlace. And it integrates with HouseLens’ business management tool for real estate marketers, improving the value of the product.
Moreover, the company recognizes that some agents want more customized marketing, such as lifestyle-focused listing videos, than the content provided by HouseLens, said HouseLens spokeswoman Kathryn Rosyter.