- New home search tool uses Pinterest-style pinning to select and share favorite homes.
- Founder believes that comps are becoming "the old way" to value homes and is working on a subjective valuation model.
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IdealEstate founder Brody Saunders said he wanted to take the best of Zillow, LinkedIn and Pinterest and use them to make a better way for real estate agents to expose their listings.
From what I saw, he’s just about there.
His listing-driven, networking web portal is set to launch in August and has already garnered more than 10,000 early registrations from agents who have “claimed their network.”
Saunders noted in our conversation that the primary user demographic of Pinterest is almost identical to the largest demographic holding a real estate license: women ages 35 to 55.
It makes sense then, that IdealEstate looks very much like Pinterest. It even uses terms like “pin” and “boards.”
Instead of images of food storage hacks and inspirational quotes, a ListHub integration floods the site with a market’s current listings. Property data is also accumulated from a few public sources.
Agents sign up using their MLS ID to associate with their listings.
New agent sign-ups can also “claim their network” on IdealEstate.
This process automatically sends an email invitation from IdealEstate to their uploaded database of prospects, colleagues and vendors.
In markets where agents work with and recommend the same staging professional or mortgage lender as a competitor, claiming a network provides an agent with a significant advantage within IdealEstate in that those common vendors “should” accept their invite first, and thus be more apt to recommend that agent.
Of course, claiming a network is most important when competing agents share a common prospect.
As the website grows, so will the odds of early adopters being able to best leverage such benefits.
In essence, IdealEstate is cleverly capitalizing on the the industry’s intrinsic spirit of competition.
Consumers browsing and sharing new listing pins register as statistics for agents to view and then act upon.
The plan is that each agent’s vendors will also participate in the sharing and networking.
Best case scenarios suggest that painters will use the site to share recent work, as will kitchen remodelers, landscapers and, of course, aspiring home owners, who will use IdealEstate to share potential options with friends and family.
Individual listing and agent profile pages are sharp, visually organized and engaging. Contact information, branding, and other listings are easily found and shared.
IdealEstate has “Pro” and “Consumer” user models. Professionals will pay a subscription fee, which should be set a couple of weeks before official launch.
Agents can import their networks from a wide array of CRMs and sources. The plan is to add as many as it will take to ensure agents can use the platform.
Saunders has more plans for IdealEstate. He’s considering a “crowdsourced” home pricing tool, similar to Zillow’s Zestimate, but based instead on the combined subjective opinion of value from agents and consumers.
His thought is that comps are becoming antiquated as a valuation method, especially in markets where inventory shortages are creating hyper-competitive buying environments.
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