• HomeHawk earned a 4-star review a year ago and has since added more tools to keep consumers engaged, including the ability to let homeowners collect market data and home estimates.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Like agents, chatbots must learn new skills to stay competitive. Since my initial review a year ago, HomeHawk has done just that.

Consumers can now use the Facebook Messenger tool to unearth sold data on more than 90 million properties thanks to an application programming interface (API) integration with Onboard Informatics. This allows potential sellers to perform their own quick and dirty comparative market analysis (CMA).

Users can also ask HomeHawk for an estimated value of their home, which includes a range for high and low projected sale prices in case the seller has had recent renovations that could add value.

The app is ultimately designed to be a lead warm-up tool for agents — there is no intent to dislodge the agent as the service provider.

It is, however, another example of the industry shift from data provider to service provider; today, consumers come armed with information, and agents have to show them how to use it.

HomeHawk has also included a library of witty GIFs into its chats to “cater to a new generation of homebuyers so it’s more fun to explore,” founder and CEO Erik Johnson told me.

The app can be launched directly form HomeHawk’s homepage. I was very surprised to see that, despite it being almost a year since using the chatbot, our last conversation was intact.

HomeHawk can also retrieve a home’s tax information “property taxes” or “tax records” commands.

In March, as part of its handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook put a hold on approving new apps until it could complete an audit of how current vendors use customer data. But because HomeHawk was launched more than a year ago, its updates were not impacted by the audit.

“… we were already in there, so we were not affected,” Johnson wrote in an email to Inman. “I know they have some exciting things coming down the road to make Messenger even better for businesses.”

Facebook is also expected to create new standards and usage rules for Messenger developers.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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