Tech-focused real estate brokerage Owners.com, which operates in all 50 states, has announced the launch of three, new consumer-facing features for its mobile and desktop websites.
- Property matches based on a homebuyer’s desired features
- Instant property tour scheduling
- Post-tour property reports
“Shopping for homes has historically been a tedious and sometimes overwhelming task — buyers spend an enormous amount of time sifting through hundreds of properties, manually scheduling multiple showings, and then trying to remember the key details of each property after the showing,” said Owners.com VP of Growth Marketing Dario Cardile in a statement.
“Owners.com is now making this entire experience far easier, by personalizing the search process and introducing tools to manage showings and tour observations.”
The property preference-based matches are generated using an algorithm based on buyers’ must-haves, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage. Buyers will be able to label the features either as “nice to have” or “important.”
From there, Owners.com will rank each listing as an “excellent match,” “very good match,” “good match” or “poor match” based on how well it fits the buyers’ preferences, and highly ranked properties will be highlighted in the search results.
The two property tour features allow buyers to schedule multiple home tours on the go, and after the tour is over, buyers will receive an emailed property tour report that includes listing photos, a listing description, neighborhood data and notes taken by the buyers and their agent during the tour.
To schedule a tour, buyers must click the “schedule tour” button on a listing. Immediately, they’ll see a pop-up where they can choose the date and time.
From there, an owners.com agent will review the property tour request and either confirm or reschedule it, to avoid double-bookings.
The brokerage says the new features are a response to survey results where 46 percent of buyers “want their agent to keep track of all their appointments, viewings or follow-ups in one place” and another 42 percent “want the ability to schedule showings online.”
“In today’s fast-moving and competitive market, the new Owners.com experience helps buyers save time and make better-informed decisions, increasing their chances of getting into the right home and at the best possible price,” Cardile added.
Although Owners.com is working to build a better experience for consumers, the brokerage has come under fire allegedly treating its agents unfairly.
In June, former Owners.com agent Micheal Lissack filed a suit claiming that owners.com required agents to work certain hours and schedules appointments on their behalf.
According to Lissack, if agents didn’t meet those requirements, they’d be fired — an act that goes against agents’ independent contractor status that enables them to make their own schedules. In light of these requirements, Lissack argued that Owners.com should consider its agents full-time employees, eligible for minimum wage and benefits.
Lissack’s case is still under investigation, and in a previous interview, Owners.com told Inman the claims “are without merit.”