Austin broker Lara Gabriele is developing HomeWayz, a system to help small brokers compete with the tide of “agent-displacing” third-party products, that will debut at Inman Connect Las Vegas.
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Inman was given a sneak peek at the cleverly named HomeWayz, an agent productivity platform that will be debuting in full at Inman Connect Las Vegas this summer.
Developed by Austin, Texas-based broker Lara Gabriele who, like many agents who have turned into software-company CEOs, needed a solution the proptech market wasn’t providing.
HomeWayz performs a number of functions on the way, but a standout is its showing scheduler and route builder.
Agents create a list of homes to be shown and enter a start time, which is communicated to each listing agent. If the times can’t be confirmed or need to be adjusted, HomeWayz automatically realigns the schedule accordingly and alerts each listing agent to the new times.
The tour is linked directly to Google Maps, which sends it to the buyer for review.
While at each listing, the software engages the buyer, prompting them to respond to a live survey about it, inquiring about needs versus wants, “Does this home meet your need for a two-car garage? Does it meet your need for three bathrooms?”
HomeWayz then presents the buyer and agent with a percentage report of features needed and wanted.
Agents have been burdened since the dawn of time by the ever-fluctuating home choice drama of non-committal buyers. And while HomeWayz won’t solve this mystery (who can?), this feature can certainly arm the agent with a little hard evidence when it comes time to put their buyer on the stand about their selection criteria.
It also demonstrates that this is software intended to directly addresses a major industry pain point, as opposed to another business productivity tool cloaked as real estate software.
“I love real estate,” Gabriele told Inman. “But I hate the way technology is being used to displace us.”
Listing agents receive the survey feedback, as well, and can use HomeWayz to search for buyer matches through other showing survey results.
Multiple listing services have provided room for listing feedback mechanisms for years; but, it’s not strongly encouraged or actively leveraged as a sales tool.
This is the age of deep data, a time when MLSs are thrashing at the surface to maintain their collective position as confident vessels of member cargo. Yet, despite being merchants of so much industry data and intelligence, MLSs continue to watch as the deckhands flood the bridge for access to the helm.
HomeWayz is implementing another, totally unique feature for its users — covert showing security.
Through a national contracted security company, account holders can have a security professional attend open houses or ride along on showing tours, sometimes disguised as another buyer. And the security firm has a habit of hiring retired Navy SEALs, former special operations personnel or other forms of military-trained security and defense specialists.
Gabriele made the uncharacteristically savvy move of hiring a front-end developer early on in her process to execute her vision, which has resulted in a software experience visually mature beyond its years. It will likely ebb and flow until its final release, probably for the better.
“I’m very tech-minded, and I’m loving this process … but we’re not all going to KW, so I want to build something for the small brokers,” Gabriele said.
Her plans call for a few other features, such as a transaction tool, listing-based communications tracking, handwritten thank-you card mailers and a gift referral mechanism to be couched under a “Sphere of Influence” module, among a few other value-adds.
While the prospect of a transaction management tool may vault HomeWayz into a much tougher category for Gabriele to gain traction, there are ways to tread into that milieu without having to elbow for market share among the likes of dotloop or Lone Wolf.
We’ll see what HomeWayz has to offer on Startup Alley in July. Look for the woman wearing elbow pads.
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