Although TopHap is terrific for greatly enhancing a listing presentation or helping buyers research new locations, its colored heat-map layouts help users visually digest large amounts of additionally relevant data.
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This post was last updated Sep. 9, 2022.
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TopHap is a map-based market analytics and property intelligence application.
Platforms: Browser; mobile app for iOS
Ideal for: All size real estate brokerages, mortgage professionals and real estate related businesses
Top selling points
- National market coverage
- Companion mobile app
- Comprehensive CMA reports
- Location-based property insights
- Real estate-centric activity widgets
- Ownership data
- UI/UX quality
Things to consider
TopHap’s adoption will come down to those who understand how much power resides in the data beyond what the MLS provides.
What you should know
TopHap (Top Homes And Properties) is a map tool that turns real estate market data across the country into vibrant, easy-to-understand visualizations, ideal for presentations, appraisals, mortgage consideration and investing. TopHap is the type of product that can once again give agents a leg up on market smarts in a time when buyers and sellers have come close to equalizing the field. It has a companion mobile application for iOS, and its Android partner is in the works.
The most simple way to describe TopHap is to say it’s a map-based comparative market analysis tool, but goes further by offering deep data presentations through colorized maps and easy to adjust search parameters. Agents can use it to help buyers predict where to buy next, show developers where to buy land, and help investors find hidden pockets of value.
While TopHap is terrific for greatly enhancing a listing presentation or helping buyers research new locations, its colored heat-map layouts help users visually digest large amounts of additionally relevant data.
For example, instead of knowing what the similar house down the street sold for, TopHap can reveal trends in the subject’s greater community. For example, it can show waves of value increases around the subject and comp, strengthening the agent’s case for how to position the property. It can do the same when it’s time to lower the price.
Users can see exactly how prices change according to benchmark locations, such as a coastline, stadium or Starbucks (the locations of which TopHap includes in its algorithms).
Why is that block of homes a different color? Is that trend moving east?
In other words, buyer’s agents can use the maps to help clients become more informed about how to find a home that’s cheap now, but dead center in the crosshairs of a wave of increasing value.
Agents can stop relying on quarterly reports and circumstantial data to predict “hot” communities or general sales trends. At the very least, use TopHap as another arrow in your knowledge quiver.
The company has released a new user interface for its property detail page that reflects a smarter, more compact take on what you might find on a portal. Because it doesn’t rely on all kinds of behind-the-scenes tech to capture lead data, it loads much faster and delivers a much smoother content experience.
It’s also now national, meaning that TopHap is now able to surface everything from the C02 levels surrounding a Seattle single-family to who owns the mortgage on a duplex in Coral Gables. My only real issue with TopHap was its one-time geographic limitation to California.
I was skeptical about the company being able to so quickly reach across the border of the Golden State because of the sheer breadth and quality of its tools. I wasn’t sure it could be replicated at a pace that would accommodate its cash burn. It didn’t limp into Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and so on. Instead, it went big. And the industry is better for it.
TopHap takes into account all properties, but it can be limited to recent sales or on-market listings. It can search by bedrooms, baths, lot size, square footage and several other common measurables.
This is tangible, exploratory market research, that’s compelling, informative and even fun. And for those who still prefer to have a what would be considered a more traditional CMA report, TopHap has you covered.
In Q4 2021, the CMA+ tool was rolled out to automate property comparisons, starting with six comps, a range of values and current median values for both list and sold prices. The user can manually edit comps and output it to a presentable PDF.
There a number of more advanced filters now, too, as of July, 2022. In an email to me, TopHap’s CTO Dennis Khvostionov said that the update, “Lets you combine any of our data points into and/or conditions to very easily define search criteria. We find that it is very useful for investors to define their investment thesis buy-boxes.”
There’s also the capability to compare multiple locations in a single search, on the same results screen. This is a slick way to understand what’s happening in adjacent cities and states.
TopHap uses a hexagonal map grid, a design scheme used historically in map-based games, but now used by Uber to measure ride demand and predict dispatch times. It offers a better way to compare data by location.
But this isn’t all about the maps, as TopHap also provides great-looking property pages for in-depth looks at individual listings.
These pages include interactive graphed property histories that include a timeline of deed transfers, condition ratings, a value confidence rating and a property value adjustment tool.
By sliding or adjusting the indicators, users can see how value might change according to quality, square footage or number of beds and baths.
A particularly sleek benefit to TopHap is its lot elevation tool. Zoomed in, the hexagonal columns assemble in a 3D reading of every undulation within a parcel, even if improvements have already been done.
Also new in late 2022 is TopHap Explorer, a mobile app for iPhone. This is a lot of data to present in a mobile experience, but I see no reason why TopHap can’t pull it off, and why it won’t look incredible under the screens of Apple’s latest iPhones.
The app leverages the phone’s onboard location tech to identify any property it’s being pointed at, making it an ideal field-ready app when visiting a prospect’s home for the first time or when scouting communities and touring neighborhoods with buyers. Thus, any aspect of the app can be launched from there, including regional walk scores, retail highlights, environmental concerns and noise levels.
Homes can be searched manually using the app, of course, and used to launch searches for off-market properties in case your buyer is ready to start writing letters. In short, the app should deliver to TopHap fans just about everything they’d expect.
I admit to having a particular bias toward map-based data tools. (MyPlanit earned my first-ever 5-star rating.) But isn’t real estate all about location?
When a user browses TopHap’s tools, they’ll quickly understand how even a single street is ultimately its own micro-market, pulling the curtain back on everything that makes real estate worth what it’s worth. There’s too much here to share in terms of features and user experience, but let that be a reason to try it. Dive in there and find a new way to leverage what’s happening under the surface of where you do business.
My take is that there is no better way to understand a market than by understanding how it relates to the markets around it.
After all, markets touch, and like the properties of thermal conduction, values spread through direct contact. TopHap puts you in the middle of all that market energy, and now it’s doing it across the country.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.