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Lundy sees a better future for home search: Tech Review Update

Lundy's latest Finding Homes AI integration empowers visually impaired buyers with independent home search
Home search for the blind

Lundy’s voice skill works with partner multiple listing services to translate its listing data fields and longer form property descriptions into categorized audio narratives powered by Amazon’s voice technology.

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This article was last updated April 11, 2024.

Lundy is voice-directed property search software for the visually impaired homebuyer.

Platforms: Alexa smart speakers; MLS websites
Ideal for: MLSs, brokerages, search portals
Initial review: Feb 2023
Update: April 2024

Top selling points:

  • Benchmarked with the National Federation of the Blind
  • New Lundy AI Core
  • Fully conversational requests
  • Usable on any Alexa-powered device
  • Database audit/field repair

Top concern:

Voice apps and smart speakers have suffered from declining interest, stigmatizing the apps that leverage them. However, AI is rapidly and drastically improving the usefulness of smart speakers, as they offer a powerful delivery mechanism for AI interactions, as is the case here.

What you should know

Finding Homes by Lundy is a voice-powered, AI-integrated home search experience that translates long-form, conversational listing need requests into comprehensive, accurate results. The user does not need to request a number of bathrooms or bedrooms, or highlight specific features or finishes other than family members, budget, location and a few broadly defined preferences.

The Lundy AI core translates what it hears into the market’s best matches, clearly narrating the options back to the user, and verbally assists them with moving forward on a listing, saving a search or eliminating an option. The users can also ask Finding Homes to explain why it made its suggestions, allowing it to elaborate on why specific home features overlap with what it heard.

I sat down in person with founder Justin Lundy to experience the new search process in a natural setting. The app asks for specifics but also states that the person, “can explain their situation” and that it will “figure out the details,” a subtle but important feature that empowers the app to return listing results that otherwise wouldn’t be in a traditional hard parameter, filter-based market scan.

In most cases, a buyer will consider adjusting their budget or neighborhood preference because of a unique amenity, something only agents would learn after a few neighborhood tours, usually months down the road. This is a direct result of AI’s move into home search and a very consumer-first innovation.

Upon its initial launch last year, Finding Homes was limited by the search fields of its partner MLSs, a verbal version of what most do today to narrow down options.

Finding Homes provides a respite from dependence for those unable to scroll, type, click or view online tours like the majority of us do, simple mundane chores we don’t think twice about performing. No person wants to rely on another to do that for them; it’s constricting.

The faster we move in the direction of absolute consumer-led search, the better we can make the entire homebuying experience, which is exactly where today’s agents need to focus. Stop worrying about your relationships, and worry more about the end-to-end process of buying a home. Make that better, and the relationships will service themselves.

While the application was inspired by its founder’s recognition that our country’s visually impaired are left out of the traditional search process, the app’s ability to eliminate “checkbox and filter” search should quickly appeal to the broader buying public. There’s a powerful byproduct here. No, Finding Homes isn’t the first to launch voice-based search, but it’s so far the best I’ve seen — or heard — in this growing vertical.

For MLSs, Finding Homes will come in a “light” version and one for “Pros,” the former limited to basic voice search for use in accessibility expansion goals. The Pro version will enable room-by-room comparison and automated, searchable image tagging that will in time be used in verbal descriptions, enabling the visually impaired to ask for room-specific descriptions.

Lundy’s voice skill works with partner multiple listing services to translate its listing data fields and longer form property descriptions into categorized audio narratives powered by Amazon’s voice technology but no longer dependent on the company’s technology.

In our demo, Lundy told me Alexa is too limited.

“Lundy AI core is replacing Alexa’s AI. Alexa is built on predetermined phrases which is what makes it difficult to talk to,” he said. “Our Lundy AI core is a large language model that we have formatted to real estate with fair housing marketing guidelines, and all of the RESO standardized metadata in the country.”

Finding Homes also adds value in its ability to get results from the complex and vastly varied data standards among the nation’s multiple listing services, a mission RESO is tirelessly and honorably trying to solve so companies like Lundy wouldn’t have to invest so much time in making flexibility a top priority, or commit weeks to mapping data fields. Nevertheless, its cause is a worthy one.

The company has partnered with the National Federation of the Blind to benchmark its functionality and co-create an agent training program and agent certification. The NFB also helped Lundy arrange focus groups to discuss the current state of homebuying for those who are visually impaired.

Lundy learned that the vast majority of the nation’s blind aged into the disability, meaning many are experienced homeowners with equity and plans to buy again. It’s also assembling and promoting resources state-by-state to assist its users. Many states provide grants for people to retrofit their homes and down payment assistance programs specifically for the blind.

The company’s founder works with local chapters of the NFB that correlate with new MLS partners to present the product to potential homebuyers and to offer agent training.

Finding Homes by Lundy is doing exactly what I want more proptechs to do: solve a consumer problem, then give the solutions to the industry. We don’t need another CRM, transaction manager or social media lead-gen system. We need ways to make it easier for all consumers to buy and sell homes; assisting the growing population of the visually impaired is a terrific start.

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.

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