The success of the initiative has been driven by four key elements. The competitive match-up is asymmetrical. The product is differentiated. The industry is supportive rather than hostile. The business model (or lack thereof) makes a better user experience possible.
For 20 years, how people find homes online has been imagined and defined by those who sell ads, not homes. This is our turn to speak, to imagine, and to deliver a better experience. The BPP exists because consumers and professionals deserve a home search experience that is more straightforward and clear than those offered by advertising-driven media companies.
The road ahead is long, but our efforts have been beyond our expectations. This mission is a collaborative venture between real estate brokerages and MLSs to create a national consumer home search experience defined by simplicity, integrity, and common sense. Remember, the Broker Public Portal is owned by real estate brokers and MLSs whose shareholders may never benefit from dividends or shareholder value. 100% of the $1 per member per month fee goes into product development, support, and marketing. Unlike the national advertising portals - Homesnap is compliant with the Fair Display Guidelines. In parlance - your listing, your lead! Homesnap displays homes for sale directly from the MLS with easy access to the listing agent and brokerage - free from advertising, paid agent displays or content aimed at "capturing" consumers rather than delivering services.
Real estate professionals report that their favorite feature is Homesnap Pro. Each agent gets a branded Homesnap mobile app. When they invite customers to the app, their client is attached to the agent and it transforms the entire search experience to an IDX-like display. Activating Homesnap Pro also enhances the agent profile globally with their headshot, additional contact information, and more. Homesnap Pro provides Realtor(r) safety features for showings, and quick access to the full listing record from the MLS (like agent remarks and showing instructions), and a communication solution that connects to the entire MLS roster - making contacting other agents via phone, text or chat a breeze. Remember, Homesnap is a parcel centric application -not only are there MLS listings and sold records, but every property has a landing page - offering public record information, transaction data, square footage, and price opinions on off market properties. Information on any property across America is a snap! Contact your MLS for information about Homesnap Pro - its included in the service for no additional cost.
Many brokers are taking advantage of the Broker branding features of the product too. Homesnap is configurable to be the branded app of any broker, enhancing their opportunity to expand their mobile strategy. Ask your MLS for branding information, its included in the service for no additional cost.
Looking ahead to 2018
Our efforts to drive agent and consumer adoption will be the keynotes of 2018's work. As MLSs adopt the new RESO standards that incorporate the transport protocols for saved searches and saved favorites, the option to more deeply integrate Homesnap into the MLS customer portals will become available. Today, the nation's MLSs send about 200 Million email alerts to consumers each month. The integration will allow consumers to view their saved searches and favorites in the app, which will hold the broker and agent branding (and connect the consumer to the broker and agent). We expect our first market to go live with this integration in Q1 with many more to follow This will be the greatest opportunity for boosting the consumer traffic to the Homesnap search experience and maintain support for the Fair Display guidelines. You should expect to see a lot of Homesnap communications in the coming year.
What people are saying -
- The BPP with Homesnap consolidates the local efforts of 125 MLS into one system to attract consumers back to the real estate professionals and brokers.
- We have created an experience that makes the consumer feel important and special, rather than feel like a lead.
- Homesnap is agent centric and consumer driven.
- BPP matters because it creates a competitive balance and positive industry change.
- Homesnap delivers accurate data, ad-free search experience, and direct access to the listing agent that knows the property best
- What consumer home search was supposed to be
- A quiet, safe place to look for homes
- Home search powered by Main Street, not Wall Street
- I prefer to search on an app provided by people that sell homes rather than by a media company that sells me.
Homesnap is the only online national real estate search experience that is controlled by brokers and enabled by the MLSs with the purpose of benefitting agents and consumers though access to comprehensive, accurate and timely real estate property information. Its an industry "hedge" against a time when market powers dictate terms to an industry that has "little-to-no" input in how properties are marketed to buyers. In other words, having a say in how the rules are made, by whom, and for whom. This effort represents a rare opportunity for this fragmented industry to rally together, brokers and MLSs, in a common cause - to create a better version of a national search experience than what is offered by outsiders today. And, consumers love it.
Many thanks to the volunteer efforts of our incredible Board of Managers who were instrumental in all of the success, and the many founding shareholders whose support made this happen.
We encourage all of you to share this information with your peers who have not yet committed to this valiant industry project. Please celebrate this good news with your colleagues - brokers, agents, MLSs. We have another 580 MLS markets who have yet to join us and plenty of industry leaders are unclear on our mission or progress. Let everyone know that together, we can make a difference.
Contact Victor Lund at 805-709-6696 with any questions or meeting requests.
Happy Holidays indeed.