After grabbing some $1.8 million in venture capital funds earlier this year, HomeSpotter's creators said the plan was to use the cash to hire more developers and give its platform a little more oomph.
Now, the company has realized that vision, with a major new update to its mobile app that aims to help connect real estate pros and house hunters. One of the major new features in a new messaging system in the app that lets people chat in real-time.
HomeSpotter had noticed that some of its users were copying, pasting and texting listing details and photos “all over the place”, and so the messaging feature was introduced to try and better facilitate conversations, said HomeSpotter founder and CEO Aaron Kardell.
“The process was still really messy,” Kardell said, adding that it didn't make any sense. “There’s lots of communication during the home search process. Technology should reflect that reality, not get in its way.”
As a result, the new app now displays mobile property search listings in a text-messaging style user interface, so that users can view listings and chat about them in the same location. It means that family, friends and agents who're able to access agent-only listing details can all communicate directly from within the application.
Users can view listing in the app and send these to their contacts, while their conversation history is saved directly in the app. The app also pushes notifications to the users smartphone status bar so they don't miss anything.
Photos have also been integrated into the messaging interface, so these can be viewed without the need to open additional files. Simply swipe side to side to view all of the photos attached to any particular listing. There's also a map search feature that can either populate all listings in a given area, or simply display the 75 newest listings. Users can search via the map or simply see a list view of any given area.
The new HomeSpotter app has also added a few new features for agents, including the agent roster search tool that allows them to find anyone else in the MLS and contact them.