Currently available in the App Store, Playhouse is a novelty: a video app that clones TikTok's interface to show only real estate listings. Developed by Square Footage, the app allows users to:
Playhouse is currently in Beta and only available for properties in the SF Bay Area. In a press release on Tuesday, the company announced having secured $2.8 million in seed funding from Agya Ventures, Gaingels, Goodwater Capital, Nomo Ventures, PKO Investments, and Y Combinator, among other unnamed contributors.
Playhouse taps into existing consumer behaviors to deliver an immersive, exciting, and educational experience.
"The most recent consumer innovation in this space was putting pictures of homes on the Internet, and that was 15 years ago. Playhouse completely disrupts this flat, boring experience by delivering fun, educational, and productive content so that people can engage with local real estate on their phones," said Playhouse Co-founder and CEO Alex Perelman.
Playhouse allows users quickly and easily scroll through short videos of active real estate listings on the app. The user experience is similar to the one on TikTok. What makes Playhouse a bit different is that users can also browse listings using a map. In addition, if they look for something specific, they can apply filters—last but not least, browsing on Playhouse also enable users to learn more about homes and their neighborhoods.
Of course, real estate videos cannot appear on the Playhouse app out of the blue: they need realtors to upload them. The app creators hope to encourage real estate agents to become content creators and bring their authentic personalities and passion for real estate to video to the app.
The app offers realtors the tools to gain more visibility than what they have on Instagram or other social media platforms they spent years cultivating. Among these tools, they will have access to engaging music, geographic data, maps, listing information, and contact opportunities to engage with their followers and potential buyers.
"For buyers today, especially younger buyers, video is everything," said Lauren Quach of TeamFIT. "It is by far the best way to forge a connection, whether by showcasing knowledge, personality, or even a look that makes people feel comfortable. Playhouse opens up an effective, authentic channel for our team to reach buyers. They feel like they know us, which makes working together easier and more rewarding."
“Real estate is the biggest asset by value in the world, and Playhouse is completely reimagining how people can discover new opportunities by empowering creators to tell their stories," said Patrick Lee of PKO Investments.
Whether or not Playhouse will deliver on its promise of becoming a powerful marketing tool for realtors remains to be seen. Right now, the "Zillow meets TikTok" app attracted enough funding for development and PR. If they capitalize on their opportunity and do it fast, they might be successful.