Continuing with our lists of property portal features that we think are working for the market, we have seven more recently added features that help consumers in a number of ways while on their home hunting journey.
Challenger portal, Residential People, has recently updated its Maps View to keep up its position as a competitor in the UK market. And what sets it apart from its rivals is its user-friendliness. Consumers can quickly and easily see the price of a property on a map. They can filter results to display the highest or lowest priced property in their region of choice and even narrow that filter down by week or month for rental properties.
Minimalism is in. Everyone likes it when a process is simplified and enhanced to be as easy to use as possible. Residential People have done just that with their new Maps View version.
Most portals offer maps with identical symbols over the area a listing is present in. Those symbols are displayed jumbled up in a small area, making a user zoom in to view the individual listings. Residential People's new Map View has been updated with a sleek new look and visual representation of the most affordable areas in a specified location.
Trulia Neighborhoods allows users to browse through 34 neighborhood heat criteria like crime, schools, amenities, and commute. The feature helps home hunters get a better idea of a listing's neighborhood. This arms the prospective buyers with more information on what their future home life might be like and builds confidence when it comes to selecting a property.
What's unique about this product is that it works kind of like the story feature on Facebook or Instagram. People living in a specific neighborhood can upload their experiences onto Trulia Neighborhoods, giving users a first-hand look into what life is like there.
This includes information on crime levels- something that can make or break a decision to buy a home.
It's not all doom and gloom. There is a section in the feature that allows neighbors to upload what they like about living in their neighborhood, with guides to special facilities and amenities in the area, like frequented parks and restaurants.
To boost loyalty and annuity in its user base, Rent.com.au has launched a new app for the Apple and Google Play stores which offers a digital wallet to users to better manage their rent payments every month. What makes the product so attractive is that users can fill the digital wallet with padding every time they’re paid to offer a sort of safety net when it comes to paying rent, something that is a major stressor for renters everywhere.
Rent.com.au has hyped up this particular product for a while, making it the platform's most heralded feature to date. RentPay started out as a concept by accounting software firm AYOB before being bought by Rent in 2018. It began development in 2020 and finally launched last month.
The feature is now proudly displayed on Rent.com.au's home page next to two other products, RentCheck and RentBond, and has been marketed heavily.
Challenger portal Boomin has a feature we think is really cool. Taking a page from the social media book, Boomin has launched Property Playground, a Pinterest-like product that feeds into consumer's love of scrolling through images and organizing their favorites into categories. Boomin explains:
"Playground categories are packed with inspiration for every corner of your home. Save ideas you love into collections, add to them, share with friends, and bring your perfect home to life. Be inspired."
On the Property Playground page, users can search through a number of themes, like 'Kitchen,' 'Living Rooms,' 'Bedrooms,' and more, all of which are packed with images of interior design examples. Click on one of those themes and sort them by three categories: Most Popular, Budget, and Colors.
Do you like a specific type of furniture but don't know what else is trending that would go with it in a space? Property Playground can help with that. Hover over an image that speaks to you and there you can favorite it, download the image, or report it. The whole feature is just fun, adding an inspirational way to decorating a space, even if you're preparing to move. The page is helpful for more than just home hunters and that is where Boomin catches the edge when it comes to reaching a larger audience.
Idealista, being one of the top real estate portals in Spain, heads the front of the market every time it releases a new product. About a year ago, it launched La Videovisita, a virtual tour feature to allow consumers to continue house hunting with confidence without needing to leave the couch.
How it works is simple, a prospective home buyer can make an appointment with an agent to have them tour the house, taking video in real-time for the consumer to watch. At any point, the consumer can stop the tour and ask a question. Real-time means that the video is current, without the worry of issues being covered up or images doctored to make a space look better than what they'll get.
Agents have access to all permits needed for the tours and everything about the tours is facilitated through the idealista platform so users can house hunting with confidence. Adevinta-backed rival Fotocasa released a similar tool which the company has been promoting heavily in the Spanish media which doubtless means that this type of this visit will gradually become the norm in Spain.
To meet the high demand for interior design services in the Indian Market, Square Yards has recently launched a platform to do just that. Called Interior Company, the platform focuses on new home buyers looking for pre-furnished housing at affordable rates. The platform offers an attractive service.
The first home is always the biggest hurdle and Square Yards knows this. Millennials are trendy and anything that can look good and not break the bank is a plus for anyone, especially when it comes to dropping megabucks on a new place to live. The platform is currently in beta but in just two months, it's already gathered $0.5 million in revenue. The Indian market is ready for this kind of standardized interior design service and it could not come at a better time.
One of the biggest threats to a home is some form of natural disaster. Knowing what kind of natural-based phenomenon you could experience after moving can make or break a decision to purchase a home. What someone might not experience, weather-wise, in Wisconsin, they could experience after moving to Florida. Many portals have added natural disaster maps to their offerings to better inform their users to build consumer loyalty.
Last year, realtor.com did just that, adding a flood mapping filter to its search platform. With this feature, users get a visualization of what areas on a map are prone to flooding and other natural disasters in the form of a flood risk rating system. We reported last August that the "flood-risk score will display numbers between 1 and 10 to represent the risk of flooding over a 30-year mortgage and will display its flood zone determined by FEMA."
Realtor.com explains that flooding is the most common natural disaster a person can experience in the United States. Working alongside FEMA, the company has rolled out this added feature, equipped with a guide on how to read the data shown on a listing and what other things homeowners and buyers can do to further cushion their safety nets when it comes to protecting their home and belongs from water damage, including a place to purchase flood insurance, how to order a sump pump, how to apply coating and sealants, raise a home's foundation, and more.