Home Finder’s primary goal is to connect buyers to sellers in the real estate market. With a listing system that helps real estate agents easily advertise their for sale properties (without many of the common problems), they attract a wide variety of listing types. This system has more than four million listings for their more than three million customers to browse. With Home Finder as the bridge between the two sides of real estate (buying and selling), both sides will find features and services they will be happy with.
Through the listings on Home Finder, the customers will be able to get some information that they don't commonly get from other real estate listing sites. One of these things is the Local Stats tab, which contains information about the local area that explains its economic and social status. This information includes:
- Median household income
- Median years in residence
- Median homeowner age
- Households with children (percentage)
- Percent of homes rented
All of this combined gives the customer a brief overview of the type of people that live in the area. This helps them to understand if they will be similar to their neighbors and if they will fit in economically. This is important information in many cases to help make the decision to purchase or not. For example, a couple with kids would most likely want to know if there were a lot of homes with children in the area or not. The neighborhood is a very important aspect of buying a home, so this information helps the customer understand it a little.
Just like Home Finder has worked to create a simple way for sellers to list their properties for customers to see, they have also created a simple system for customers to browse listings. Any type of listing is allowed through Home Finder, which means through an agent, agency or the owner. This is really nice for the customer because it opens up all of the options and they are not limited to what type of listings they will see. There is also no limitation on the type of properties listed. The customer has the option to search for: for sale, for rent, foreclosures, and new homes. Many of their competitors only offer specific types of housing listings, so this is a nice change that is purely for the benefit of the customer.
Although Home Finder does list a lot of information about the economic and social statuses of the neighborhoods in their listings, they do not offer a lot of information about what it's really like to live in those areas. The only real insight into the neighborhood that they offer is a map with relation to the home in the listing. This map can be viewed in regular, satellite or street view form, so the customer has the option for whichever view best helps them get a feel for the area. They also list the schools within the designated area. But that is it, just a list of the nearby schools' addresses with no additional information about them. The neighborhood and surrounding areas are a very important part of a home since that is where the tenants will most likely be spending their time.
Most customers would find more information about the surrounding area very beneficial as they try to make the best decision for their future home. Some other information that might be helpful that is missing in these listings is what types of businesses are close by. Things like grocery stores, coffee shops, banks and restaurants are all visited often, so it would be helpful to know if there are any nearby.
It would also be great for a customer to be able to see if there were hospitals, fire stations, or other emergency services in the area. Many neighborhoods foster different types of lifestyles depending on what they have available for their tenants. For example, a neighborhood with a lot of close amenities would encourage tenants to walk more instead of driving their cars. Insights into what types of transportation are available and useful in each neighborhood would also be really helpful. All of these things are not necessary for the customer to learn from the listing, but would certainly help them make a more informed decision.
The Bottom Line
Home Finder has paired up with the original real estate listing spot for customers; the newspaper. They have mimicked this type of listing and it has paid off for their customers. The easy-to-use interface helps customers browse as wide or as narrow of a search as they want. While each listing is missing some valuable information, all of the essentials (and a few non-essentials) are there for customers to get an idea of if the property will fit in with their wants and needs for their future home. All of the listings are made possible through the unique partnership Home Finder has made with the selling side of the industry. Their understanding of sellers' needs helped them to create a space that sellers wanted to work with. Overall, Home Finder is a good choice for customers to look to find their new home.