Movoto, Inc. is an online real estate company that was founded in 2005. Movoto is very picky about who it selects to include in its listing of agents; in fact, Movoto was one of the few companies in the industry that set extremely high standards for its realtors.
To be a Movoto realtor, one must have the following background in real estate and qualifications:
- A minimum of 3 years of experience in local real estate (for a market area)
- Successful negotiation at least 10 real estate transactions per year
- Professionalism, integrity and a passionate interest in the quality of the home-buying experience
Movoto also has an extensive knowledge base for homebuyers in the form of its website blog, "Movoto Insider." The blog is broken into sections, as follows:
- Best Places to Live: Articles that highlight areas and cities, such as the ten best smallest cities to live.
- Safest Places: The safest places to live in each state. These articles are upgraded annually.
- Move To: An article about facts for a city you might want to know before you move there.
- Understand: Facts that you might want to know about a new city once you are a resident.
Movoto's toll-free number is also designed to get real estate agents and prospective homeowners talking. There is a four-step process to using Movoto: (1) Browse the website as long as you'd like (no fees for subscriptions), (2) Contact Movoto (they set you up with a real estate agent), (3) Schedule an appointment with your assigned realtor, and finally, (4) Buy and complete the move-in process if you decide to purchase your home.
- Toll-free number
The first thing that we noticed about Movoto's website was the toll-free number. When we looked at Trulia, we couldn't find a direct contact number to get in touch with an agent. With Movoto, the toll-free number plays an important role in getting the customer in touch with an experienced realtor. With other websites, such as Trulia, we noticed a high level of frustration with realtors who had a tough time getting leads. This wasn't the case with Movoto, as customers are set up with an experienced realtor who shows the property.
Another thing that we liked about Movoto was the website's blog. Movoto has all the resources in place to help educate a potential homebuyer on the culture, demographics, and amenities associated with their new locale. While Trulia and other websites have scores for a home, we found that Movoto did a great job of getting their customers information. We liked that certain parts of the blog, such as the safest cities to live in each state, were updated on an annual basis.
We had to browse a little bit on each home listing to find information about crime statistics and schools. On the side of the page, there is a little bar graph that has information on crime, household income, and other demographics for the new home. If you click on the "Full Demographics" link, a plethora of information is available, much more intensive than websites such as Zillow and Trulia.
Another positive attribute of Movoto is the number of pictures for each property. We looked at a property in California. We found over twenty pictures of the home's exterior and interior. In fact, the only critique of the photos provided was that the home's exterior shots seemed a bit trivial. We would have liked to see more pictures of the interior of the property.
Another positive attribute of the Movoto website was being able to select a home with a pool on the map search function. Other websites did not have a pool search feature. While most homeowners might not want a pool, this made the website a little bit more attractive to use over Trulia and Zillow, in our opinion.
We found few things to complain about with Movoto. The one complaint came from a realtor who wanted to complain about a fake review. Movoto responded by saying that it does not accept responsibility for the content of reviews. Movoto did not take down the fake review and the complaining realtor did not accept Movoto's resolution of the dispute. To maintain its excellent communication between customers and realtors, Movoto might want to monitor reviews of its website more diligently.
Some of the photos on Movoto's website were a little bit irrelevant to the online homebuyer. One listing in California provided several photos of the exterior of a listing, including a photo of the skyline. The photos of the interior of the home were adequate, but more would be better.
The Bottom Line
Here is what we liked about Movoto, which would make us recommend them for the prospective homeowner:
- The most detailed demographic listings for a property in the industry, especially in comparison to Trulia and other similar websites. While Trulia has a walking and transit score, we found that addresses for nearby grocery stores and businesses were included on Movoto's site.
- Excellent beginning-to-end service for customers using the website. Customers for Movoto are immediately set up with a realtor on their call-in, moving them towards buying a home quicker.
- A detailed search listing for homes, including number of beds/baths, square footage, price, and even a "pool" filtering option.
Here is what we would like to see improved on Movoto:
- More relevant photos for homes that focus on the "saleable" areas of the home (we didn't find the skyline photo from the CA listing to be particularly helpful for customers).
Overall, we felt that Movoto was a better service for customers in comparison to other sites. Movoto has high qualifications for its real estate agents, including three years of experience and ten transactions per year.