Real Estate

Is HomeSmart’s tech worth the switch? A look at its client-first app: Tech Review

HomeSmart Client is an app for buyers and sellers working with HomeSmart agents to search for homes, track sales and generally stay on top of their transaction.

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HomeSmart Client is a client-facing app for HomeSmart agents use in managing deals and relationships.

Platforms: iOS, Android

Ideal for: All HomeSmart agents and teams

Top selling points

  • In-app document management
  • Unique home search tools
  • SmartShowings tour creator
  • Previous sales data
  • Consumer choice of agent

Top concern

Its lack of in-app direct communications needs to be prioritized on its roadmap. It’s in the plans, but the quicker it’s rolled out, the easier it will be for HomeSmart agents to stay connected with their buyers and sellers.

What you should know

HomeSmart Client is an app for buyers and sellers working with HomeSmart agents to search for homes, track sales and generally stay on top of their transaction. Agents who are considering switching to the fast-growing, flat-fee brokerage would be wise to familiarize themselves with their products.

Sometimes, during product demonstrations, technology companies show me more than they realize. I consider it fair game.

However, the HomeSmart team made no effort to hide that they download competitors’ apps and regularly stay abreast of their features and benefits. The evidence was all over their iPhone’s screen.

Finally, some transparency.

The team at HomeSmart makes it a priority to stay on top of what the HomeSnaps and Zillows of the world are up to, as should any savvy proptech team trying to know what consumers are looking for.

And it’s paying off.

HomeSmart Client is aiming to be the best consumer home search tool available. It’s not there yet, but in truth, no one can make that claim. Some companies merely have larger budgets and industry footprints than others.

The home search user experience is similar to others, leveraging a large image scroll, map search, the ability to favorite and so forth. A couple of nice add-ons include users’ ability to take their own photos of a property while touring or driving by a home. Those photos will save within that active listing until it closes, allowing buyers to see beyond what the professional photographer captured.

The search interface also has on-board voice memo tool, ideal for tours or sharing on-site thoughts that can’t be mentioned inside a home because of today’s surveillance trends.

Users can also jump from search to create tours, make an offer and directly contact their agent.

And speaking of agents, HomeSmart Client will brand itself to the agent who sent the download invite (via text or email), but buyers and sellers are free to switch using the app’s agent finder if they feel service isn’t up to snuff. It’s that easy.

HomeSmart’s product team admitted that this client-first feature has earned some internal blowback, but their answer is simple: If our agents are doing good work, they won’t have to worry about it.

The app is designed to keep agents in touch with their clients but is lacking direct collaboration features. I was surprised by the absence of a chat tool or in-app email. I was told it’s on the roadmap. Sooner than later, I hope.

Still, HomeSmart Client does good work keeping users engaged, allowing access to current transaction updates as well as any review all the relevant data and documents of previous deals closed in the past with a HomeSmart agent.

Sellers can also get a home valuation, which is currently powered by Zillow, but new choices are pending.

Buyers have a tools to get prequalified, share homes they like during searches, do a quick payment calculation, arrange showings with SmartShowings and prepare for upcoming tours.

What the app also has going for it is an increased chance of full adoption because of HomeSmart’s unique brand proposition as an upstart, tech-forward brokerage. Of course, this is what Compass and Redfin have going for them, too.

Like I said, HomeSmart isn’t afraid to admit it looks to emulate success.

In the end, this is a good app that HomeSmart agents should be able to leverage. It’s consumer-first, easy to use and only in its early stages. As the brand continues to grow, so should its app’s capabilities.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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