Frontdoor.com just announced a pretty slick new feature to its website. On each of its roughly 4 million real estate listings, visitors now have the ability to choose from a dozen or so home styles and assign it to – or tag – the home.
Further, the tagging feature — where homes get pegged as Cape-Cods, Traditionals or Moderns after they have received a certain number of “votes” from the crowd — will then allow Frontdoor to offer users the ability to search by home style.
This feature will be added later this year – presumably after the database has had a chance to populate.
I dig this idea a lot, because I think it starts to bring the search experience much closer in line to the way that we look for homes in real life – by looking for and evaluating properties by what they actually looklike.
[Full disclosure: 1000watt consulting has performed consulting services for Frontdoor.com in the past]
But what’s especially clever about this idea is that it’s a really practical application of the “wisdom of the crowds” idea. It taps into the collective intelligence of Frontdoor’s audience to complete a task that is uniquely suited to the human being – namely, to assign an architectural style to a photo of a building – one that is almost impossible for a machine or algorithm to replicate.
The only thing missing to me is that it feels like there could be more incentive (or reward) given for participation. Perhaps assigning or awarding Foursquare-like badges (“I’m a Modern home expert”) and building deeper interaction with users’ social graphs (“I think this home is a Cape-Cod, what do you think?”) would really press this home as a winner.
It seems, after a longish period of hibernation, Frontdoor is finally getting back in the game, Normally, we wouldn’t be highlighting this many feature launches back-to-back, but what with its launch of content widgets last week, and now this, Frontdoor seems to emerging from its slumber and innovating rather quickly.
Hopefully, it’ll spark some more of the same from its rivals.