Crazy busy this week. Not much time for blogging (or eating, or showering…).
But real quick: Here are a couple interesting online real estate sites that launched recently that I somehow missed despite a fair amount of media coverage outside our industry.
Home-Account is self-described as “Your key to always having your best mortgage.” The site allows users to determine whether or not they are getting the best deal on their mortgage by submitting detailed information on their current loan, tolerance for risk, and larger financial picture.
Home-Account is different from most other mortgage-related sites in two ways:
First, the resolve for the consumer is not a hailstorm of offers from mortgage originators (think LendingTree or Zillow Mortgage Marketplace). Instead, they are presented with various mortgage products along with the the level of savings they personally stand to realize. Home-Account also displays loans the user might be able to get if they take certain steps to improve their credit score (which is provided as part of the profile process). Users are also alerted when loan conditions move to a point where action (e.g., a refi) may be warranted — something like an email listing alert for mortgages
Second, consumers will pay for this service. $9.95 per month to be exact. I like that.
What I don’t like is the site’s very confusing interface and dialed-to-11 design. It needs improvement.
Nonetheless, Home Account is a welcome addition to the sparsely populated online mortgage landscape.
RentWiki was launched late last year by Jamie Gallo, who ran Realestate.com for Primedia before it sold the site to IAC.
RentWiki bills its offering as “Social rental search,” which it achieves by pairing apartment listings with neighborhood profiles, user-submitted reviews and a nice Twitter integration that captures the ambient online noise about a given neighborhood.
Online rentals is a crowed space. And neighborhood sites haven’t exactly been a home run. But RentWiki is nicely executed and offers plenty of cues for anyone looking to create an interesting search experience.
Back to work!
— Brian Boero