Homebldr seeks to help brokers analyze property value before and after renovation in order to provide sellers with an in-house iBuyer infrastructure. It can analyze individual properties or entire neighborhoods.
After a momentous year for iBuyers, where are instant deal companies like Offerpad, Opendoor and Redfin Now headed? Throughout February, Inman will be digging into iBuyers to determine what the new year has in store, where the opportunities lie for real estate agents and what brokers can expect. It’s iBuyer month at Inman.
Homebldr provides brokers with iBuyer property acquisition and analysis software.
Ideal for: Brokers and teams
Main Selling Points:
- Large-scale community analysis
- Several levels of renovation quality
- Renovation templates
- Post-project valuations
- Connected Lending Partners
The concept of iBuying rushes headlong into the already well-established tradition of house-flipping. While this software offers many useful tools for understanding how home repairs and upgrades affect value, it’s a good example of how the two ideas overlap.
What you should know
Homebldr seeks to help brokers analyze property value before and after renovation in order to provide sellers with an in-house iBuyer infrastructure. It can analyze individual properties or entire neighborhoods. This is software for brokerages looking to provide an alternative to popular third-party institutional buyers.
At its heart, Homebldr is a home search tool for brokers and their agents. Its functionality gives users ways to search for properties based on the potential ROI of renovation and compare it to existing market values. Plunk does too.
Different forms of renovations can be applied to a home, filtered by room and cost level (DIY, At Cost, Professional). There’s even a list of remodeling templates for homes that may not need full custom projects to be market-ready.
While a more traditional search interface would incorporate things like lifestyle amenities, high-quality photos and videos, and colorful narratives about property details, this software is deeply layered with physical history. and the internal qualities of a property. But again, it’s not designed for the eyes of the consumer.
Thus, Homebldr offers a much more clinical research approach, using limited photographic resources and relying on visuals and data extracted from the user’s MLS, and updated according to the standards of this association.
There is no mechanism for brokerages to necessarily consider retail, commercial and natural amenities that contribute to home value. It’s very build-oriented.
While ultimately not designed to be consumer-facing, at some point an agent proposing to be an iBuyer will need to show the seller something to sell them the idea. This is one place where Homebldr might struggle.
Homebldr offers a detailed PDF report that explains how selected renovations will increase the value of a home. Yet, there is no final, dynamic presentation tool to “wow” owners, which I would argue is essential when truly trying to create a tool to help brokers compete. with Opendoor and Offerpad. It’s also important because most of these conversations happen in Rooms or, more likely, on Zoom. The quality of presentation matters.
Naturally, a broker cannot become iBuyer if he does not have access to capital. Homebldr has put together a selection of seller partners willing to lend to brokers so they can act when a seller wants to forgo the open market. It also offers a list of local service providers who can provide final project quotes and potentially be helpful even based on room-by-room or project specialties, such as which are best for patios or roofs.
I think Homebldr’s community-wide map search feature is quite accurate. A user can scour an entire neighborhood for homes with the greatest potential for renovation. That’s why it didn’t surprise me when Homebldr mentioned in our demo that it caught the attention of institutional investors.
This is what I think brokers should be targeting with this software. It has some great features and a decent UI/UX, but ultimately iBuyers are built on service. It’s a matter of convenience and efficiency.
While the tool is ultimately a way for brokers to internally scan properties for ‘iBuy’, they will need to have a team in place to manage renovations and user experience. National iBuyers are built for this, they have ready funding and internal workflows in place to quickly execute sellers through their process.
Granted, Homebldr has no plans to offer this end of the iBuyer experience, but brokers will need it to make their investment in the software pay off. In short, an individual broker needs more than property valuation analysis to make an iBuyer experience worth what it sells for.
Many of the best CMA tools on the market offer ways to intelligently integrate iBuyer comparisons into dynamic interactive displays, and most iBuyers openly collaborate with agents. In short, Homebldr’s competition pulls no punches.
I see Homebldr as a cog in a machine that needs a lot more coins for brokers to run. There’s definitely something here, but I’m not sure iBuyer Marketplace is where it’s going to be found.
Homebldr remains in private beta in 22 northern Illinois counties and is seeking funding over the coming year.
Do you 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 a range of commercial real estate companies build their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now assists agents with technology decisions and marketing by reviewing software and technology for Inman.