A new photo-driven real estate site is set to launch later this year, promising to deliver a simplified approach to finding your next dream home.
Rather than relying on charts and graphs, HouseHappy.org offers access to home listings through photos. This user-generated method is similar to other image-sharing and book-marking strategies employed by sites such as TheFancy, Springpad and Pinterest. With HouseHappy, users will be able to search properties for sale in more than 60 major cities and 50 states by browsing through a selection of images.
Image-sharing and book-marking sites have become increasingly popular among the tech and Internet-savvy, leading to a more visually-driven approach to online marketing. Instead of sifting through a long page of listings or having to do it the old-fashioned way by poring over the real estate pages of the newspaper, HouseHappy users will simply scan over a screen of images from their computer or smart phone, stopping only to click on the photos that catch their eye.
Not only could this have implications for the future of real estate marketing, it could put even more importance on the real estate photo listings themselves. Without quality photos, a real estate listing usually doesn’t get a lot of web traffic, so one could only presume that a listing with poor photos won’t fare well on HouseHappy.
Go to HouseHappy.org to learn more about this Portland, Ore.-based site. While you’re there, you can add your information to their contact list to be notified when the site goes live.
Update: Using HouseHappy For a Real Estate Search (June 2013)
So, here we are a few months after originally sharing the news of the new real estate site, HouseHappy.org and I thought I’d check in to see what it’s like to use the site. At first glance upon going to the site it’s very visually appealing with lots of photos of houses – hover over one to see the location, property type (house, condo, etc,) price, and number of people who have “liked” it by clicking on a little heart on the listing page. (The social aspect is interesting – would you be more intrigued by a home that is more well “liked” by lots of people?) Clicking on the image brings you to a simple listing page with tabs for the description, details, features, and photos. I love that the photos tab displays all the images at a decent size on one screen – no clicking or flipping required. Very helpful when browsing through many listings.
I tried to do a search of homes for sale in my hometown. The search returned a sad smiley house and the message that there are no properties in that location right now. A search for the larger metro nearby had the same results. Even large cities were filled with mostly sample listings.
It’s certainly understandable given its recent launch (March 17th, 2013) that the HouseHappy database of homes for sale isn’t completely built out, and time will tell whether sellers and buyers in different markets adopt the new site. I enjoyed browsing through the listings on the home page, though if I were in the market for a new home in my town this site isn’t ready to provide competition to the MLS.