In our latest real estate tech interview, I’m talking to Todd Miller, the co-founder of Homing In. (I believe) they were the first app in the “Uber for Real Estate” category, though I didn’t know it existed until Todd commented on the Curb Call post a few days ago. They recently joined Inman’s Incubator program, which produced the following video explaining the story of Homing In.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H46we9SvH4
Without wasting anymore time, here’s a bit more from Todd…
What do you do?
Homing In connects buyers standing in front of a house with the nearest available real estate agents for showings of properties. We also let people takes notes and photos of properties and share those with everyone else. We are essentially Yelp and Uber for real estate rolled up in one app. Our app is “floor time” for real estate agents, who can gain new clients while at Starbucks, their office, or anywhere they happen to be.
Why do you do what you do?
In 2009 we had over 600 listings and our 12 person buyer team were taking phone call leads from our signs all day long. We had a problem to overcome which was how do you know where the agents are and what property people want to see and then effectively connect the nearest agent to the buyer without the agent having to run all over town all day long. One of my agents said we needed an app for routing sign leads.
What are you most excited about right now?
Right now I’m excited about being inducted into Inman Incubator. They have helped us move our project along far faster than we would have without them and given us invaluable advice and marketing resources.
I’m also excited about mobile technology and real estate. I think that the industry strongly lacks tech innovation, especially with mobile devices being as common as they are. Our technology actually knows where agents are and where they have been recently and when a buyer requests a showing, all of the agents in the area have a chance to accept the showing request. It allows the buyer to find someone much faster than they would otherwise and lets agents decide if they have time to connect with that buyer or let it go to another agent.
What’s next for you?
Our next step is to help agents get more leads and have more closings by connecting them with potential buyers all across the US and Canada. The app actually will work anywhere there is apple maps, so even in Europe. We have been on iOS now for over a year, and will be coming out with an Android as well as a web version of the app soon.
Additionally, we have been working on negotiating some exclusivity agreements with companies in different markets that are interested in using our app. Some of these companies are the dominant firm in their market and they are looking for an edge to stay in front of their competition. Other firms are looking for that tool that will help them gain an edge in recruiting agents or just have more closings. Some have said they want to use our patent-pending technology to be able to secure more listings by demonstrating how fast they will be able to respond to sign calls.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I’m really excited about personal fitness. Despite turning 50 next year I am a men’s physique competitor. Men’s physique is basically swimsuit modeling where we wear surfboard shorts on stage and get judged for our overall upper body. This year I placed in the top 10 in both the LA Championships as well as Emerald Cup. Almost every competitor in this sport is younger than I am. It’s really encouraging to see so many people entering this new sport, which has only been around now for 3 years.
We’ll be featuring other real estate tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the real estate vertical (past or present), and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account, and join the Geek Estate community — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).