Over time, we have learned that some of the most creative innovations in the real estate space have come from within from people who were formerly software developers turned Realtor now turned software folk again. Recently, however, we’re seeing more innovation from outside of the space.
A solid example from outside the real estate space is Movity.com, a San Fransisco real estate search portal (currently in private beta) that aims to answer the tough questions real estate professionals can’t, like “how safe is that neighborhood” or “what do locals think?”
One of the innovations recently launched by Movity is Tender Noise which is a project where they put sound sensors up all around the city and collected data on noise levels. Before, no one could legitimately answer the “how loud is it here?” question. And you thought being able to search listings from a phone was innovative? Nay!
Go check out the animation now and look at the legend at the bottom showing exactly how loud each color on the map is. Read here about how they set it all up, it’s an interesting read, from how they hung the receivers to how some of them were stolen!
Honestly, we’ve been bored for some time with real estate innovation… it’s like we hit some sort of paradigm that developers and companies are now stuck in and real estate technologies aren’t advancing. Sure, gadgets are sexier and they work on iPad, but what’s really innovative about that? Most companies will be on the “me too, I have an iPad app too, look at me” bandwagon within the next year.
We were the first to tell you about lifestyle search company SpatialMatch (pictured below) this spring, and we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you about Movity- true innovation is coming out at a massively decelerated pace as of late, so we’re talking about it (and salivating over it) any chance we get.
To really think outside of the box, it looks like for now, disruption is going to come from outside the real estate space, and what better place to give birth to major disruption than San Fran? The overly tech savvy agents in the area will love it, but I predict that the old guard in real estate will abhor the site even though it’s helpful for consumers.
Why they’re a company to watch:
Movity is definitely a company to watch- before they’re even openly public, they’ve launched a brilliantly innovative project and we can only imagine what’s next for them.
One of their investors is YCombinator (which gives them visibility most startups only dream of) and they’ve already lined up an impressive team ranging from the founder of RentWiki.com, as well as some of the mapping talent behind Twitter, CNN and MTV, and even development talent from Bing and Expedia, so let’s just assume that between their current team and their future talent, their mapping, UI and search features will set the bar pretty high… just click the “about us” link on the right side of their landing page to geek out on their credentials and investors (drool alert).
The moral of this story is that these third party companies that have gotten overly comfortable in their standing should take note- innovation isn’t dead after all, it’s been hiding inside some non-Realtor minds on the west coast… mobile apps are great, but innovation is much deeper than that and Movity is going to challenge what people consider to be innovative.