How Doorsteps Swipe is taking over the real estate world

According to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey of June 2013, 51 percent of renters of all ages want to someday own their own home, and 57 percent of renters, who are 18 to 34 years old, yearn for homeownership.

Doorsteps is an online tool owned by operator Move that guides consumers through the homebuying process—with some exciting new components in the works.

One of those new features is rental search capability that both buyers and agents are very excited about.

Doorsteps CEO Michele Serro told Inman that users have requested rental search capability more than any other feature, and sees it as a way to cater to the “person thinking about buying 18 to 20 months out” who may move to another rental before trying to buy, the article says.

Serro calls the app a “gateway drug into Doorsteps.” The app encourages users to “sync with Doorsteps” to save listings and also promotes apps.

“A large number of renters are on the cusp of buying. Our goal is to address their needs as renters today, and also in the future when they are ready to purchase, using the same Swipe app experience,” explains Serro in this Market Watch article. “Our user interface creates two-way, behavioral communication between a person and the app. Not only does the Swipe app find listings, it informs consumers about their search preferences. We are looking to wrap a textbook in a piece of chocolate cake. We want renters and soon-to-be-buyers to learn what they like in a fun way – like a game.”

DoorstepsHow Doorsteps works

Doorsteps, which rolled out the first version of Swipe this spring, has also introduced other appealing features to the new version. These features give the app a little more punch.

For example, users may view pet policies on rental listing pages and ratings of nearby schools on both rental and for-sale listings. They can also search by drawing an area on a map, and view more detailed summaries of their preferences.

“You kind of have to know what you’re looking for,” Serro said of the typical listing site search experience. “We’re trying to get people to discover places that they normally wouldn’t.”

The newest version of Swipe leverages it’s machine learning to greater effect by sending out push notifications to users whenever a listing matching a user’s preferences hits the market.

The new version of the app can also gain a more sophisticated understanding of a user’s preferences because it factors in the school and pet policy information now available.

“What Swipe has taught us so far is that there are lots of things that you can put into this shell for an early-stage buyer/renter,” she said. “With a little machine learning involved, we can deduce not only the house they want to live in, but also maybe more important the type of life they are looking for.”

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