HomeViews property tech startup: The home for prospective homeowners
When you’re looking for a great local restaurant, business or the best place to go on holiday, you may start with a visit to TripAdvisor or Trustpilot. But, what about if you’re looking to buy a new home? Until a couple of years ago, there wasn’t anything to cater for this need.
HomeViews is the fastest growing property tech startup and the UK’s first independent review website for property. The business was founded by the realisation that there was no single place where homebuyers could read verified reviews on the most important purchase they would ever make: their home. Their mission, therefore, is to share useful, trustworthy insights about residential developments to support homebuyers in making that decision.
Foundations of an idea
Lightflows were approached with this exciting and innovative idea, accompanied by an ambitious business plan, to develop a minimal viable product (MVP). Several workshops and collaborative sessions with the founding members were organised to decide on the specifications and features required for the initial launch.
At its core, HomeViews is a review platform based on user-generated content with several audiences and aspects. Initially London-focused, the core website content, as you’d expect, focuses on new property developments; now, it has excellent coverage of the UK property market. The companies that build and manage the developments also appear on the site.
If you’ve been to the capital recently, it won’t have escaped you just how many new property developments are springing up all over the place – the horizon is a veritable sea of cranes and red lights!
The HomeViews founding members have many years of experience in the property market and relationships with all major developers, meaning their development database is second to none. So, if a property development has been recently built or in progress, it will almost certainly be on HomeViews.
Taking the property’s pulse
Users of the HomeViews platform can leave a review of a property they live in. Reviewers are asked to rate a property on various attributes, including the overall property score, facilities, design, location and values. Other important factors, from the positive aspects of living in the area to the importance of sustainability features, are also asked.
For their time, the reviewer receives a voucher from one of HomeViews’ trusted partners; this could be Deliveroo or Amazon. Each review that is left is carefully reviewed and verified ahead of being published to the site.
A mobile-first approach
In an age where internet access via smartphones is becoming more and more prevalent, we always take a mobile-first approach to design and development. This approach was especially important for HomeViews as it means that the user experience is seamless for the prospective homebuyer wherever they are, be it on their commute, at home or wandering around the city. The design and development of the HomeViews mobile site, as documented on our design system, then helped to inform our decisions on the desktop version.
Benefitting from a design system
Because of the potential complexity of large-scale projects, clients like HomeViews benefit greatly from a system that ensures consistency in branding, typography, imagery and all other aspects of design. To tackle this, we created a design system – namely, a set of elements that can be assembled to build products – to ensure consistency and facilitate the management of the product. A design system also allows us to stay organised, maintain high standards and document every aspect of the design and development process so as to deliver an excellent product.
Building on solid foundations
It’s safe to say the launch of the MVP was a success, which allowed HomeViews to go out and have several successful funding rounds and thereby scale the business rapidly. More recently, the business has focused on providing useful, insightful content and analysis via its blog. For business customers, a self-service portal allows development companies to manage their developments, respond to reviews and access valuable analytics data on their properties. Connecting developers with direct feedback on their properties is a service that didn’t exist until HomeViews was born, and it is proving invaluable.
Property Tech partners
Collaborating with HomeViews as their technology partner, we have grown the product’s capabilities and reach. In just a few years, the site has become the UK’s largest independent property review website, with monthly traffic now well over six figures; it’s safe to say that HomeViews is on an incredible upwards journey. And it’s not just customers who are taking notice; Google has recently added HomeViews ratings to their business listing as a trust signal.
HomeViews continues to go from strength to strength, has expanded its offering Nationally, and is just beginning to expand abroad. So, if you’re looking for a new home or are just curious, why not pop over to HomeViews and check it out?
Have a property related project in mind? Contact us.