New Build Marketplace Homebourse Lacks Foundation: Tech Review

Join the movement at Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30 – Aug. 1! Seize the moment to take charge of the next era in real estate. Through immersive experiences, innovative formats and an unparalleled lineup of speakers, this gathering becomes more than a conference — it becomes a collaborative force shaping the future of our industry. Secure your tickets now!

Homebourse is an online marketplace for new construction properties.

Platforms: Browser, mobile-responsive
Ideal for: Homebuyers, developers, agents

Top selling points:

• Modern UI
• Online offer submission
• New construction focus
• Low learning curve

Top concern(s):

There are a few, but what stands out is the lack of actual automation to speed up or improve the offer process.

What you should know

Homebourse is a sales tool for new construction, designed primarily for remote buyers comfortable with making offers without physically seeing a property. There’s an administrative backend for agents or marketing teams to upload media, which can include links to Matterport digital twins, photos, floor plans and other visuals.

Each listing can have its own subdomain under Homebourse for evergreen promotion. The online offer tool can be configured for a number of contingencies and allows for offers to be accepted or countered, as well as outright rejected.

Homebourse can be used for all forms of property, but the company and the demo were based on high-end, luxury high-rises, most in pre-sale phases.

The overall user interface is quite nice. The search is modern and consumer-first, boasting all the table stakes of most competing search experiences.

Uploading developer-supplied visuals to build out a marketing page shouldn’t vex anyone remotely familiar with such a process. Supporting documents can accompany media, and there’s a nice step-by-step tracker of each step needed to get a property published.

Agents track their properties in the My Projects UI, sort them by status and can use what is basically their MLS’s home feature checklist to fill out the listing’s description. This interface is also where a user would input conditions for sale and add custom contingencies, as well as enter any unique characteristics of the home.

What holds Homebourse back at this stage is what I can only assume is a lack of competitive market intelligence. When asked directly about how it defines its core differentiators, the company referred to its online offer functionality and its focus on new construction.

In truth, I knew that would be the answer, but I needed to hear it said. And in that answer lies the problem — there are no differentiators. Those solutions already exist and in more advanced iterations.

That said, what Homebourse does is provide developers another method to expose a project. It can help, sure, but it should by no means be the pillar on which a new construction project rests its success.

Homebourse has no tangible tech facilitating the meat of the offer workflow. Submitted terms are not formal, merely borderline letters of intent, tantamount to saying, “My buyer wants to submit an offer.” They’re just numbers typed into a form and sent to the listing agent. It dies there, at least technologically.


Countless products on the market have significantly more advanced offer submission solutions that push the buyer directly into an integrated offer form, or at least have tools for authentication as to the buyer’s ability to even purchase the property.

Homebourse has no mechanism for formally validating the buyer’s financial wherewithal — or identity — and worse, any “accepted” offer gets a “sold” label on its public-facing listing despite it not being close to a done deal in any way. The software applies a sold tag to a listing that doesn’t yet have a signed contract.

The bottom line is that the online offer feature is ultimately a lead-generation tool. There’s nothing remotely binding for either party; it just gets the conversation going.

Homebourse said it steps in to assist each party in officially submitting and reviewing offers. In other words, once basic terms are agreed upon, the offer process becomes normal and manual. I saw no incentive to serve sellers by promoting online traffic for specific properties, overall offer activity in specific buildings, or other innovative, non-traditional ways of capturing interest. It’s very passive.

In terms of it being a marketplace for new construction, it doesn’t offer developers anything they can’t do on their own if so motivated. It’s ultimately a website, not software.

There’s no measurement of page views or traffic indicators, website content management functions, marketing value-adds or AI tools to enhance listing descriptions or speed listing data input. I saw no way for developers to promote in-house financing incentives or agent branding resources.

Final Offer, Welcome Homes, Ownly, Dash, and Livable (by Zonda) are just a few of the existing marketing and selling solutions for new construction, and I’m not sure the team at Homebourse is aware of any of them. Lest we forget, Zillow and Redfin are also in on the new construction game, a development to which all of the above should pay heed.

Homebourse simply needs more time to bake. The fundamentals are there. It’s very possible they reached out to me a few months before they should have, and during our call, I offered a chance for them to reschedule. I trust the next time I see this product, it’ll be more worth the time.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

Source link