The Minneapolis real estate tech company HomeSpotter launched a service Friday that automatically creates advertisements for real estate listings and open houses that can be posted to social media sites.
Called Boost, the service is aimed at making it easier for agents and brokers to generate sponsored posts for Facebook, Instagram and Leadpages, which have become key to reaching prospective buyers. The online service is available on the HomeSpotter website.
Founder and chief executive, Aaron Kardell, said the service has been in development since last summer. He said his company got the idea for it after several interviews with customers and potential clients about what services HomeSpotter was missing.
Kardell found that real estate agents wanted to promote more of their listings on social media, but would never get around to it because of time constraints.
It is also a response to the company’s main competitor, Zillow, which partnered with Facebook last year. That deal allows agents to sign up for “Premier Agent Direct” where they can push advertisements into the newsfeeds of Facebook users who have visited the Trulia or Zillow website. But unlike Zillow, it allows individual agents and brokers to post the advertisement and change it.
Kardell said he would like to see the Boost product promoting hundreds of thousands of customer listings by 2018. The cost of Boost’s services is $59 to promote a listing and $39 for an open house.
“It’s been really awesome to see the team branch off into new product development and see the culmination of everyone’s efforts come together,” he said.
The start-up HomeSpotter, which allows people to search home listings on their phones, was founded in 2010 and is located in the Grain Exchange building in downtown Minneapolis with 15 employees.
The company provides multiple listing service data customized to local markets for both real estate agents and firms, as well as consumers. HomeSpotter carved out space in the market by allying itself with real estate listing services and brokerages across the country. The company pulls its data directly from the multiple listing services (MLS), unlike Zillow.
In Minnesota, the firm provides consumer search apps for the state’s two largest real estate brokers, Edina Realty and Re/Max. HomeSpotter covers more than 90 percent of real estate listings and open houses in North America.