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I came across a NYC startup today courtesy Charlie O’Donnell named Homethinking. Charlie describes the site as, "Homethinking…in the real estate sector whose DNA lies in data–turning vast amounts of public data on housing sales, real estate agents and demographics on its head to empower buyers and sellers. For example, you can lookup the sales record of that agent who keeps pestering you to keep them in mind when you’re ready to sell."
While I haven’t been through the home buying process in NYC yet, it would certainly be nice if they expanded the service to apartment rental agents. The process is such crap here and a decent percentage of the agents I’ve dealt with have no training, education or experience. I considered starting a service where people could easily rate apartment rental agents but if Homethinking could add it, that’d be great.
Browsing the service I don’t see any actual reviews listed on any of the agents in a variety of locations I tested. Also nearly every option pushes you to a contact form which gets sent to the agent. If you click a home listing, why don’t they show the listing before you contact?
Their business model appears to be based on featured search results for realtors. Certain results show up first and in red – I assume these are the paid results since there is no specific wording.
Homethinking added a new feature this week that helps you find a neighborhood just like yours. Let’s say you live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and need to move to San Francisco for a job. Homethinking can tell you which neighborhoods match up in terms of people, lifestyle, culture, etc. Lifehacker has some examples of this new feature in action.