Homebuying Online

New Software Puts Home Shopping Experience Right in Buyers’ Hands

Shopping online for clothing, shoes, jewellery and even a luxury vacation is, for most people, as simple as a click of the mouse. But buying a house? Could such a large, serious purchase be done via the internet? The creators of a point-of-sales (POS) software application for the real estate industry say yes, it’s not only possible, it’s already being done.

Marlene Eisner, NEXTHOME (Original article)

January 6-20, 2018

“In 2012, we created point-ofsale devices (Sales POS), putting it all into an iPad app so you can sell to anyone, anywhere,” says Rick Haws, president and co-founder of SaleFish with Rob Nicolucci.

“The reality is that everything is going online. Purchasing a home online is a bit extreme, but it’s possible now.”

The original idea behind the Sales POS was to create a better customer experience at the sales centre between the sales people and potential buyers. Sales staff were equipped with iPads loaded with all the information on a new build with the ability to generate sales documents, scan a potential purchaser’s driver’s license and receive real-time sales and reporting. This kind of thinking was attractive to Joseph Alberga, director of sales and marketing at Lindvest.

“Our use of the software is mainly related to the sales office experience and our administrative control and processing,” says Alberga. “In terms of engaging with the purchaser, it was the most interactive way of dealing with them. You want it to be the best possible experience. We successfully integrated SaleFish with a 3-D interactive software that allowed prospective purchasers to view their model and then once sold, the actual site plan would be updated in real time.”

In 2016, SaleFish expanded the Sales POS potential with Home Buyer Live POS, a website that is a responsive design so it can be accessed on a phone, tablet or computer and a purchase can be made, regardless of the device.

“In several cases, it has been used to sell the last bunch or handful of units in a site,” explains Haws. “In other cases, it has been used to sell the first limited release of a new phase to purchasers who didn’t get to buy in a previous phase. In either case, it does eliminate lineups. It also allows the purchaser to simply show up at a time they choose to sign their documents.”

The cost of SaleFish software per site for a developer is between $15,000 and $20,000 for lowrise, and between $10,000 and $15,000 for a highrise project – an expense Roy Hobbs, principal at Crescendo Real Estate Solutions, thought worthwhile based on his success rate using the Home Buyer Live POS.

“Home Buyer Live provides customers will all the information to buy a home,” says Hobbs. “It helps facilitate the transaction between the buyer and the seller and allows the transaction to occur off-site in the comfort of the home. I had someone who lives in Toronto buy a home while he was on a trip in Montana.”

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