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Graham Awards


New 'Tinder-style' smartphone app aims at private sellers and buyers

A new app, Qoob, allows people to use a smartphone to swipe through homes put on the market by private sellers - without what it calls the ‘distortion of market forces’ caused estate agents.

Qoob has been created by technicians at the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences and it allows people to upload pictures of their home and create a listing instantly on their smartphone. 

Describing itself as the home sellers’ and buyers’ equivalent of dating app Tinder, it means that if another Qoob user who wants to purchase a home likes the look of a property they see, they can rapidly chat with the seller, arrange viewings and even negotiate through the app’s instant messaging service. 

Qoob works the same way for landlords who upload details, with would-be tenants spotting them on the app and making direct contact to seal the deal. It would avoid any estate or letting agency fees and the app itself is free to download. 

“Technology is putting the customer in control. For decades agents have maintained a stranglehold on the market but now people can sidestep them and secure a fairer deal” explains Thomas Fink, a physicist from the California Institute of Technology and Cambridge University and the brains behind Qoob. 

Fink claims that estate agents are distorting market forces in the property sector by effectively obstructing direct communication between sellers and buyers. 

  • Trevor Mealham

    Fab idea. Let's wait for the first person to lose the agent filter and under go an assault in their own home due to some clever App that will allow people to sell under value and at risk in their own home.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Consumer safety should come first.

  • Fake Agent

    Awful, awful name. Qoob - what does that even mean? How do you even pronounce it?

    Not only does it look like something naughty schoolchildren type into a calculator, it also doesn't tell me anything about the app/product that I might want to use.

    The idea might be great, but I'd never know because I couldn't get past that terrible, meaningless, irritating name.

    Seriously, how is it pronounced? Kwoob? Cube? Quoob? Qu-ob? Kwoo-b? Anyone?


    I would hazard a guess that it's pronounced 'Kooooob'

  • icon

    Have seen a few of these pop up over the past year or so - none to catch on yet, but there probably is a a very tiny niche gap in the market for this kind of tool, for younger buyers maybe.

    Jon  Tarrey

    Yes, the market does seem rather crowded with so many of these apps. But if it's of use to someone, especially young people, then like you say it could find its own little niche.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Agree about the name being absolutely awful, but I don't think it's a bad idea at all. Rough around the edges, but certainly brave and innovative.

    I also agree with Trevor's point that consumer safety must come first, and that this sort of thing might be quite hard to police, but I don't think it should be completely dismissed on those grounds.

    It's an interesting idea, it just needs to be refined a tad.

  • Anna  Dickson

    Strange name, innovative idea. It's without doubt that this isn't a polished product, but it has potential. Connecting buyers and sellers with ease, it certainly has its unique selling points. Interesting to see if this one breaks through the net where others have failed.

  • Emma  Mitchell

    Yes technology should be a huge part of selling a home, but this is taking it a step too far, and is a prime example of the fatal mistake of cutting corners. For buying or selling something as precious as a house, consumer safety should be at the forefront.

  • Chris Arnold

    The blind leading the blind springs to mind! It's possible to do and learn many things by oneself, but always more efficient and ultimately more sensible to use a professional. Oh, that's true - it does initially cost money but eventually vendors will learn the hard way that they need help.


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