A review website has launched that describes itself as “a new and powerful research and marketing tool in the residential property sector” and has been set up by a former agent.
HomeViews - which tags itself “the review platform for residential property” and says it has an official partnership with Countrywide’s high-end brand Hamptons International — is kicking off by specialising in London new build residential developments, and invites prospective buyers and tenants to read reviews of schemes.
Reviews are provided by three categories of contributors: residents, viewers, and industry professionals. The reviews involve ratings given for design, lifestyle, location and value and produce an overall score.
In addition to Hamptons, the site also has an official partnership with agency Cushman & Wakefield and says “other big names are in the pipeline.”
It’s been set up by former LSL Marsh & Parson new homes head of consultancy Rory Cramer, who says:“One of the biggest decisions we ever make, financially and emotionally, is choosing a home. Our mission at HomeViews is to share useful, trustworthy insights about residential developments to support those making that decision.
“At a time when around 100,000 new apartments are being delivered across London and thousands of people are discovering and considering new build for the first time, we see a real gap for a residential development review site.“
Cramer (left) co-founded the site with start-up specialists Hannah Marsh (centre) and Oliver McGinn (right).
“Engagement is key. Storytelling through resident voices, creating marketing opportunities for developers together with mutually beneficial brands and by creating the first awards given by resident ratings we feel that HomeViews will also become a powerful research and marketing tool within the property industry” says Marsh, who is also marketing director.
The site has been tested for some months and has a number of reviews already, chiefly of open sale and Built To Rent units.
It has been given a ringing endorsement by the HomeOwners Alliance, which has often been critical of estate and letting agents, as well as the quality of new-build homes.
“We're big supporters of what Homeviews is doing to improve transparency and to help people have as much information as possible about the homes they are looking at buying. By collating residents reviews of a development and a developer, everyone can now get real feedback on new build developments, beyond the glossy marketing brochure. We're excited to see Homeviews grow” says Paula Higgins, HOA chief executive.