Boomin has revealed an upgrade to its SmartVal feature, which tries to blend real-time online valuations with local expertise from member agents.
The portal says over 40,000 SmartVals have been delivered to agents since the original version of the feature launched in early September, and the latest version carries enhancements based on data analysis and user feedback from both agents and consumers.
The latter is said too show “significantly high demand for the service outside of typical estate agency branch hours.”
The first version of the tool allowed portal users to request a SmartVal from available agents between the hours of 9am and 10pm, seven days a week - but agents had to choose to make themselves online and available during those hours.
The new version offers agents who are offline the opportunity to ‘bid’ for the deal as well - providing there are fewer than three other member agents online and available.
Agents who are online are always showcased first, but the new service will be available 24 hours a day so consumers can now make an agent selection after 10pm, when all agents are categorised as offline.
A statement from Boomin says: “For agents, added flexibility has been built into V2 giving them up to 24 hours to accept a SmartVal when they are selected offline. This avoids the risk of agents missing out on business when they are the seller’s preferred agent but not immediately available. Each branch can queue up to three offline SmartVals. When they reach the limit their branch will not appear for selection until they have less than three SmartVals waiting.”
Once agents have accepted an offline SmartVal request they still need to deliver their SmartVal to customers within 15 minutes, as is now the case with online agents using the original version of the tool.
Boomin cites Darren Tait, chief operating officer of estate agency Beals, who says: “SmartVal is quick and easy to use judging by the level of SmartVal requests Beals are receiving. We really welcome the enhancements to SmartVal, which will ensure our agents do not lose vital new business leads, which come in outside of working hours. Already we have received over 100 SmartVal requests, and with V2 we expect this number to increase by a substantial multiple.”
And Boomin founder and chief executive Michael Bruce adds: “It speaks volumes about the level of customer engagement and the size of the SmartVal opportunity, that in such a short period since the launch it has captured the imagination of thousands of sellers and agents. SmartVal brings agents and sellers back together, within their control, to build relationships and encourages them into the market.
“It is not acceptable for agents not to have access to these potential sellers like they did automatically, and for free, before property portals were invented because every homeowner contacted their local agent direct every time for an indication of value. As Boomin continues to extend its reach, with the SmartVal enhancements live today, we’re making it easier with the use of technology for both customers and agents to engage like they did in the past, encouraging more people into the market.
“Combined with the recent launch of ChainMaker and with additional significant innovations and developments in the pipeline, agents should be in no doubt that the Boomin platform will continue to lead industry change and that we’re working tirelessly to create a viable alternative to the status quo.”
* SmartVal is powered in part by The ValPal Network’s valuation tool, owned by Angels Media, publisher of Estate Agent Today.