The days of scrolling through home listings on the same old sites and having to guess at some of the elements that make a house a great match or not are over.
Watching her daughter and son-in-law struggle to find their home on platforms like Zillow, former USPS IT executive Kathleen Warnaar devised a solution: HomeLifeIQ, a patented search engine that helps brokerages connect clients with their dream homes.
Warnaar, who is the company’s CEO, watched many factors—beyond price range, home size and location—play out in her daughter’s search: proximity to both of their workplaces, a dog park for their dog Elsa, their friends in Raleigh and so on.
Her software HomeLifeIQ leverages data that takes into account multiple elements beyond the handful of typical home search factors. It prompts questions based on proximity to loved ones, exterior and interior styles, dog-friendly, quiet neighborhood and other lifestyle needs. It will then generate the top 20 homes, each with a score out of 100 based on the inputted preferences.
The results will also continue to update as you continue to tweak the search and as available homes come on the market.
“What this search is doing is it’s giving a tremendous amount of power to you,” Warnaar said. “You’re going to be the best real estate agent you know.”
For each real estate brokerage, HomeLifeIQ will provide a mobile app—and soon a website plugin—tailored entirely to its branding guidelines, i.e. a white label offering. Home buyers can then access the app anytime without having to contact their realtor.
“I wanted this for the general audience, not just realtors,” Warnaar said. “Because my point is to enable everyone, not just enable a professional.”
She said it will create a partnership between the home buyer and real estate agent. Any agent who uses this software will be as good as the best agent, she said, one who takes the time to get to know their clients and find the right home for them.
The company’s first partnership was with Referral Realty, a real estate agency in Raleigh, which has been using the software for about a year. Warnaar is also a Referral Realty broker.
The agency’s Broker in Charge, Pete Greijin, said the feedback has been positive so far among their clients, and it is user-friendly regardless of age.
“For me, it’s exciting,” Greijin said. “First of all, I’m blown away by the data that is out there that you can hook into and use. For us, it’s something different because there’s not many real estate companies that have an app.”
He said HomeLifeIQ reduced the time brokers at the agency spent searching for the right home for clients. Most people want to do it themselves.
“It’s another tool for us,” Greijin said.
For 2023, Warnaar said they hope to continue refining their user interface, expand its home coverage to Denver, Colorado, and two-thirds of North Carolina, and are thinking about the possibility of adding rentals.
The HomeLifeIQ team is made up of four people.