There's some low-level buzz today around Buyfolio, a new website that's designed to allow easy collaborative sharing of real estate listings from different websites (among others, Corcoran, Elliman, StreetEasy, and NYTimes) all in one place. Part of the reason for the buzz: Buyfolio's founder created SeatGuru, the very cool resource for finding the best seats on airplanes. Buyfolio is his new company. We took it for a spin.
Two potentially big ideas are at play here. First is the aforementioned ability to manage listings from a variety of sources in one place (other than the Excel spreadsheets many of us have used in the past for this purpose). Once you create a Buyfolio account, there's a field to paste in listing URLs from other sites; hit the save button, and a very bare-bones version of the listing—sans photos—loads. Listings data, like the asking price, automatically updates every day, and email alerts noting changes can be set up.
Once we got a few listings in the system—why hello, $15 million Lower East Side building!—we invited a fellow member of Team Curbed (codename: Polsky) to collaborate with us. She logged in easily and, once we both figured out that the tiny "add" link under each listing, we added some notes. No question, it'd keep us more organized than post-its. However, it appears as though there's no way to tell who left what note, though, which is a pain, nor is it obvious without clicking on a listing link which source the listing is from. There's some other early-days kinks, too: for instance, clicking on the Buyfolio logo at the top of the page logged us out, which seems odd. But these should be easy problems to resolve.
The second big idea here is broker-buyer collaboration, which we didn't test but is said to work similarly. In fact, it's founder Matt Daimler's explicit intention for the site to improve communication between brokers and buyers, or, as The Real Deal puts its, to "erase the tedium of traditional client-agent communication." (Brokers join the site through a separate signup, though the functionality is much the same.)
What will brokers make of the site? That's an open question. The Post tracked down broker-blogger Douglas Heddings, who gave it his thumbs-up: "It creates a one-stop shop for my clients. The transparent communication prevents multiple e-mails from getting lost in translation and makes the entire home search more efficient." Alrighty. Hey, we'd all like to be more organized. Just be sure to ask us in a few days if we're back to using post-it notes.
· Buyfolio [Buyfolio]
· Can New Website Streamline Homebuying? [The Real Deal]
· Air To Ground [NYPost]