Finding your dream home in a big city can be a long, complicated process. Just ask anyone who's searched for an apartment in New York City about their experience, and they'll likely have a horror story...or two. So to help make the home search easier and more personalized, a new real estate app called Casa Blanca is launching today. It uses matchmaking technology powered by swiping left or right—basically, it's like Bumble for real estate.
Women-owned and operated (14 of the 15 staff members are women), Casa Blanca is designed to take your personal preferences into account in order to find your perfect real estate match. So before seeing any listings, you start with taking a style quiz. After presenting filters that are common in other real estate apps (neighborhood, budget, and number of rooms, etc.), the quiz then shows a Pinterest-like series of photos of home interiors and asks you to select your favorite styles. Along with design preference, the app also wants to know about your lifestyle: Do you have children? Any pets? Do you enjoy nightlife? How about cooking and going to parks? Lastly, you're asked to arrange amenities in order of importance. The list includes everything from a doorman and a super to closet space and a dishwasher.
"I think we’re being a lot more thoughtful about what people actually want from their homes," Casa Blanca CEO and founder Hannah Bomze, who got her first real estate license when she was just 18 years old, tells House Beautiful. "We’re not wasting their time with things that aren’t a good fit, and making it a more interesting and engaging process overall." Prior to launching Casa Blanca, she worked Compass and Douglas Elliman Real Estate. So she saw firsthand the role technology has played in how people buy and rent homes in New York.
"From a design perspective, the app also has a really beautiful aesthetic for actually experiencing the property," Bomze says. After taking the style quiz, for instance, the app presents each match with a full-screen image from the listing.
Along with featuring engaging visuals, the app is also super intuitive. To see the full details of a listing, simply swipe down. Don't like the listing? Swipe left, and you'll never have to see it again. If you are interested in a listing, swipe right to save it automatically. You can easily access all of your save listings at the bottom right corner of the app. "As you keep swiping the app gets to know you more and more," Bomze says.
If you want to see a listing, you can schedule a meeting with the push of a button and you'll be matched with a Casa Blanca agent who will help guide you through the rest of the buying or renting process. A noteworthy perk of using Casa Blanca is its nontraditional commission structure: The app cuts out the middleman, offering buyers one percent cash back on their final home purchase price.
While Casa Blanca is only available in New York City right now, Bomze is hoping to expand the app to the Hamptons, Aspen, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and a few other major cities in the future.
Ready to find your dream home in New York City? Download the Casa Blanca app here for free.
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