Real estate portal Housing.com (earlier Housing.co.in) has introduced an 'agents map' feature on its website to help property seekers figure out who their nearest agent is, before renting or buying a property. According to the firm, agent maps will help people find the agent best suited to their requirements and nearest to their favourite areas.
"Instead of an uninformative list of agents in the city, we map agents by the areas they work in. The agents appear as icons on a map and when clicking on these icons, users will see contact details of the agents operating there," said Advitiya Sharma, co-founder, Housing.
Users can search with four levels of granularity as per their requirement: 1) locality search: a general search for agents in a large area, 2) sub-locality search: a more specific search for a smaller area, 3) building search: a search for users who have already made their choice of a residential society or building, and 4) landmark search: a search according to the user's current location.
Early this month, Housing added a 'price heat map' feature which will enable users to check prices of localities across a city on a map.
Housing was set up in 2012 by a group from IIT Bombay. The startup enables real estate brokers to upload unlimited listings on the site while users can search properties for free. The venture is owned and operated by Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd and currently has 30 IIT graduates on board. The service is currently available in seven cities—Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Gurgaon, Chennai, Noida and Ghaziabad.
Last month, the startup bought the Housing.com domain name as well as a national number 03-333-333-333, for $1 million. The purchase was done as a first step for the company's international expansion.
Housing.com had raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding from Nexus Venture Partners in June this year. Prior to that, it also attracted two rounds of angel funding. In March 2013, the company raised angel funding from former Network18 CEO Haresh Chawla, immediately after securing an undisclosed sum from a group of angel investors, led by Zishaan Hayath, co-founder of the phone commerce company Chaupaati Bazaar, which was acquired by Kishore Biyani's Future Group a couple of years ago.
Apart from the agents map feature, the site offers options such as Housing lifestyle rating, locality score, society score, connectivity score and neighborhood score. The company had recently appointed Richa Bansal, co-founder and managing director of online jewellery and fashion accessories retailer 21Diamonds.in, as its chief business officer.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)