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The future of house hunting: Tinder-style App storms the market

Anyone who has braved the online dating market will have no doubt come into contact with the all-conquering, all-seeing Tinder. The operation of signing up, choosing your preferences and then picking your way through a gallery of hopefuls – dismissing the unwanted by swiping to the left and examining further by swiping to the right – is simple and an easy way of both getting into online dating or wiling away an hour or two. Even celebs are starting to sign up.

Now imagine applying the same principle of selection to properties, in the form of an app that does away with a huge list of properties to trawl, and replaces it with a smart gallery of homes available now in your location.

Well it’s here, in the form of an app called Knocker, which could well be the future of home selection. Billed as the “Tinder of Real Estate” and blessed with a lemon-shaped logo to emphasise its refreshing approach, the app has been created by programmers through an acceleration programme in Newcastle, and runs using properties from property giant Zoopla.

The first step is to turn on location services, to allow the app’s GPS capabilities to load up a selection of nearby properties that are on the market. Not only does a picture of a home spring up on a card, but it also gives a price, precise location and the distance from your current location. Swipe to the left to scroll through similar properties, and if you want to take it further tap on the picture, which brings up further information and even a mortgage calculator to see if a purchase is viable.

One can see the capabilities and uses immediately. Imagine, for example that you are driving in a particular area, and on a whim decide to see what’s available. This is the simplest way of doing so. Perhaps you’re standing by a ‘for sale’ sign of an interesting looking bungalow, and want to know the intricate details. You could compare the current rental and mortgage availability and prices. And if you’re planning to sell your house online, what better way than to grab them potentially interested parties than when they’re nearby?

Yes, there are drawbacks. For example, Android users will have to wait a little longer as the developers have currently concentrated on the iOS version (iPhone). Some might find it rather too simplistic, and of course traditionalists will prefer walking into a high street agent. There are also several alternative apps with similar facilities.

But the initial feedback has been positive, with an average review rating of four and a half stars. Joint developer Jon Grant said in This is Money: “Tinder has been a huge influence on the process, and we hope that the very simple approach to property search is something that resonates with users, both looking for somewhere to live, and of the nosey variety.”

Perhaps then, Grant and his entrepreneur partner Sam Easterby-Smith have captured the current zeitgeist of creating content and apps that are easy to digest, and serious but at the same time ideal for idling away hours. If only there was an app to make housing more affordable for those who are likely to be most interested. 



Guest Author: Kathryn Thompson