Thursday, June 13, 2024

Ownly builds partner network to Shopify new construction sales

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Ownly, a company that provides home builders a solution for online retail functionality, has established a couple of partnerships to further its goal of making buying new construction homes as easy as “couch to contract.”

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Ownly, a company that provides home builders a solution for online retail functionality, has established a couple of partnerships to further its goal of making buying new construction homes as easy as “couch to contract.”

The virtual homebuying platform secured deals with a leading online mortgage company in Canada called Homewise, and another with HonestDoor, a home valuation provider, according to an announcement sent to Inman.

Ownly earned four stars in a March 2022 review by Inman for a consumer-driven retail storefront from which aspiring buyers can shop for homes with a Netflix-inspired browsing experience. It offers mortgage qualification functionality, as well as purchase offer facilitation.

“I’m thrilled to partner with these market-leading teams,” shared Jason Hardy, CEO and co-founder of Ownly, in a statement. “We each share a vision for simplifying and digitizing the homebuying experience, and together we will continue to bring the needed change to the archaic experience.”

Additionally, Ownly closed on a seed round of financing, securing $2.55 million, notable given the slowdown in new homes and current market sentiment toward new homes.

Inman reported that the National Home Builders Association/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped five points in November to 33, down from 38 in October, according to the NAHB.

That said, these sorts of downturns offer innovators like Ownly and its category partners opportunities to demonstrate their advantages to traditional marketing and business models.

Ownly gives developers a backend suite of tools to populate property information and publish it in the form of an online gallery of new homes. Controlling what the shopper sees is as easy as toggling off a few options and uploading images and content.

Buyers browse and select exterior finishes and interior layouts from interactive floorplans, which often include kitchen features, garage stall options, bedrooms, bathroom alternatives and other home amenities and needs.

Homewise functions as an online marketplace and resource for people seeking home financing, offering them content, data and a large number of lenders and advisers. With the onset of the partnership, Homewise’s application is fully integrated into Ownly’s platform, ensuring it is a key part of the user experience, the announcement reads.

In its valuation experience, HonestDoor blends live market information with a digital repository of property taxes, transaction data, permit data and neighborhood growth rates for over 16 million properties throughout Canada.

“HonestDoor provides consumers with real-time home valuations as they go through our digitized homebuying process. The technology is fully integrated, providing a seamless appraisal experience for all users,” Ownly stated.

Ownly’s experience overlaps with an industry-wide onset of software that collectively, and without direct cooperation, is making houses into functioning data ecosystems. Long looked at as a static hard asset, the modern house is now embedded with connectivity, wrapped in data about what every renovation costs, connected to the web through inspection and sale data, and its equity is now able to be accessed in the same way we send cash to one another on mobile devices.

Ownly’s effort to “Shopify” new homes will come with an array of long-tail data on what materials costs in what markets, what creates construction delays and how more esoteric concepts, such as financing and regional labor rates impact what a person pays for a home and leads to more transparency from builders.

Plunk, PunchListUSA, Nester and Inspectify are already digitizing the physical aspects of working on a home, and in unison with Ownly and others, contributing to the beneficial commoditization of the American home.

Email Craig Rowe

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