British real estate portal Boomin has upgraded its SmartVal property valuation tool, incorporating data analysis and user feedback from agents and homemovers.

The tool was launched less than three months ago and has already been used more than 40,000 times by agents. It aims to utilize local agent expertise with real-time online valuations to provide a more accurate valuation than other online tools available.

Visitors to the Boomin platform can request a SmartVal from local agents who are online and available to respond. The product initially allowed visitors to request a SmartVal from 9am to 10pm, seven days a week. Agents had the option to be online and available to provide one between these hours.

The company says that data analytics suggest a high demand for this service outside normal estate agent branch opening hours. The new service offers agents who are offline the chance to do one if there are fewer than three agents online and available. Online agents are showcased first, but the platform now offers SmartVals 24/7, so homeowners can choose an agent after 10pm when all agents are offline.

Once an agent has the relevant information from a property owner, alongside supplemental market data, selected agents can provide a valuation within a 15-minute fixed period. Once this is submitted, the agent will gain access to the customer’s full contact details.

The new version gives agents up to 24 hours to accept a SmartVal request when they are selected offline and each branch can put up to three SmartVals in a queue. Once they accept a request they still have only 15 minutes to deliver the valuation to the homeowner. When they reach that limit they will no longer be eligible for selection until there are fewer than three waiting.

Boomin says that high conversion rates to new business occur most where agents are proactive.

“It speaks volumes about the level of customer engagement and the size of the SmartVal opportunity, that in such a short period since the launch it has captured the imagination of thousands of sellers and agents,” said CEO Michael Bruce.

“It is not acceptable for agents not to have access to these potential sellers like they did automatically, and for free, before property portals were invented because every homeowner contacted their local agent directly every time for an indication of value.

“Combined with the recent launch of ChainMaker and with additional significant innovations and developments in the pipeline, agents should be in no doubt that the Boomin platform will continue to lead industry change and that we’re working tirelessly to create a viable alternative to the status quo.”

Boomin launched its ChainMaker tool earlier this month. It aims to stop property chains from collapsing by lining up buyers in case a ‘sold subject to contract’ transaction falls through. It lets buyers register their interest in a property as they would have with an agent before property portals existed. This gives agents valuable leads of motivated buyers whom they can contact in the event of a fall through and stop the chain collapsing.

It uses a software solution, developed in-house to address the problems and costs linked to the breakdown of a chain, which affects around 30% of property transactions in the U.K.

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