I have a real estate listing website that gets decent of traffic (enough to convert leads on an ongoing basis). It's been around for a few years and it's going strong.
Last year, we decided to pivot, and convert ourselves from a real estate listing service to a community, really focusing on bringing transparency to a horribly opaque industry. We want to empower users with access to information they need when they are house hunting, as quickly as possible, without trying to move them down a sales funnel.
The core idea is this: In the world of house hunting, there is a lot of public data, but you need to work with an agent (i.e. fall into someone's funnel) in order to learn certain facts about a house you may be interested. Just trying to learn something as simple as "can I garden in the backyard" or "can the kids play in the neighbourhood safely", which are the types of questions buyers really care about after they get access to the already commoditised data such as prices or square footage; well, it's like pulling teeth and horribly time consuming to get answers to such important secondary questions.
We figured out how to collect and serve that information, and it's already happening... And Yes, I know... It's pretty much antithetical to the entire real estate industry and how it operates - where everything is super sales driven. But we think, over the long run, this approach will bring a ton of value to the world and save everyone time, including real estate agents.
So... Two questions:
1) Is this the type of thing you would use in our own search and would it actually save you time?
2) What type of incentive would motivate you to join such a community and share information (about your property, about your opinions on a neighbourhood, etc.)