Out of Stealth
Hello and welcome to letsbutterfly! 🦋😊
The very core of letsbutterfly is all about people. Regardless of the industry, people should be treated as people — not products. Whether it is in healthcare, auto industry, or real-estate, we need to insure that we empower and enable everyone with powerful tools backed by quality data. Even more so, the relationship between people is key — with transparency and accountability.
Our initial focus is in real-estate: an industry where everyone including the core decision makers (i.e. buyers and sellers) are still burdened by the whole system. It is not to say that there are no existing tools to help find and sell homes, or ones that guides you through a procedure, but the majority seem to focus on smaller segments while being disconnected from others. The more disconnected a system is, the harder it is to attain computational value from the overall big data.
Similar to any industry, this one is made up of many components: sellers, buyers, agents/realtors, brokerages, associations, MLS providers, data vendors, appraisals, inspectors, banks, local services, and more. Tools and services available today tend to cater more to some of these components over others, while ignoring many (e.g. lifestyle data)—which creates an imbalance in the ecosystem. The more you focus and invest on the few, the weaker the whole becomes.
First Win 🎈🎉
The research work around the idea of letsbutterfly started mid-May of this year and development started early October when we applied to RESO’s Data Competition at their Fall Conference in San Diego. We had to demonstrate (in a span of 7-minutes) an innovative product; provided it utilized RESO’s certified data format. Letsbutterfly won the Crowd Favorite award on October 18th, 2017.
Why “letsbutterfly”? 🦋
The name “letsbutterfly” is a play on the phrase “let us take advantage of the butterfly effect”.
The butterfly effect is the concept that “small causes can have large effects”. In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. (Sources: 1, 2.)
The mission of letsbutterfly is to (1) level the playing field of all the components in a given ecosystem, (2) enable all users within said system with tools, services, and knowledge to make informative decisions on their part, (3) help local economies flourish organically, and lastly, (4) give back to relevant communities and causes to further propagate the effect.
Prosperity is what we aim for, not just for the individual, but for the whole. While always looking at the big-picture, we always want to start solving problems at their roots.
Note that prosperity does not only refer to its financial aspect, rather in all aspects of:
- Success and growth
- Wealth and happiness
- Education and knowledge
- Well-being and comfort
- Environmental efforts towards greener and smart technologies
- and so on…
The goal is to have each component prosper within the system — thus interdependency of components is critical since it can only occur when all components work together. It’s a different take on creating prosperity from a wholistic sense resulting in the “Reimagine” aspect of the overall mission statement: “Reimagine Prosperity.”
Logo & Branding 🖌
We love design! We believe design starts from the core and is engrained in all its components (backend, API, architecture, frontend, experience, UX) with a goal to create a powerful albeit simple experience— its simplicity belies its complexity.
After months of iteration and work around the clock this is were we stand today. We have recieved great feedback on the branding at RESO as well as amongst many who have seen it before hand. 👍
We believe branding is as important as the products it entails. Branding helps resonate beyond the technical to the emotional resonance with the end user. In the case of letsbutterfly™ it is to instill design, imagination, and innovation.
Back to the demo 📱
What we demonstrated at RESO is the first phase (out of four) when it comes to our overall vision in the real-estate industry:
Phase 1 (egg) → Phase 2 (caterpillar) → Phase 3 (pupa) → Phase 4 (butterfly)
The first phase focuses on the agent/client relationship before even a home is put on the market.
Today, for an agent to signup a seller to put their home on the market can take up anywhere between one to few days. Most of the time is being spent on traveling and the dependance on a laptop to download data to assess a proper evaluation. Time is money.
For a proper evaluation to be assessed an agent would need to know, download, and compute data based on MLS, cost analysis, as well as historical market data. Adjustments based on said data can be tedious to research and compute every single time resulting in inconsistent results. While on the sellers’ side, not being transparent as to the “why?” and “how?” their home is being assessed as such (in a simple, nontechnical way) makes it even harder to convince them of that value.
Many new agents starting in the industry are not equipped intellectually nor technically to perform proper evaluations while creating a trusting relationship with a potential client.
Since it’s clear that a lot of the friction is dependent on a laptop or computer, letsbutterfly solves that problem with offering all the necessary data and computation in a mobile-only interface. Smartphones are now as capable to perform complex computations that you can carry right in your pocket.
The other friction is searching and figuring out the right data to perform proper adjustments. Performing that computation in a few minutes while being able to modify and deep-dive into the details of the adjustments is what makes it unique.
The agent is already at the home of the seller where both market data and visual inspection can be inputted quickly and easily without writing anything down for later use.
The (web) App!
The application is actually the first Progressive Web App (PWA) in the real-estate industry. With PWAs users only need a browser to run the application on any mobile device whether it’s on iOS or Android.
We will post more technical deep-dive articles in the future as we believe in being open to encourage more innovation in this field.
Step 1: Enter an Address
To add a home, the agent is presented with a screen to enter a home address.
After entering the address, the app will automatically download and analyze the necessary data in realtime to come up with a valuation.
The app presents the home in a simple and elegant way breaking it down into “Room”, “Appearance”, and “Features”.
At the top of the screen is the golden wings representing the computed valuation of the home. To dive into the details as to how the app came up with that number, simply touch the top-right “more” (…) button.
The details pane shows the price can range based on square footage: displaying minimum, average, and maximum. Recently sold homes are grouped based on how closely they match the home in question.
Not only can the user enable/disable homes to see how the value changes (in realtime), but can also dive into the details of each of these homes to view the adjustment breakdown.
Step 2: Modify Home
Let’s say the seller had upgraded their kitchen to high-end appliances costing near $20,000. The agent would educate the client that they are more likely get back 50% of that invesetment, around $10,000.
Touching the Kitchen item under Rooms, the user simply uses the slider to adjust the “Kitchen Value” for this home.
The client can follow along and/or work together with the agent to come up with a valuation right on the spot. Not only does it educate both parties, but creates a stronger relationship and trust.
Until next time…
The goal of this article is to warmly introduce letsbutterfly™ to the rest of the real-estate world after our win in October, while diving a little deeper into the why and how.
We hope you found this informative! Please subscribe to stay in-touch with more articles coming our way.
Working with us
We are always looking for companies to work and partner with us to take this to the next level. If you are interested please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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