HAR.com to drop ‘Houston’ from name, launch new homebuying features
HAR.com, the Houston Association of Realtors’ popular home listing website that formerly focused predominantly on the Houston area, will be rebranded to Homes and Realtors to reflect its new statewide housing database.
Along with the rebrand, HAR.com will also add new features to its site.
In March, HAR.com expanded its listings to include 11 major markets statewide. Launched in 1997, the website has grown over the years to become the No. 1 Multiple Listing Service portal in the Bayou City, according to the Houston Association of Realtors, which is keeping its name and focus on helping Houston Realtors connect with consumers.
The new HAR.com will have a database of more than 100,000 active listings and 8.2 million properties, and connect users to nearly 80,000 agents across Texas. The beta version, which launched in spring, can be accessed at beta.har.com.
Along with the name change comes a slew of new-fangled features. Here are a few notable changes:
- Drive Time” will allow consumers to search for properties by how long they want their commutes to be. Users can input their office address and desired commute time, and the new HAR.com will create a map and a list of active home listings within the desired commute time. This feature is being rolled out over the coming months.
- Mobile users can receive push notifications on their GPS-enabled phones for new home listings and search for nearby open houses. A new app feature lets Realtors provide audio tours of homes for homebuyers to listen to.
- Realtors can fill out profile pages introducing their services to potential homebuyers. Using their profile, they can participate in discussion boards and share expert advice on a variety of topics, from schools and neighborhood amenities to the home buying process.
- Homebuyers can rate Realtors on their profiles, read reviews of neighborhood schools and share homes they liked with Realtors more easily, which can cut down on the volume of emails and text messages between the agent and buyer.
“Technology is truly the most amazing thing because it really empowers people,” said Taqi Rizvi, HAR’s chief technology officer. “Our job is to provide the best information to the consumer because a more educated consumer makes the real estate industry better.”