The service is called Booli (in Beta mode of course) and is aiming to be the search engine for residential listings and market information in Sweden.
The people behind Booli
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with two of the founders, Anders Kyhlstedt (Head of Marketing) and Peo Nilsson (CEO). Both are serial entrepreneurs that see an inefficient market. They are teaming up with Daniel Kapland, a very successful Internet entrepreneur, who runs the incubator Firm Factory. In total there are some 10 people working at Hemson Sök AB (the company behind the service).
My first impression
After playing around an hour with the tool, I'm indeed impressed. There is no question that this crowd has extensively Internet experience and a vision how to create a consumer product.
Functionality I like...
... saving listings, so easy but so powerful
... my placard, which display what has happened in my area of interest (including listings that has been removed)
... easy to update the search list
... great mapping functionality
And from the discussion with the founders I know that there is more to come. Even maybe some Zillow functionality... (it is also stated on their site)
How they do it
Booli is first of all a search engine finding listings at the brokers sites. They don't primarily use crawlers (collect the data) sites like Hemnet or Bovision. According to a Booli (unconfirmed) comment in this blog post, less then 1% of the listings are from other listings services.
Based on advertisement and, I assume, enhanced listings in the future. There is no question, that they have been inspired by services like Trulia and Nestoria. Their goal is first of all to be a tool for the consumers (not the broker).
However, the do have quite a few challenges;
... trust, the consumer must trust that Booli has at least the same number of listings that Hemnet (or Bovision for that reason). The functionality has limited value if the listings aren't there
... the reaction from the brokers community, there has been people trying this before but hasn't been successfully
... stamina to let the people get used to run their residential search here instead
... take it from Beta mode (it is still only for greater Stockholm and according to themselves, there are more listings in the database than on the site)
It will be very interesting to follow the evolution of residential listing.
Let the fight for the customers begin.