It has for sure been a busy week for Hemnet, the number one listing service in Sweden for residential homes.
Server crash put a hold on updates
According to an article in Dagens Industri (financial paper) a server went down last Saturday and put a hold to all updates put in by brokers on that day. The irony is that this was just a few days before their switch to the new platform (se below).
Upgrading the technical platform
Earlier this week (but after the crash) Hemnet introduced their new platform (press release in Swedish). The old one had been around for 10 years. From a user perspective the only difference is a new mapping functionality. This is the second switch of mapping in a year.
In other words, less focus on the end user. Which comes to no surprise since Hemnet is owned by the brokerage community (and two large newspapers). Hemnets explanation (in the DI article) is that their user groups have strongly demanded NOT to change how the site works. Isn't there a way to add better functionality and still keep the basics searches as they are?
"The most underdeveloped site in Sweden"
As a comment to the new release, with lack of major improvements for the end user, the Swedish blog webstrategi.se describes Hemnet to be 'the most underdeveloped site in Sweden".
Robert (the author behind the blog) for sure has a point if you ask me. Hemnet is a great service since it consists of 90%(?) of all listings. However, if you search actively for a new home (like me and my wife where 6 months ago) there are easily 20 new functions that one would have appreciated greatly.
My suggestion to the owners of Hemnet, make the 'feed' of listings available to other to build web sites on. That would increase the marketing of your listings. Isn't that the point?