This upcoming weekend I will spend among some of the most online savvy people in Sweden today @ Sweden social web camp. The event takes place on island calles Tjärö and my plan was to spend it in a tent.
Today, however, I saw the opportunity to win a place in the “hemnet-tent” – looks really cool. And bet of all for the geek in me – it has electricity. Anyway – to win you have to share ideas on how to improve hemnet and the best answer win.
Looking closer at hemnet I found a few tips which made my suggestions to long to tweet – so I figured I would blog about them instead. In that way – even if hemnet do not implement any of my ideas – someone else might.
Hemnet.se is the biggest market place for houses and apartments in Sweden. In 2008 and a survey showed that about 50 % of Swedes between 20-79 visited the site regularly. Considering the development of the site, that number is probably larger than that now.
7 tips to improve hemnet.se
1. Mark the area you want to live in
I would like to be able to draw a circle (by “hand”) on the map where I want to live. And from that see a list of all apartments in that area. Today I can find all apartments on the map but have to klick on each to view any details.
2. Remove “most expensive” – add “added since your latest search”
Hemnet remember your last search so you can easily go back to that. But as an addition to that I think the section “most expensive” which is part of the startpage could be changed to “new since your latest search” featuring the added object to the search you did during your last visit. And/or if your visiting from a ipad/phone this could be new objects in your area.
3. Check boxes for apartment features
Hemnet has a search function that allows you to add keywords to the search. I would however want to have check boxes for apartment features. Balcony, evening sunset, washing machine or what ever it might be. This could also help the user with distinguishing what they are looking for.
4. Compare objects
On electronics sites we often see comparing opportunities. Where you can mark a few objects and them compare the details. This is especially interesting if we had features. So that I could compare the price, amount of rooms, square meters, locations etc. Without having to switch tabs.
5. Recommended based on previous searches
If I visited the hemnet a few sites looking at objects with a balcony in one area, perhaps I would be open to an apartment with the building permit for a balcony in that area or a an area very close. These types tips could be build in to a recommendations engine.
6. QR codes to object pages
In a previous post I shared the idea to add QR codes to those signs put outside of apartment showings. So that people walking by randomly might enter since they can easily find the website and browse the object before to see if it is interesting (or in their price range). Perhaps hemnet could create QR codes that the realtors can use.
7. Rating system
Let the user rate the apartment they looked at. So if they have many “starred” objects they will have a way to sort them. This could also be used for others. “4 start out of a 160 votes.”
- E-mail/SMS/add to calendar function for info about apartment viewings with map to be used for road description. (Saw the same tip from Axbom)
- Put starred object on top of the search result when they are part of them.
- Keep “latest search” and add two more of the latest in the advance search form.
- Blogger in bigger areas who share the apartment viewings they would attend and other tips.
- “What is important to me survery” where you get to answer a couple of question to help sort around your priorities.
- Calculator without object for saving – If I want an apartment in this area, that have a balcony, this many rooms it will cost this much. That means the cash contribution have to be at least this. I have this much, how much do I have to save each month for how long, with what interest rate, to get it?
I think that was all I could think of for now. So wish me good luck!