The Zillow Group (Z), Realtor.com, Redfin and every other site battling for the online real estate title are about to have a new competitor to worry about, and the new kid on the block is expecting to “revolutionize the way real estate transacts.”
But this new kid isn’t a startup, it is backed by one of industry’s largest players – Nationstar Mortgage Holdings (NSM).
Nationstar announced Tuesday that it is planning to re-launch its wholly owned subsidiary Solutionstar as a “premier real estate search and transaction platform.”
In the next few weeks, Solutionstar will re-launch as Xome, featuring the Xome.com portal, which is currently in beta testing.
According to Nationstar, Xome.com is a “next generation” residential real estate digital experience on web and mobile devices comprised of a “dynamic” search platform, boasting “best-in-class data,” including access to over 85% of all active MLS listings in the United States, and a transactional marketplace as well.
“The Xome portal assists customers through each step of the process from finding an agent, searching for a property, obtaining a mortgage, to closing the transaction,” Nationstar said in a release.
“Unlike traditional real estate transactions that are notoriously complicated, Xome customers will be effortlessly guided through the process, all while a dedicated customer service specialist is available to answer any questions.”
In short, Xome will allow buyers to search for a new home, obtain a mortgage, and close their loan all in one place.
Nationstar also said that the Xome.com portal will also feature an “industry-leading” automated home valuation model that boasts “cutting-edge technology.”
Nationstar said Xome will utilize the extensive data generated by Real Estate Digital, a real estate data aggregation company Solutionstar acquired in May 2014, to create a “robust” home price predictive model, enhancing the reliability of Xome.com.
The accuracy of automated property valuations, especially those on Zillow.com, have long been an issue raised by buyers, sellers and agents alike.
Over the last several months, Solutionstar has added several senior executives with extensive e-commerce experience, evidently in preparation for this move.
In November, Solutionstar announced that it named Kal Raman as the company’s new chief executive officer. Raman brings more 20 years of experience to Solutionstar, having spent time in leadership positions with Groupon, eBay, Amazon and others.
Raman was tasked with overseeing all activities at the company, including integrating Real Estate Digital into Solutionstar’s operations, and continuing in Solutionstar’s efforts to deliver “comprehensive, end-to-end online services for homebuyers, home sellers and real estate professionals.”
Raman joined Solutionstar from Groupon, where he was CEO of the company’s Asia Pacific region. Prior to that, he was Groupon’s chief operating officer.
“Solutionstar is making a significant, sustained investment in innovation to make real estate services simpler and more accessible,” Raman said when he was hired. “In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to unveiling new technology products and services to better connect consumers and real estate professionals – and, ultimately, to deliver a truly integrated, comprehensive online real estate solution.”
Solutionstar later added Deva Kannan as the company’s new chief information officer.
As chief information officer, Kannan leads the company’s technology and information service initiatives. One of his first projects was to bethe build-out of two research and development facilities in Seattle, Wash., and Chennai, India, the company said.
Kannan also joined Solutionstar from Groupon, where he was a vice president of Groupon Goods. Earlier in his career, Kannan also held executive roles at GlobalScholar.com, Amazon.com, Blockbuster and Wal-Mart.
When discussing Nationstar’s first quarter earnings earlier this week, Nationstar CEO Jay Bray said that he believes Solutionstar’s re-launch as Xome will “revolutionize the way real estate transacts.”