Zillow Meets TikTok: company taps into existing consumer behaviors to give people new ways to enjoy real estate
Playhouse beta now available for Bay Area properties
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Creatoreconomy—Playhouse, the company behind a new way to surf real estate, today announced $2.8 million in seed funding from several funds, including Agya Ventures, Gaingels, Goodwater Capital, Nomo Ventures, PKO Investments, and Y Combinator, as well as a number of notable angels and prominent content creators. Funds will be used for ongoing product development for the Playhouse app, which enables users to enjoy TikTok-like videos on active real estate listings while learning more about property details. A beta version of the app is now available for Bay Area properties.
“Hundreds of millions of people view real estate listings every month, but only 6 million homes are sold each year. People love looking at houses, whether they are actively hunting for a new home, thinking aspirationally about where they’d like to be in the future, or simply collecting renovation or decorating ideas, and they deserve a better way to surf,” said Playhouse Co-founder and CEO Alex Perelman. “The most recent consumer innovation in this space was putting pictures of homes on the Internet, and that was 15 years ago. Playhouse completely disrupts this flat, boring experience by delivering fun, educational, and productive content so that people can engage with local real estate on their phones.”
A Reimagined Experience
Playhouse leverages the existing behavior of how people explore commerce through video content online and extends it to evolve how they shop for real estate. Playhouse’s short, full-screen videos act like the trailers before a movie, getting people excited about what they could see, depending on their interests. Users quickly and easily scroll through videos of real active listings on the app, just as they would videos on TikTok. They can also browse listings using a map and apply filters if they are looking for something specific. The result is an enjoyable and practical way to discover real estate while learning more about homes and neighborhoods.
Playhouse will offer a personalized experience that keeps prospective buyers and window shoppers coming back again and again. Unlike other sites where users face an empty search box and have to decide what to do next, people open the Playhouse app and instantly see something that grabs their attention.
Debuting with the beta is the Listing Price Game in which anyone can guess if the listing price shown is higher or lower than the property’s true listing price. As players try to accumulate correct answers, they learn more about the values of homes in a particular area and the factors that affect those prices. Playhouse will continue to add interactive content like this as it builds out its platform.
Real Estate Platform for the Creator Economy
Playhouse also offers real estate agents a chance to join the creator economy. By empowering them to bring their authentic personality, engaging music, and passion for real estate to video, Playhouse makes it easy to convey the uniqueness of the house and/or of the agent team. Thanks to the blend of geographic data, listing information, and engaging content, agents have the potential for even greater visibility than on the Instagram account they’ve spent years cultivating.
“For buyers today, especially younger buyers, video is everything,” said Lauren Quach of TeamFIT. “It is by far the best way to forge a connection, whether by showcasing knowledge, personality, or even a look that makes people feel comfortable. Playhouse opens up an effective, authentic channel for our team to reach buyers. They feel like they know us, which makes working together easier and more rewarding.”
Built for a New Generation
Playhouse was started by Perelman and Nathan Shinder, long-time friends who spent the previous three years working at PeerStreet, a real estate tech company in LA that’s raised over $120 million in venture capital and completed over $4 billion in transactions (Perelman was co-founder and CTO of PeerStreet). Based on their own home-buying experiences, the team recognized the opportunity to create a product for the next generation of real estate buyers and sellers.
“It’s no secret that people are obsessed with real estate – even Saturday Night Live is doing skits about Zillow surfing. Television and YouTube shows are now devoted to homes, but people still crave something more fun and practical. Alex and Nathan tapped into that, creating the first company that moves beyond the relatively small number of people that actually buy a home every year,” said Patrick Lee of PKO Investments, a syndicate that includes a number of entertainment tech founders from companies such as Rotten Tomatoes, Kabam, Crunchyroll, Twitch, and YouTube. “Real estate is the biggest asset by value in the world, and Playhouse is completely reimagining how people can discover new opportunities by empowering creators to tell their stories.”
The Playhouse beta is available free for download from the Apple App Store, with listings for the San Francisco Bay Area. Look for additional metros to be added soon.
Playhouse is a mobile app for video listings of homes for sale. By putting real estate content creators in the driver’s seat, Playhouse offers an entertaining, authentic, and immersive platform that’s focused on discovery, education, and community. Playhouse introduces limitless experiences for consumers by connecting creator content to real data about homes and neighborhoods. Playhouse provides a great experience for everyone from serious buyers to those that just want to browse casually and have some fun. Learn more at www.playhouse.so.
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