Kiwibank launched a free Home Hunter app for phones & computers yesterday, which chief executive Paul Brock said would change the way people look for & buy homes.
Mr Brock said the application, available on smartphone, tablet or desktop, was an industry first and would allow users to seek pre-approval for a home loan within 10 minutes of starting to log in details, and then go house hunting armed with all the information needed – from a single source.
“Kiwibank Home Hunter will tell users which houses match their pre-approval, and will provide registered values, comparable house sales & estimated sale prices. It will even calculate the number of sunshine hours a property gets.
“The end-to-end process of securing pre-approval could be done before you’ve finished your morning coffee. In a competitive housing market, where many people are finding it harder than ever to fulfil the Kiwi dream of owning their own home, we hope Kiwibank Home Hunter will make it a little bit easier.
“The process of obtaining financing can be daunting, especially for first-homebuyers. The Home Hunter app puts the power back into the hands of consumers, arming them with more information going into the buying process.
“Banks have a lot of data which they use in the credit process. We’re saying, put it in the customer’s hands. It’s live data, constantly updated.”
The app was designed in-house by 2 members of Kiwibank’s online channels team, Peter Fletcher-Dobson & Anand Ranchard, and worked on over the last 12 months by Sush Global Solutions Ltd (Sulabh Sharma & Sheenu Chawla).
In a demonstration yesterday, Mr Ranchard took 2 minutes 34 seconds to find suitable properties nearby within his chosen price range. Mr Fletcher-Dobson said the app would provide real estate agency information, including open home times, and would show whether the bank had pre-approved the property as well as the customer.
“As well as turning home-buying on its head, we think we’ll also turn open homes on their head,” he said.
Mr Brock said coming up with the app “started as a garage project, a couple of guys challenging each other on how would you revolutionise the market.”
They’ve opened a Facebook page seeking reaction from users.
Attribution: Demonstration & release.