Wherever you keep your dream home vision board — Houzz, Pinterest, a shoebox full of magazine clippings — it probably doesn’t represent a single, cohesive home that actually exists in real life. You might have a dining room from a ranch-style home in California, a farmhouse kitchen from New York, and a bathroom that rarely exists outside a spa. HomLuv.com, a new site from Builders Digital Experience (BDX), wants to recommend a homebuilder who can cater to your tastes based on photos you like and dislike.
“The problem with the Pinterest boards, of course, is you capture all these champagne-looking houses, you have a Coca-Cola budget, and no one can build what you’re looking at anyway,” Mark Law, BDX’s vice president of product management, told Digital Trends in January at KBIS 2018. Since everything starts with location, HomLuv.com won’t show users mountain-view homes if they live in Ohio. It will also surface photos from builders in their area. If the majority of Los Angeles residents in the millennial age group are searching for condos, HomLuv.com will show new L.A. 20-somethings fewer single-family homes automatically, unless that’s what they set as their preference.
There are certain thresholds users have to reach before HomLuv.com will start recommending; if your board is full of kitchens but doesn’t have any bathrooms or bedrooms, it will prompt you to diversify. The site is meant to be collaborative, so couples can find the points where they agree and disagree. If one person hearts an image and the collaborator selects the dislike icon, it shows up as a broken heart, while aspects both people like get a double heart. Users can also explain why they nixed their partner’s ski-lodge-themed living room in comments. “If I dislike my wife’s images, she’ll darn well want to know why I disliked it,” said Law.
While all this may seem helpful to homebuyers, the builders get benefits, too. They’ll get stats about how many people liked and disliked each photo, as well as what users are saying about them. It offers more insight than simply seeing that their images are making it onto a site like Pinterest, said Law, where you don’t know whether the pinner is in the market for the house or just likes the drapes.
At launch, HomLuv.com will have over a million photos from 100,000 homes. The recommendations are based on a combination of artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing, so you’ll see dining rooms that users with similar tastes have liked. In addition to matching buyers and builders, Law thinks HomLuv.com’s biggest benefit will be getting some of the arguments about pricing and decor out of the way before people get too far into the process. “I think we could save a few marriages,” he said.