New App Turns Home Shopping Into An Addicting Game

Playhouse, a mobile app that has raised $2.8 million from investors and is now live in the San Francisco Bay Area, is targeting the next generation of homeowners by featuring real-estate listings and property details through short, full-screen videos. 

Upon opening the app, users will be able to immediately scroll through video-previews of each listing –– what Playhouse describes as “trailers before a movie” –– until clicking on a home that catches their eye. 

If a user is interested in learning more about that specific home, they can send a message directly to the listed agent. Playhouse receives a cut of the transaction if it results in a sale. 

Created in part to provide an accessible and personalized shopping experience, Playhouse allows users to browse listings using a map feature while applying filters capturing their specific interests. 

Playhouse also invites users to guess whether or not the price tag attached to each listing is higher or lower than the actual property value. 

This usage strategy riffs on popular viewer activities made clear by HGTV shows like "House Hunters," while also introducing an educational component: as users accumulate correct guesses, they will learn more about values of homes in a particular area, as well as the factors affecting those prices. 

Playhouse says it will continue to add interactive content as it builds out its platform. 

Another current social-media trend Playhouse plans on incorporating into its platform is the creator economy. Aside from home listings, real estate agents are invited to monetize their skills by uploading relatable content, such as videos first-time buyers should know before buying a house. 

A beta version of Playhouse is currently available for download for all iOS users, but there is no word on when listings will expand out of the Bay Area.

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