Playhouse - Tiktok for real estate

Browse video listings of homes for sale in your area by swiping up and down

Every day I feature a new interesting startup. Today’s featured startup is Playhouse. Subscribe to my newsletter to read about a new interesting startup every day.

What it does: Playhouse is a mobile app for browsing video listings of homes and neighborhoods. They combine property and neighborhood data with a highly engaging full-screen video feed to create the ultimate consumer experience for discovering real estate.

How it started: Alex Perelman (CEO) and Nathan Shinder (COO) both worked at Peerstreet, a technology platform that democratizes access to real estate debt investments. They realized that real estate is not just a transaction, it’s an entire culture (HGTV, a tv channel that covers home design, decorating and remodeling ideas is a top 5 cable network). Videos of real estate has billions of views across all social media platforms. The only problem is that the content is scattered and not really browsable by your area (the entertainment is not resulting in transactions as a result). Alex and Nathan are hoping to close this gap by connecting millions of entrepreneurs and small businesses with potential customers in the real world.

How it works: Playhouse works pretty much as described - just like TikTok. When you open the app you can browse real estate videos by swiping up and down and you have the ability to share and learn more about the houses. There’s a demo video here:

Traction: Playhouse is currently live in the Bay Area (Palo Alto & San Francisco).

Why it’s interesting: TikTok is the most interesting of all big social networks because it’s the only one where the interest graph does not depend on your social graph. I therefore believe that we will see many other verticals who will copy the TikTok model and Playhouse is a very interesting take on this. I initially thought the high production value was going to pose a supply-side problem (can they create enough interesting looking videos to keep users engaged?) but real estate agents are incentivized to maximize their exposure so they shouldn’t have a problem convincing them to join the platform and supply those videos. And there clearly is high demand from buyers who endlessly scroll through thousands of boring zillow listings and watch hours of HGTV (why not make it more fun for them at the same time?), so I think that Playhouse has everything it takes to become successful in this space.

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