Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

I had my 15-year-old son try FBS’s new “FlōPlan”, here’s what happened…

So we are all under lockdown due to the corona-virus. Schools are closed, and since my wife teaches 2nd grade the Robertson house is full.

I’ve been wanting to create a floor plan of my house for a while now. I got my hands on the Leica DISTO E7100i laser measuring device to make it easier for me. But with the kids in the house, I had another idea.

Every since FBS announced “FlōPlan” I’ve been intrigued. FBS hasn’t officially launched FlōPlan, but I knew it is licensing the software behind “FlōPlan” from a company based in Finland called CubiCasa. So my actual test was on the free official CubiCasa app in the App Store.

I asked my oldest son, Cole, who is 15 years old, to download the app on his iPhone. I told him the app was a way to create floor plans. I didn’t give him any other directions other than to try and use the app to make a floor plan of the upstairs of our house. He headed upstairs.

Less than a minute later he came down the stairs and said he had a problem. The app asked him to put a name in for his company, and he tried “Test company” but that was already taken. I told him to call it something else, he did, it worked and he went back upstairs.

About 4 minutes later he came downstairs again. I wondered what problem he might have encountered this time. He went to the kitchen and poured himself something to drink. I asked him what the problem was this time? He said, “Nothing, I’m done.” “Done, done?” I asked. That was quick, I thought, maybe a little over 3 minutes? Wow.

So I asked to see the floor plan, the app said it was “in progress”. Their site says the floor plan will be sent to you within 24 hours. It took about 7 hours and we received our floor plan, which you can see above.

All I can say is this shit is super legit! Color me impressed. My whole house would most likely take less than 10 minutes. I checked the dimensions in my son’s room (with my fancy Leica digital laser measuring device) and it was only off by 2 inches.

Side note: FBS doesn’t think the dimensions calculated by FlōPlan should be used as official square-footage, more as a representation of the “flow” of the home.

Adding floor plans to listings is a no-brainer. Consumers would LOOOOOVE them. And I think the MLS is in the perfect position to capture this data. As I said in my first blog post about it.

“On the surface this could seem like just another partnership with a third party software app. But under the surface, the real innovation is about MLS providers capturing a new digital asset. An asset that could be used as leverage against existing portals and make MLS and brokerages more relevant to consumers again.
And what do I mean by “leverage”? Any contract negotiations come up with anyone regarding MLS data, the MLS can negotiate (new and old agreements) new rates and terms based on the inclusion of floorpans.”

FBS introduces FlōPlan, a super easy way to make floorpans, but that’s just the beginning.

The only way MLS providers can get this type of leverage is to have a large inventory of homes where the floor plan is captured. It’s a classic “chicken or egg” scenario. The key to capturing this data would be ease of use and maybe some sort of incentive. After this test, I’m convinced that either the seller themselves, the agent, or even their kids could capture this information without any real effort, and that’s key.


  1. I was so skeptical too. Maybe beyond skeptical. I may have told them this was dumbest idea ever in an industry of a lot of dumb ideas.

    But, as I’ve pitched this to members, they are so excited. Then they use the Cubi Casa app and are blown away. I got members who are already using the Cubi Casa app for all listings already – like ones doing multi-million dollar homes and they say it’s incredibly accurate.

  2. Thanks for the write-up, Greg! We’ll have to get a video testimonial from Cole. The CubiCasa technology really does produce that feeling of wonder that makes it feel like magic, and FloPlan adds to the magic by making it “MLS aware.” So many both inside and outside of our industry love to prognosticate about the death (or the problems) of the MLS, but FBS continues to believe that MLSs bring a unique value to the industry that wouldn’t exist otherwise. FloPlan will give MLSs the opportunity to showcase the power and value of market-wide cooperation that only the MLS creates, in this case bringing into existence a new digital asset that will benefit everyone involved, especially consumers.

    I also want to note that you’re definitely right there is a chicken-egg challenge involved. Ease of use is key but so is all the work we’re doing to make FloPlan MLS aware, enabling the right parties to collaborate in procuring, creating, and distributing the floor plans. I’ll also put out there that we’re just starting to work with MLS partners on selecting some early-adopters for licensing the floor plans. The more partners we can line up early, the easier it will be to be creative in solving adoption issues, including pricing. So if there are any readers of Vendor Alley interested in chatting about licensing, have them give me a shout.

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