Daily Archives: February 15, 2010

Real Estate Search – can it get better Part III

With the byline of “find the right neighbourhood – find the right home” this site takes a very different approach to Real Estate search, and one that is indeed fascinating.

How about browsing this way…..

browse by seeing what everyone else is clicking on the most **

or by the most frequently viewed schools,  maybe a good one for an executive on job transfer to a new town to check out **

…distressed homes ……”mortgagee type sales” in kiwi speak that is, this type of search could also be quite advantageous to a property investor for example **

or by just the highest price – or perhaps more importantly for many buyers…..the opposite end of the spectrum….the lowest prices in the country for example **

or by neighbourhoods, after all it is this sites catchline/motto. **

Would kiwi searchers take to this, think that some of these would be a good idea?

The site I am talking about above is called Cyberhomes.com. +++

They also feature one of my favourites,  “heatmaps.”

What are heatmaps?

Heatmaps, or thematic layer maps -are data overlays that are overlaid on a map or satellite view of an area to illustrate the relationship visually.

Just as some people are “numbers” orientated, many others are visually activated.

Heatmaps aid visual clarity enormously.

I find them very important for visual spotting of trends / information that a mere list or graph cannot. They are used famously in the share-market.

One other thing I do like as a real estate browser is this, the ability to create your own homepage.

Why?

Well because it makes a lot of sense to have all your favourite searches, distressed/mortgagee sales, relevant real estate browsing all on the one dashboard screen, set-up for a speedy quick once over glance.

And having the ability to add or remove different sections will help to make your ongoing real estate search so much more efficient …….fruitful I’d say.

Bit of a co-incidence here, but I’ve just noticed McGraths too, have a similar feature, as arrowed above.

Only thing is, unlike realestate.co.nz, McGraths don’t actually show or tell you the number of visitors.

To me that’s necessary from a transparency point of view, and like you can on realesatate.co.nz, it would be beneficial to see what the daily makeup is, and where those visitors come from. In that case, I think the counter on realestate.co.nz, clickable if you weren’t already aware, is a big step up in comparision.

I should mention I note another Auckland website have added a small link on their sidebar as seen above for a “1 click” through to view Mortgagee sales. Speeds the process up doesn’t it, when its a trending search I’d say?

You mightn’t think a list of most popular homes viewed would be important?

However when placed in the context of seeing that same list of data, visually……….

MAP CREDIT – Google

…….the picture is a lot clearer.

Were you to be a seller looking at placing your home on the market, and were still undecided about what time of year/season to do so, then a look at a map like this showing the most popular properties are actually in your immediate neighbourhood could assist you greatly in making up your mind. At least the data is telling you where the buyer activity is right now.

So overall, it looks like searching for real estate will get better.

** one issue I see is that in some of these based on clicks/views models you would need some form of protection to reduce the possibility of fraud, perhaps only registering one click per day/per IP address or so…..that way hopefully discouraging a home owner from artificially inflating the amount of clicks their home registers, or even to the extent that a school may get all pupils to click once from their school / home pc’s on that school – again potential erroneously inflating its rating.

+++ – problems they have – seems to be a few errors on the site today – but the concept is great.