The most active group of home buyers in sellers in America have one thing in common – school age children. Traditionally, real estate has ducked the consumer by avoiding the laborious and somewhat liability producing task of informing consumers about schools. Our industry has largely taken the stance that if a consumer wants to know about schools, they will provide the phone number to the school district. Good luck with that.
This is not true of all brokers or MLSs. Some have invested heavily in procuring the most accurate school data available. You will often find the information somewhere down below the fold on a listing detail page. Move Inc, the operators of Realtor.com just made a bold move (pun intended) to give consumers what they want – search by school. I just updated by Realtor.com mobile app and look forward to testing it out in my town to determine its accuracy. Accuracy has always been the issue. In some way, third party listing websites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow have an advantage at offering up some data types that licensed agents and brokers may not. They have no liability concerns with consumer transactions. Nevertheless, the data is getting better, making geo-fencing of school area boundaries possible. If you want to see a list of mapping solutions that support agents, brokers, or MLSs with this data, they are all sorted on RETechnology.com.
Here are the details of the Realtor.com release.
Realtor.com® First to Add School Search in Significant Update to Mobile App
School is in session for realtor.com® as the online real estate leader rolls out a significant mobile update, pioneering search-by-school functionality in its successful iOS and Android apps
SAN JOSE, Calif., April 23, 2013 – Realtor.com®, the leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE), today announced a substantial update to its realtor.com® mobile app for iOS and Android. In addition to being the first to allow home buyers to target listings based on schools and districts through its new school search functionality, the app now boasts an array of updated capabilities, including new, intuitive navigation elements and an enhanced map experience.
With realtor.com’s search-by-schools, users can hone their home search based on school or district boundaries and discover valuable information on schools and districts of interest. Users can filter listings by public schools, districts and private schools in just one tap.
“We understand that when searching for the perfect home for your family or soon-to-be family, schools are an incredibly important consideration in the home hunting process,” said Errol Samuelson, chief strategy officer of Move and president of realtor.com®. “We’re excited to expand on the unparalleled accuracy of our real estate app with the added school search capability. Through industry-leading features like school search, we want to highlight our commitment to delivering the best tools available to help users find their home.”
To ensure a streamlined and intuitive school search experience, the realtor.com® mobile app has been updated with:
• “Nearby Schools” button on the home screen that leverages GPS to find schools in surrounding area
• School pins on an interactive map that display GreatSchools ratings, assignment boundaries as well as allows users to search homes for sale that fall within a particular school boundary
• “Schools” tab, which is displayed within each specific property listing, providing granular information about the grades taught at each school, student-teacher ratio and GreatSchools rating
• Capability to search listings based on their assigned public school or school district
“Parents are increasingly relying on mobile apps for on-the-go house hunting,” said Scott Boecker, chief product officer of Move. “The extra level of customization enabled by school search helps to streamline the process and ensure that users are able to search homes in accordance with their top priorities.”
In addition to being the first to bring the innovative school search functionality to fruition, the realtor.com app provides a seamless user experience, now empowering homebuyers to:
• Select tabs to view a specific listing’s property tax, sales history and additional school information
• Draw and save custom search areas directly on an interactive map
• Easily navigate using “Locate Me,” “Satellite,” “Street,” and “Hybrid” view selections in the map experience
• Sign-in to save searches and listings. Access saved items at your convenience via mobile or online at www.realtor.com
• Use “Area Scout” to see results and average values that update in parallel with geographical movement
• Connect and search with real estate agents through collaborative search – receive suggested listings, request showings and converse directly via the integrated instant message feature
• Know when a property is pending through a badge displayed on the listing page (where available)
Mobile innovation has propelled realtor.com® app growth. Over the past year, the app has experienced a 67 percent increase in mobile page views and a more than 130 percent jump in mobile photo views. The company’s recent strides in mobile are the latest in realtor.com’s seventeen year legacy that has included cultivating relationships with more than 800 Multiple Listing Services (MLSs), more than any other real estate website. Through these connections, realtor.com® enables consumers to search 98 percent of all for-sale properties listed in the U.S. With on-the-go access to this robust database and approximately 90 percent of listings updated every 15 minutes, realtor.com provides the most accurate and comprehensive information in the industry, empowering consumers to find their home and find it first.
Operated by Move, Inc., (NASDAQ: MOVE), realtor.com® helps connect people with the content, tools and expertise they need to find their perfect home. As the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®, realtor.com® empowers consumers to make the smartest decisions when it comes to finding a home by leveraging direct connections with more than 800 MLSs to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date listing information in neighborhoods across the country, and by making timely and meaningful connections between consumers and REALTORS®. Whether through desktop, mobile, or tablet versions, realtor.com® is where home happens.
About Move, Inc.
Move, Inc. (MOVE), the leader in online real estate, operates: realtor.com®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®; Move.com, a leading destination for new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden, and home finance; ListHub™, the leading syndicator of real estate listings; Moving.com™; SeniorHousingNet; SocialBios; TigerLead®; and TOP PRODUCER® Systems. Move is based in San Jose, Calif.