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Help Property Seekers Walk into a Property.

2 minute read

Real estate portals and agent websites In Australia do a great job at providing property seekers with useful information about relevant property they are looking for. However, most of these websites limit their services there at providing only property information. This is in contrast to the leading real estate portals in US who provide property seekers with a plethora of helpful information about the local area.

Imagine searching for a property in Torquay and next to the property information being able to see how many restaurants, shops, schools , parks and what public transport is located around that property. Sounds great doesn’t it and almost too good to be true!

This is now possible through an application called WalkScore which allows this information to be displayed on any website. WalkScore has been around for a few years but has recently become popular due to an expansion in its database resulting in it becoming an extremely powerful and informative tool.

What is WalkScore “Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking.”

This is a great little application which can be easily inserted into a property listing page on all portals and agent websites. I haven’t seen this application added to any portals in Australia or agent websites, I wonder who will be first!

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11 Comments

  • PaulD
    Posted March 25, 2009 at 7:16 pm 0Likes

    I saw it on an agent’s site from Perth about 12 months ago. Not a bad idea.

  • Dave
    Posted March 25, 2009 at 8:10 pm 0Likes

    Love the idea. Thanks for sharing it.

  • David L
    Posted March 25, 2009 at 9:25 pm 0Likes

    I think things like this will prove increasing popular for inner city “baby boomers”, those downsizers who still desire a physical and lively lifestyle, and for whom fitness will become increasing important. A commentator in NZ has just posted on an interesting take on an alternative …http://tinyurl.com/df9ckh

  • Simon
    Posted March 25, 2009 at 11:01 pm 0Likes

    Worth sharing, but not exactly hot off the press, this has been around for a while.

  • Glen Barnes
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 8:03 am 0Likes

    I was going to post a short reply but have decided to write a full post instead. Although I love the idea I still think it is a little simplistic in its algorithm.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 9:20 am 0Likes

    We use walkscore on our website and I thought we were the first LOL – maybe one of the first 🙂 It is a fantastic tool and our vendors and purchasers all really like it – very impressive technology indeed.

  • James Hannan
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 11:23 am 0Likes

    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to drop a quick line and let you know Homehound has this feature – see one of our property details page;

    http://www.homehound.com.au/unit+68+3+defries+ave+zetland+nsw+2017/

    We plan on refining it so it is not a standalone map, but this and many more features will be added to homehound over the course of the next months.

    The more the agents support the free industry alternative, the more we can do to the site from a product perspective, further enhancing the exposure and features available on all those properties, giving better value to the agents, vendors and the buyers.

    Watch this space, we have some exciting plans for homehound, they won’t happen overnight, but they will happen, however, with the support of agents, we can make them happen sooner.

  • The Insider
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for your comments everyone!

    It is great to hear about those agents who have already integrated this application into their websites. It is equally good to see a major portal add it as well.

    Portals really need to adopt these “stickiness” strategies aimed at providing a greater user experience so property seekers hang around longer, perhaps returning again in the future.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm 0Likes

    “Stickiness, schmickiness”…..”Walk, schmalk”,

    Peter, Glenn et al will be well aware that extensive analysis of thousands of US realtor websites and Consumer website user studies (WAV ’08), illustrate that this type of information ‘feels’ right/good to agents (and their website providers), but in fact rates very, very lowly. The overwhelming primary reason for visits to agency (and real estate portal) websites, is to find properties for sale/lease.

    Whether buyers (and vendors) spend a lot of time on a property website or not doesn’t matter if that site does not have the type of listing they are after!

    What should be more on our lips as an industry is when the various state govt’s are going to open-up public dbases to the public as in the US. Ironic that public dbases of crime statistics, property price archives, public services, occupation profiles, schools etc etc aren’t (easily) publicly accessable!

    Old and mouldy,
    Sal 🙂

  • Glen Barnes
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 1:45 pm 0Likes

    @sal I couldn’t agree more. Zoodle comes from a slightly different angle in that we are a property information website as opposed to a listing site and access to this government data is crucial. We would love to provide more information for free but it is tied up in for pay databases. I’m working on getting more information opened up and have been active in working with the State Services Commission on getting access to this data.

    You might also want to follow New Zealand Official Information Blog where others are working on getting access to some of the same data. It is a long road to opening up access but well worth it!

  • The Insider
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 10:35 pm 0Likes

    Sal, i agree that a property seeker’s main concern is the quality of property data. Forget about the score WalkScore provides as these computer generated ratings could mean anything. What is important to consumers are what useful facilities/amenities are situated around their property.

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