The Real Estate Jungle and Data-Driven Search


I'm often asked:  "What does Onboard do?" My answer?  "We help people make informed decisions about Real Estate."

For over a decade, we've provided the leading brands in Real Estate and publishing with timely, accurate data and insightful analysis of properties and the communities  that surround them.   We helped bring the home buyer's search out of the dark ages of paper MLS Listing books and word-of-mouth community profiling.  We work with Trulia, Redfin, Chase, Coldwell Banker, and others by providing top quality information that enables them  to provide the best possible online experience to their customers.

The information is there.  But now with this information comes controversy.

Welcome to the jungle.

Over the last few months, much attention has been put on the theoretically controversial nature of this content.  Articles on Inman News and elsewhere have been picked up and widely distributed.  This weekend, the New York Times published The Data Driven Search (disclosure - I'm quoted).  These pieces explore the possibility that this information is harmful to the home buying process, that it somehow violates the Fair Housing Act, and that it is even responsible for the economic stratification of our country!

To be fair, incorrect data, selective presentation, and judgmental narrative may very well contribute to some of these problems.  But here at Onboard, we believe in the buyer's "right to know".  Most states have laws requiring sellers and agents to respond truthfully and to the best of their knowledge to questions regarding the history and condition of the home.  Why should information - particularly statistical and public community information -  be treated differently?

It is a jungle out there.

Buying a home can be a tough process to navigate.  At times, there are obstructed views of the homes and communities customers are considering.  But  much of this view can be clarified with public data - information customers have a right to know.   The rest of the view can be found walking the streets,  talking to potential neighbors,  children's teachers and principals and finding the path through the trees.

  • Buying a home is often the single largest investment Americans make.
  • It is a high-stakes decision for which buyers have the right to accurate information.
  • Statistics in proper context are not judgments...they are metrics home-buyers can evaluate in their decision process.
  • Nearly 80% of consumers find neighborhood information useful in their online home search (NAR's 2013 Profile of Homebuyers).

We Drive with Data

  • Our job at Onboard is to provide the most accurate data possible.  We are not predicting, narrating, or selectively editing any of the data we provide.
  • We are serious about our data.  We were founded 12 years ago with the promise that our data would be as accurate, up-to-date and complete as possible.
  • We are diligent so that our content and services are consistent, reliable and of the highest possible standard in how they approach and convey information.

We do this so our clients can focus on providing the best user experience to their customers.

We use our local data to clear a path through the real estate jungle so customers can choose their next home with confidence.