Today's real estate consumer expects a certain amount of information on a website when they're looking for homes. They probably want to know what homes are for sale, how much they cost, and they want the ability to sort based on pre-determined preferences. That's today's consumer. But what about tomorrow's? Welcome to the age of recommendation engines, ubiquitous data, and consumer experiences that not only fulfill the expectations of consumers, but anticipate them. Who are some of the leaders online creating experiences that start down this path?
We pulled some of our favorites (below) and would love your thoughts too. Send us your favorite urls in the comments section.
AddressReport provides extremely detailed and awesome information based on location and looks good doing it. It's a useful tool for consumers and brokers alike. The information ranges from the average wait for a Taxi to crime stats and even political affiliation. (Full disclosure: We like Address Report so much we acquired them).
What to Look for: Clean, elegant user-interface and the breakdown buttons that create a more interactive experience
Compass is like the Apple of brokerages. Their website is modern, minimal, and hyper informative. In addition to their listings, they offer market reports, updates on new developments, and neighborhood guides with big, beautiful photography and a clean interface.
What to Look for: Scroll through their neighborhood guides and note the unique content, minimal (but helpful) copy and gorgeous art - it's like strolling through the neighborhood itself.
Core is a totally modern brokerage. In addition to their real estate listings, their website features cultural breakdowns by neighborhood, complete with suggestion of where to eat, what to do, and what to see.
What to Look for: Really nice local insight and scroll-over effects on their neighborhood pages allow consumers to explore areas before looking for listings. A complete section of their site dedicated to "films."
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
When they launched their new site last year, BHGRE created a new experience for home-buyers to filter and search for the perfect property based on what was important to them. The result is a website that creates an experience where the user is in the driver's seat.
What to look for: The searchable functions and the infinite scroll on their listings pages.
Realstir always seems to be trying new things. Whether it's launching a service where people can stay in homes they are interested in buying for a night or comparing areas in their "area mashup," they seem poised for constant innovation.
What to look for: The area mashup feature and the pop-up appeal of area statistics.
These sites are doing some interesting things with real estate. I think most of us agree that tomorrow's consumer is going to expect even more. Think Netflix for Real Estate. They're going to expect you know their preferences, their moods, their buying patterns and will anticipate their wants and needs. These sites are making their way down this path, but there's still a long way to go.
We're looking forward to being a part of what's next.