An interesting question was posed by Simon Thompson at the end of an article he posted on spatialroundtable.com: Do you think lifestyle search and smart phone apps will change the way we buy homes? Mr. Thompson points out that homebuyers aren’t just searching for the number of beds/baths when searching for a home, they are also looking at the ‘lifestyles’ of a community. We already know that this happens today during the home buying process, it just doesn’t always happen in the right places. Consumers are asked these questions only after they have reached out to an agent. The issue is that most consumers start their search on the internet and need that initial engagement during their search process.
In this respect, lifestyle search can be extremely beneficial to not only home buyers but to Brokers and Agents as well. Stacy Biener makes a number of excellent points in her comment to the post. Realtors often spend a large amount of time with clients driving them around and helping their clients explore local neighborhoods. This requires a significant amount of time and effort on behalf of the Agent. Showing listings to clients within neighborhoods where they know they want to live results in a much happier relationship between agent and client.
The great thing is that this type of lifestyle search exists. Not only are large national brokerages utilizing this type of search, such as Coldwell Banker and EXIT Realty, but smaller brokerages and agents can now take advantage of a plug-and-play solution. Onboard’s new Lifestyle Search Widget is geared towards those who can not incur hefty development fees to build out their own solution using the Lifestyle Search Engine API. Agents, brokers and home buyers no longer need to spend hours digging through pages of data to figure out what the lifestyles of the people in a particular neighborhood are like. They can now use Lifestyle Search to begin that process. Are you in a market that attracts buyers from other areas? These potential clients can use the Lifestyle Widget to learn more about the area.
So to answer Mr. Thompson's question - yes, we believe that Lifestyle Search is changing the way people buy homes. It's also changing the way that agents and brokers do business.
For a demo or more information about how you can implement Lifestyle Search on your website with our new widget, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 212.488.1550.
Image Credit: Jocelyn Kinghorn on Flickr.com