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Category Archives: Development

Bots, Aren’t So Elementary, Watson

by Nathan Joens on 8:00 am April 25, 2016

Bot, Why? Sherlock Holmes once said, “It is my business to know what other people don’t.” Real estate agents can certainly attest to this as they are inundated with requests from prospective home buyers and sellers for information. This information is a real estate agent’s most valuable asset, but what does this mean for the consumer? It means we have to wait 5 hours for a response with no real context…   Bots Are Better People Bots are built by context and what consumers want is a simple, … Read More »

Bots, and Real Estate

by Drew Meyers on 11:22 am April 22, 2016

Some of you may have heard the recent news Facebook launched a bot platform for messenger (see GeekWire post here). The developers/technologists reading should head over and learn more here: What are some of the uses for the bot platform in a real estate context? How about for answering basic questions about listings, and scheduling showings? Buyer: I’m interested in 1511 2nd Ave N as a result of driving by it this morning on my way to a meeting. What middle school does this fall into? Bot: McClure … Read More »

Need Development Work by a Senior Rails Architect?

by Drew Meyers on 4:35 pm April 15, 2016

Finding trusted developers is a challenge I hear fairly frequently from real estate entrepreneurs I speak to. I know a trusted senior Rails/backend engineer (here in Seattle if location matters to you) looking for contract work at the moment. Shoot me an email at drew at horizonapp co with a short description of your needs, and I’ll connect you if it’s a good potential fit.

Cloud MLX (via a Hack Week)

by Drew Meyers on 7:00 am February 6, 2016

W&R Studios team worked on a MLS search app, called Cloud MLX, at a recent “hack week”… the presentation is below. Read more about the hack week project in part 1 here and part 2 here.

Parse Shuts Down – Alternatives?

by Drew Meyers on 12:13 pm February 1, 2016

Parse is a “backend as a service”, supported by Facebook. We actually had been talking about switching the server side of Horizon to Parse off and on for the past year. It does geo fairly well out of the box (which is one of the areas we need to improve). You’d think with Facebook behind it, it would be around forever, right? Well, there was some shocking news last week. Parse is shutting down (to be discontinued on January 28, 2017). I’d be curious to know whether any … Read More »

My Experience at the RETSLY / Zillow Hackathon

by Seth Siegler on 11:11 am November 21, 2015

I meant to write this immediately following my return from the Zip.Code Retsly Hackathon but I think I literally needed this much time to catch up on the sleep I deprived myself of, over the course of the 34 straight hours I was at the event… I arrived at the Trulia office (site of the event) shortly after my flight arrived in SF. It was Friday night on Nov 6th and I had been struggling hard with a migraine all day long. Not an ideal way to … Read More »

Need iOS Development Help?

by Drew Meyers on 9:40 pm October 13, 2015

If you’re currently working on an iOS app, or need a new one built from scratch, and short on development resources — I know a junior iOS engineer who is looking for some contract work right now. Shoot me an email if you’re interested. drew at

A New Tool for Data Aggregation (for Non-Developers) – Knime

by Drew Meyers on 11:14 am July 22, 2015

Early on at Zillow, I used Yahoo! Pipes as a way to aggregate and filter web results with zero actual programming knowledge (Pipes was mentioned by Justin in this article from 2010). It was a cool tool back in the day. Fast forward several years, and Yahoo! has shut the service down. Of course, IFTTT now exists – but’s it more for accomplishing tasks than for doing deep data aggregation and analysis. A new tool I just learned about today: Knime. This morning, I had coffee with a … Read More »

UK Property Sites Utilize New “Travel Time” Search Feature

by Charlie Davies on 8:28 am June 4, 2015

Editor’s Note: By way of his inaugural post, I’d like to introduce our newest contributor Charlie Davis.  Charlie is a co-founder of, a company that delivers software to the property industry and beyond in the U.K. One of their products, TravelTime, allows properties to be searched by travel time rather than miles radius. Mike Many UK real estate listing sites have reported huge leaps in conversions after changing how their visitors can perform property searches. Since listing properties by travel time rather than miles … Read More »

For Hackers/Developers: Telescope – Open Source Community Platform

by Drew Meyers on 10:38 am March 15, 2015

Regulars know that I’ve written about the idea of a “Hacker News for Real Estate“. I still think it would be cool if something like that existed, and had a community using it daily. The “community” aspect of it is easier said than done of course. If the technology side of the idea is interesting, take a look at Telescope (GitHub repo) [via Greg Langdon]

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