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Real Estate Search: Less is More

I firmly believe the future of search – in all verticals – is less information, from more trusted sources. For instance, in the travel industry, travelers don’t want to spend hours sorting through 50+ reviews about every hotel or activity. They want concise information, from trusted sources – hence the reason we built “welcome kits”.

Real estate is no different.

seattle listing resultsThe listings landscape is beyond noisy. Hundreds, or thousands depending on where they are looking, of listings can be found across hundres of websites. How do buyers find the properties they are truly interested in, without wasting hours and hours searching through irrelevant listings?

I believe real estate search in the future will be powered by YOU, the real estate agent. An entire search experience tailored specifically to one buyer is where the industry is headed. Many agents email and text listings to their clients now, but the experience associated with that is far from ideal for the buyers receiving them. An entire IDX like search experience — but populated with only listings you’ve flagged for them, and push notifications when you want to highlight specific properties for them to look at. A perfect search product would give your buyers the ability to quickly indicate whether they want to go see that listing in person, or an easy “X” to say no, they aren’t interested in that specific listing.

agentfolioI think this trend is what Zillow saw in their acquisition of Buyfolio (now named Agentfolio).

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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    Ya, everyone prefer concise information, from trusted sources…This is so true, real estate search in the future will be powered by the real estate agent.

  • As more and more information is shared with the world about listings, it will be critical to customize the search process. I totally agree with you.
    Felipe Crook

  • Pingback: 2014 Prediction: The Consumer Shift toward Personalized Search - GeekEstate Blog()

  • rolandestrada

    We have had this ability in our MLS search for a long time. We can either send clients an auto drip search or curate them as new listing come up. It’s old news and will not become a trend.

    Also, I have never seen thousands of listings come up on a search. By the time I finish entering a buyer’s criteria you are left with a couple hundred, worst case scenario. And that usually happens when buyers are all over he place with a multiple city search. Most buyers are more focused than that.

    Curation for agents is more of a case by case basis. Usually for high end buyers. Most buyers want the firehose. They want as much info as can get. Hence the plethora of tidbits offered on the various portals.

    I started doing loans in 1993. But when I started selling homes in 2000, one of the first sayings I heard from another agent was “buyers are liars and sellers are worse”. It’s hyperbole of course but not by much. Most agents have had buyers that give them one set of criteria and then are off looking at something outside of that range. A good agent can enter criteria in such a way that buyers aren’t overwhelmed.

    The MLS buyer portal does give buyers the ability to refine the search provided by the agent – Possibilities, Favorites and Discard. I advise buyers to use the Favorites as a way to tell me which listings they want to see. It’s pretty simple.

    There is no Buyfolio trend here and there won’t be one. Acquisitions aren’t always made for the product. Oftentimes buys are made for the engineering talent, process or patents. In any case, we are not going to see Buyfolio become a thing.

    I think I need to start a list of things that never come to pass on real estate blogs. John Gruber at Daring Fireball has fun list like that for Apple related predictions called Claim Chowder. Fun stuff.

    • I still think someone will find the right way to tie that manual curation directly into the core search experience. I could be wrong.. we’ll see.

    • Note I wrote this post 2 years ago.

  • Acadia Homes & Neighborhood

    Interesting point… and I think you’re right. I think we’re all intrigued to know what the future of real estate search will look like.

  • Blum Real Estate

    Interesting blog, with technology, we should be able to make the search easier for the buyer.

  • Blum Real Estate

    Great blog, I agree, It is better to receive less sources, for for each one to be of higher quality.

  • Hunziker Realty

    I think this blog can be summarized as quality over quantity, and I completely agree.

  • Ozzie Sanders

    Thanks for posting, this is a fascinating topic.

  • Newton Land Development

    Absolutely, quality over quantity will be the search engine of the future. It’s actually already here today, Google updates itself constantly to ensure quality is on top.


  • Miami Real Estate

    I totally agree with you. The visual elements will come first soon including map, street view locations, etc.

  • I think people buy more with how they feel about something than the nuts and bolts…sometimes that’s ok, sometimes not. Realtors can only help that kind of buyer so much, so it’s nice when everything/everyone meshes.

  • Trusted sources is definitely KEY. Social proof (like these comments) will increase credibility and trustfulness in a page.

  • Agreed, good quality over quantity every time.

  • Jim

    Just like Google is starting to personalize search results we as Realtors need to personalize the listings we send to our clients. Thanks for the post.

  • In our homebuying journey, we became overwhelmed quickly pouring over MLS listings. Fortunately we found the right realtor and she helped us narrow it down. If Google had a search feature for prospective home buyers, that would be great!

  • As technology allows us to do more with less, we are becoming quite productive!

  • It really would be incredible if your flagged listings sent push notifications with any updates and news. Come on’ Google!

  • catharine grace

    can anyone direct me where to go or what to read to get a feel for real estate basics, esp regarding fraud?? I think I might have something, but I dont know much about realty. Basics would be appreciated. Muchas gracias

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