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Search engine for real estate?


Search engine for real estate?

Last updated: June 21 2012
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  • Search engine for real estate?

    Hi All,

    As an entrepreneur, by definition we look for problems to solve and try to solve them in a way that creates value to the user and in the process creating value for ourselves. I have been looking at search as a challenge in our daily life, be it while looking for a house to buy or rent, a used car to buy, searching for jobs, searching for events in your locality etc.,

    Search engines like Google do not help in such searches, since the data is transient and the idea of "ranking" does not work here. Imagine a house coming up for rent and going out of the market in a couple of weeks, this information cannot be "ranked" in the traditional sense.

    So we have built a search engine for real estate (Not posting any links since this forum forbids it for good reasons). I would like to use the experience of the people on this forum to understand what they would like from such a search engine for real estate.

    The challenge to me as an entrepreneur is my lack of understanding of this domain. I would be grateful if I can get some insights into the challenges of a user looking to buy or rent a home/land. Would be great to depend on the experiences of the people on this forum to help us understand:
    - Whether a search engine would help you at all in reducing the time and effort spent to find a house/land, either for buy or for rent.
    - Where do you spend the most time and effort when looking for a new property to buy or a property to rent. (I would like the tool to help reduce this effort as much as possible)
    - What are the usability challenges that you see in today's real estate sites that makes it a pain to use. (I would like to ensure we don't make the same mistakes).

    The primary goal of our search engine is to:
    -Search across the innumerable number of property sites out there, reducing the effort and time it takes for the user to do so manually.
    - Continue the search and inform the user when a property that matches the users need is made available, so the user does not have to repeat the search regularly.
    - Provide insights and information to help the user search better, imagine looking out for a house in a locality and then finding out that 1km from that location the prices are 20% less, with the same quality.

    Have talked to some home buyers and gained some insights, but any more insights from a larger group would be of tremendous help. Some of the insights we have gained:
    - Old postings are still lying on the various real estate even after the property is no longer available.
    - There is too much of "spam" postings by real estate agents. The agents seem to be using the postings as a pure lead generation tool, by posting dummy information across various localities for different price ranges.
    - Having to search again and again though the various sites, every one or two weeks till you find your property of choice.
    - Inability to compare property details posted on different sites.
    - Lack of understanding of the current prevailing prices of an area and the nearby localities.We am working on helping the user in each of the above challenges, but any other insights can be of great help.

    Last edited June 21 2012, 02:28 PM.
  • #2


    Re : Search engine for real estate?

    respected sir,
    kindly solve my problem as you look quite informed about this area.
    i have booked a residential apartment during soft launch period. price quoted to me was all inclusive. now if company expose its other charges later on then , do i have to pay them..or iam done with booking at the rate quoted to me during soft launch period.??
    kindly throw some light on this


    • #3


      Re : Search engine for real estate?

      I suggest you to have a look on existing realestate web portals (Like , etc) U will surely get a good idea.


      • #4


        Re : Search engine for real estate?

        Hi planner,

        I have done that. Have looked at most of the real estate portals both in India and abroad. Have used the learning to both improve the usability and in content quality. Some of the learning:
        - UX: Very cluttered UI, with most space given to ads and very low responsiveness. Commonfloor is possible the only exception here.
        - UX: lacks good alerting, if by mistake you do give your email id you get spammed.
        - Content: Too much of postings by agents, and most of them being invalid.
        - Content: Old date repeatedly appearing in search
        - Lack of any help in making real world decisions, like hints on the expected rate in a locality, hint on how well a property compares to the average in the area etc.,

        Any other thoughts on the challenges in searching for real estate today are welcomes.


        Have any questions or thoughts about this?