Real estate has always been about location, location, location. That hasn’t changed. What defines a good location, however, may have changed as features like walkability, proximity to coffee houses, and accessibility to public transportation have become more important to many buyers.
The way buyers access information about potential neighborhoods and homes has also changed. Millennials in particular, who account for 67 percent of today's homebuyers, are used to having a world of data at their fingertips. Unlike their parents, who may have relied on Real Estate Agents to cull through the data and select the homes to be viewed, these infocentric adults are more likely to prefer sorting through the specifics themselves before selecting the homes they want you to show them. This is why having a collection of apps to refer them to is becoming just as important as a fistful of listing sheets.
To help you direct your clients to resources that can refine the search for that one, perfect home in the best neighborhood for each buyer’s lifestyle preferences, we created a list of some of the most useful tools available. All of these apps may be accessed online or downloaded to a mobile device.
Tools for Happier House Hunters
#1 Walk Score®
Many Real Estate Agents have already added scores from this company to their websites due to the importance of what is nearby holds for today’s younger homebuyers.
How close is the nearest Starbucks? This app maps it out, giving potential buyers a sense of their prospective home’s proximity to the places and services they are most likely to want to frequent.
Reminiscent of a dating app, dwellr uses U.S. Census Bureau data to match users to areas that are most likely to appeal to their lifestyle preferences and interests.
This app provides data on specific areas and addresses, including the likelihood for specific natural disasters and environmental risks to the names, proximity, and photos of any offenders in the area.
Like other sites offering demographic information, this search engine allows for a deep dive into an area’s composition and historical home appreciation rates and provides links to properties that are currently on the market.
#6 GreatSchools Finder
Although packed with information about an area’s public and private school options, the best part of the site is that it provides access to parent reviews. Being able to read about actual experiences with the schools is highly desirable, especially for younger buyers who have grown up relying on and communicating with others through user reviews.
There is no substitute for the knowledge a Real Estate Agent brings to each transaction. By equipping buyers with the tools they need to confidently make what could be the biggest purchase of their lives, you can easily enhance your ability to bring it all home for them and for you.