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Property Syndication

FindTheBest Homes launches as “the most comprehensive real estate research engine”

FindTheBest has launched a home research tool that has tremendous traction prior to its launch and offers insanely useful tools.

findthebest launched three years ago as a research engine, offering detailed information on thousands of topics, explained in human terms so that if you want to compare an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy, you learn about the value, not just two spec sheets side by side. The company has now launched FindTheBest Homes, to give the “fullest understanding of any property,” with over 105 million homes for sale, foreclosed, and not-for-sale properties.

“Every home has a story, and today’s real-estate search solutions are only able to tell a fraction of it,” said Kevin O’Connor, FindTheBest CEO. “We’re aiming to connect the dots and give researchers all the information they should know not just about their house, but the surrounding context that makes that house a home.”

With nine people and six months, this team created a beautifully designed product that not only allows consumers to compare homes side by side, but offers extensive research data and market conditions presented graphically as well as in a narrative with non-jargon terms, appealing to all types of buyers, not just the data nerds or just the creatives.

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They claim to provide more property attributes and transaction history than other real estate websites, and their proprietary local content gives researchers a “more complete picture of what it’s really like to live in a home.”

Consumers can expect intuitive market analysis and learn how a home’s features like lot size, price, or living space, compare to other properties in a given area.

How do they do all of this?

Through partnerships with CoreLogic, ListHub, Maponics, and others, FindTheBest has partnered with the direct data sources right out of the gate. The section entered pre-launch three months ago, and without any advertising push, they’re already seeing over one million visitors a month. ONE.MILLION. Without trying.

They believe they’ll get to four to five million visitors a month by the end of the year, and we suspect they’re right, because they’re not counting on the practitioner to spread the word, rather, they have a popular platform where users are already in research mode – a huge win.

Take a look at just one listing in Beverly Hills, California:

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What practitioners need to know about this sleeping giant

The team was honest about their competing with Zillow and Trulia, but it doesn’t sound like they will be hiring real estate evangelists or kissing influencer ass, rather, they’ll be talking directly to consumers because they already have those eyeballs, and they’ll be reaching out to brokers to opt in to syndication via one tiny button in their ListHub panel.

Currently, listings cannot be edited or manually uploaded, but the team says users will be able to submit edits when information is inaccurate or out of date. It sounds to us like the ability to upload listings will be coming in the near future.

In non-disclosure states, the language differs in the property information, offering “estimated taxes” and the history excludes sales price data, but includes sales dates and even dates a property was refinanced.

Homes do not have ratings. The forefathers of real estate have tried to open addresses up to being rated or reviewed, but at this time, the company doesn’t offer that as a feature, despite being a ratings platform – there may be confusion, but the many, many users are not using the site for that reason (to give ratings), rather than to absorb information.

There are no featured listings. All listings are equal, period. You cannot pay to game the system. Listing agent data is at the foot of the page as is tradition, and instead of hiding all of the information behind registration walls, the name and phone number are immediately visible, and clicking “View Email” presents the email address without changing pages, and even offers a link directly to the listing page on the broker’s site.

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One of the coolest things ever since ever

FindTheBest offers something wicked awesome that really impressed us – each section of information and market analysis can be embedded on your site through FindTheBest Places, which offers context to your listings that many IDX companies or reasl estate search companies fail to offer. When blogging about a new listing, go grab some of the embed codes of market data and include them in your post to add a ton of useful information to tell the story of your listing.

Take for example the detail page for Hyde Park, a cool neighborhood in Austin. Hover over any section and you’ll see a grey link icon subtly pop up on the left hand side of the page, indicating an embeddable section.

Sections you can embed include graphs and written explanations that compare each of the following metrics with the surrounding area:

  • School ratings
  • Commute times
  • Education levels
  • Ownership rates
  • Demographics
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Language spoken at home
  • Family size
  • Median sales price
  • Median listing price
  • Days on market
  • Owner costs (mortgage)
  • Rent prices
  • Economic profile
  • Weather
  • Natural disaster risks

If any of these are missing on your site, go pull it for free from FindTheBest, and simply copy/paste the information into your own site. Bingo.

An honest look at FindTheBest’s advantages and disadvantages

FindTheBest is brand new this week, they’re a baby in the industry, but they’re launching with an understanding of research that some of their competitors are still struggling to understand, nearly a decade into their existence.

A massive advantage they have is that they’ve had to sit down as a company and consider the complexities of over 2,000 topics, and having considered things as complex as how to compare the habits of birds and how to compare H1-B Visa stats, and even how to compare ingredients of foods. They assert that humans are consistent, and that a lot of topics are interconnected – in other words, it doesn’t take a real estate insider to solve the complex issues like geocoding, it may just take data nerds.

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FindTheBest Home’s main advantages are that they are a very lean team with an eye for design and data detail, and they’ve spent that last three years engaged in providing research data to consumers, no matter the product or item, be it animals, foods, cars, phones, or even properties.

While they’ve unraveled the complex and offered context to consumers, they suffer from a disadvantage – being new. This means that while they have property data on millions of addresses, they only have around one million active listings. They’ve partnered with ListHub to receive listings, so all brokers have to do is go flip the “on” switch in their ListHub dashboard, but FindTheBest has to be a blip on their radar so that brokers large and small even know they exist.

So, are they the next Zillow? They forecast property values and compare homes, but if they continue on their current path without taking any bizarre detours, they could quietly come in and erode some hard-earned market share in the real estate industry. Will practitioners embrace them and use the data, ignore their existence, or buck the idea that their data is pretty and presentation style is damn impressive?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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