Industry NewsTechnology

Putting an online spin on open houses

Alain Pinel Realtors launches new search tools for consumers

Northern California luxury homes specialist Alain Pinel Realtors has launched an online open-house search tool and other features at, including a route-planner tool, integration with Google Maps and Street View, and interactive real estate statistical charts. The site counted 6,055 open-house listings as of this morning -- the list is generated based on multiple listing service information pulled from four Northern California MLSs: BAREIS (Bay Area Real Estate Information Systems), SFAR (San Francisco Association of Realtors), MLSListings and EBRDI (East Bay Regional Data Inc.). And that number has been growing quickly -- up from 3,813 open-house listings on April 21 -- perhaps inflated by the homebuyer tax credit contract deadline today. Consumers can also choose to view a full range of for-sale properties listed in the MLS, whether or not they have scheduled open houses. Data on the site is updated hourly, said Stephen Skinner, vice president of technology...