Zillow launches school boundary search tool

Users can filter home searches by school type, grade cohort, ratings

A new school search boundary tool from popular real estate portal Zillow allows users to filter home searches for public, private and charter school attendance boundaries by their ratings from a national school rating site.

A handful of other sites including realtor.com, Trulia, Century 21 Real Estate and others have various school boundary-based search, but Zillow claims its tool is first of its kind.

Screen shot of Zillow's new school boundary search tool.
Screen shot of Zillow's new school boundary search tool.

The tool allows users to bundle their real estate and school search into one display while filtering by school ratings based on a grade from 1 to 10 given by GreatSchools, which bases its ratings on a school’s standardized test scores.

School boundary info is important to consumers, a recent realtor.com survey showed. Most homebuyers, the survey revealed, take school ratings into account when searching for a home, and most of that subset said they would pay more for homes in better school districts.

By clicking the new graduation cap icon toward the right of the map view on the search results page in the desktop version of Zillow’s site, users are presented with the option to filter their real estate search by selecting any combination of type of school — public, charter and private — and grade delineation: elementary, middle and high school.

Users then have the option to filter the search and view results of those homes whose school attendance boundaries fall within only those schools that meet a GreatSchools ranking they choose. Users can also choose not to limit searches by school rankings.

On Apple mobile devices, the school search tool includes an auto-fill search bar programmed to show the most popular schools first whenever a user types in a school name.

“Two of the most important things homebuyers tell us they look for in a new home is affordability within their price range and quality of schools for their children — often with specific schools in mind,” said Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.

“Up until now that search proved to be daunting, especially if they had children in different grades and often, different schools,” Bohutinsky said.


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