@properties revamps website with Chicago neighborhood focus

Site users can now search for homes by school attendance boundaries

Chicago-based @properties has redesigned its website with enhanced neighborhood info and a streamlined search platform that allows consumers to search for homes by the school attendance boundaries they fall within.

In addition to surfacing neighborhood info with in-depth, updated write-ups on over 40 of the metro’s different ‘hoods, towns and high-rise condos, the 1,300-agent brokerage’s new site highlights a property’s proximity to public transportation and local amenities on its property detail page.

Screen shot of @properties' new homepage.
Screen shot of @properties' new homepage.

The site’s neighborhood directory also now includes map overlays showing boundaries for each neighborhood and street-parking guidance from ParkNav.

“Neighborhoods were a big focus for the redesign,” Kevin Van Eck, vice president of training and brokerage services at @properties, told Inman News. “We have a focus on being local, that’s our value proposition.”

“We want to be the place for neighborhood information,” Van Eck said.

Becoming the go-to neighborhood expert for consumers has become a focus for brokerages and national franchisors and portals alike. For example, both Re/Max and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices recently licensed the search-by-commute time consumer search tool from INRIX.

@properties’ new site also was designed to showcase the firm’s growing focus on video, Van Eck said. Currently, it has produced just three neighborhood videos (like the one embedded below for Bucktown), but it has an in-house video team that it plans to use to make videos for many of the city’s ‘hoods.

Bucktown neighborhood video produced by @properties and highlighted on the brokerage’s new website.

“The goal with this redesign was to end up with the most user-friendly, data-rich and attractive local real estate website,” said @properties Co-founder Thaddeus Wong in a statement. “At @properties, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide cutting-edge technology and resources that are valuable to our agents, clients and the community. This new website is a prime example of that.”

The site update also streamlined the local market info views on property detail pages, giving users a clean view of the average sales price, days on market, number of homes for sale, sales-price-to-list-price ratio and other info for neighborhoods gathered from the local multiple listing service.

Enhancing social sharing was part of the site revamp as well. Links to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus appear prominently on property detail pages.

School boundary search has become a popular feature for search portals and a handful of national and regional sites have rolled out the feature including Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com, Century 21 Real Estate, Redfin and Estately. Most of these sites license their school boundary information from either Maponics or Onboard Informatics.

@properties licenses school boundaries from Journatic, Van Eck said.


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