What technologies do some of the biggest names in real estate have cooking for 2017?

NEW YORK — What technologies do some of the biggest names in real estate have cooking for 2017?

Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and the operators of some of the largest real estate franchisor networks pulled the back the curtain on some of their latest products and initiatives at Hacker Connect.

Patent-pending search features from realtor.com

Realtor.com will soon add patent-pending augmented-reality (AR) and image-recognition features to enhance its mobile search app, Todd Callow, senior director of product at realtor.com, revealed.

They’re designed to help homebuyers quickly access information while scouting neighborhoods by vehicle or foot.

Todd Callow

“Sign Snap” will let prospective homebuyers take a photo of a for sale sign on their smartphone to pull up a property’s realtor.com listing.

The feature uses “optical character recognition” and GPS technology to identify a listing and match it with a corresponding property details page on realtor.com.

“The goal of this product is eliminating friction,” Callow said.

Street Peek, meanwhile, offers homebuyers an on-the-ground picture of a local real estate market with AR technology.

Homebuyers point a smartphone at a group of a houses to see property information overlaid onto homes in the phone’s camera view. For example, the feature could project home value estimates and numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms onto three properties as they appear on your camera view.

“I’m in an neighborhood. I’m excited about it. I want to know more about it,”Callow said. “All of a sudden I can see, ‘Oh, this house is for sale for $1.5 million.'”

Trulia’s image-recognition technology

Deep Varma, vice president of data engineering at Trulia, provided insight into Trulia’s ongoing use of image-recognition technology to enhance homebuyers’ online search experience.

Deep Varma

“We have trained our machines to look into photos and understand its contents,” such as kitchens, bathrooms and materials, he explained.

By combining this technology with web analytics, Trulia can identify the most attractive listing photos and present them first in the photo galleries of listings, reducing the likelihood that homebuyers might prematurely dismiss some listings.

Similarly, Trulia can analyze a specific user’s search activity and engagement to guide users toward listings that closely match their preferences, he said.

HSF Affiliates pushes software integration

Grady Ligon

Grady Ligon, chief information officer of HSF Affiliates — which operates the franchise networks of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate — revealed a new initiative aimed at opening up its technology for easy integration with software from other vendors.

The initiative means brokers could seamlessly use three connected lead-management systems, rather than have to choose tool or switch between multiple systems.

Zillow growing data-distribution network

Sara Bonert, vice president of broker services at Zillow Group, reported a growing number of real estate companies are tapping the listing portal’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to easily import Zillow leads into lead-management systems or publish Zillow reviews on their websites.

In 2017, Zillow Group will focus on building out a newer API that lets brokerages and multiple listing services (MLSs) seamlessly integrate reporting on Zillow listings’ engagement into other software.

Sara Bonert

Zillow Group will also continue to develop its data-management platforms Bridge Interactive and Retsly to help MLSs, brokerages and tech firms more efficiently distribute and import listings and other data.

Zillow will “continue to build out [its data-management network] with more brokers, more MLSs, more technology companies to make the footprint bigger which helps all of us to work more seamlessly and more effectively,” Bonert said.

Hacker Connect was created by and for the real estate technology community at the beginning of Inman Connect. The group includes 370 engineers, developers, designers, product managers, database architects, webmasters, and technology executives from across the real estate space.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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