Major regional Mid-Atlantic multiple listing service MRIS has launched lifestyle search on its consumer website in what it says is the first phase of an approach to the home search process not unlike the eHarmony online dating service.
The lifestyle search on MRIS’ public-facing real estate search site, HomesDatabase.com, is powered by Onboard Informatics, which also provides a similar service for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
MRIS’ lifestyle search allows consumers to use sliders to specify how important certain neighborhood characteristics are to them. These categories include fun and entertainment; highly-rated schools; public transportation;shops and stores; and median home price, among others. Users can then see cities, ZIP codes, and neighborhoods that match their criteria.
"Typically, consumers are confined to searching by home features such as room count and type, square footage and other property-specific features, then sorting by affordability and location. With this new service, we’ve improved the search process by allowing consumers to search first by the neighborhood and community features and then by the available real time local listings," said John L. Heithaus, MRIS’ chief marketing officer, in a statement.
MRIS, which has nearly 45,000 members, revamped HomesDatabase.com in early August. In June, Heithaus told Inman News MRIS planned to further update the site with eHarmony-like matching technology in the fall. According to a spokeswoman, lifestyle search is the first phase of that update, with more elements to come in 2012.