Real estate agents in and around Austin, Texas, can now pull up local housing statistics by tweeting a question at a Twitter handle operated by the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR): @ABoR_MLS.

“Our goal was to provide a way for members, lawmakers and media figures to access instant, up-to-date, shareable statistics that they could use to be more knowledgeable in their own businesses,” said Joe Marshall, digital content specialist at ABoR.

Today, tweet “What are the housing stats listed for homes yesterday?” and ABoR_MLS will send the reply: “47 res homes listed at $19,347,330 2015-03-22.”

The program that runs the Twitter bot works by searching for keywords in tweets that mention its handle and then queries the Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service (ACTRIS), the multiple listing service owned by ABoR.

The program currently can answer only some questions on the number and total dollar amount of “sold” or “listed” homes in a particular time frame — at the moment just “today,” “yesterday” or “last week.”

But the goal is to build out the bot so that it can support a much wider range of queries.

“People will incorporate the service along with our more in-depth monthly analyses to keep their finger on the pulse of the Austin housing market,” Marshall said.

Observing the popularity of ABoR’s monthly housing stats reports, ABoR created the bot to provide a way for member to access such data on a daily basis “without putting undue burden on the ABoR MLS staff,” Marshall said.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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