Technology

‘Property matching’ is the new search

Quizzes, curated lists of properties and lifestyle criteria characterize new type of real estate service
  • Online property-matching is emerging as an alternative to traditional searching.
  • It tends to provide users with short lists of properties based on lifestyle preferences, often gauged through quizzes. And it discourages searching by neighborhood or zip code.
  • Casamatic is feeding leads to agents in the mid-west, and PlaceILive offers an API (application programming interface) that brokerages can tap to incorporate its property-matching tool into their websites.

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Homebuyers, particularly those lazy millennial types, don't want to have to sort through hundreds of listings that a property search spits out. They want to be spoon-fed just a handful, a carefully curated batch that closely maps to their full range of preferences. That's the thesis behind what could be called "property-matching," an alternative to the conventional online search experience. It's underpinning a growing number of apps and websites and beginning to surface on established listing portals. Casamatic, which recently raised $1.1 million and covers Chicago, Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, epitomizes a property-matching service. It gauges prospective buyers' preferences through a quiz centered on lifestyle preferences, like travel time to friends and work, along with favorite activities, and returns a small number of listing search results that aren't dictated by neighborhood boundaries. “Our job is to show the buyer the least amount of homes," said Cas...