Saturday, February 11, 2006


I really like PropSmart. It is a Google Maps (should we call them Google Local?) API application for real estate. They use all of the basic features that one would associate with that kind of application, with nice tabbed pop-ups on the pins that have pictures of the properties and basic info.

The truly impressive thing, to me, though is there ability to scrape so much housing data. In the US, that data is pretty tightly controlled via the Multiple Listings Service (MLS). The MLS has tiered access, where registered Realtors get to see the most up to date information. PropSmart hasn't cracked that yet, but has taken advantage of the fact that most offices post stuff on their own sites in addition to making MLS submissions. So, you'll still be cursed by old data, but the mere concept of putting all of that data on the map makes it so much easier to see what's where.


Anonymous said...

For what it is worth - I took your advice and followed the PropSmart link and looked around a bit, then followed a house link and got thrown a nasty page from the ReMax realty site that basically said that PropSmart was doing this without their approval and they had my IP number and my realtors as well, and that, well, the cops were going to knock on my door in the morning with the DA and a search warrant.

All I got out of it is that I am pretty sure I don't want to have anything to do with ReMax, and I'll probably repeat the story of my poor interaction with ReMax in any serious R.E. conversation I get into with my colleagues in the next 5 years. This is their marketing of houses - trying to scare potential buyers?

It seems that a company would want to take advantage of new traffic, maybe trying to siphon off some of it locally. It also seems like realtors and/or MLS would have done a mashup like this a while ago as well, but they are apparently like so many other large businesses that have lost whatever nimbleness and common sense they ever once might have had a long time ago.

- Anne Onamus