Playing With Rain City Guide's Real Estate Search Tool

Robbie Paplin of Caffeinated Software has built a great home search tool for the Seattle area and he put some very interesting posts together giving background on his effort, but I’m not sure he’s done a great job letting everyone know just how cool it is.

So, let me clarify the situation… The search tool is AWESOME!

What’s so cool about it?

  1. google earthGoogle Earth. It exports any and all of your searches to Google Earth! This means that you can get extremely clear aerial images of the home and nearby neighborhood.
  2. RSS buttonReal Simple Syndication (RSS). Every search can be exported as an RSS feed an imported into a Blog Reader.
  3. Sort by Price/SqFoot. . This is subtle improvement, but it can lead to some surprisingly relevant insights. On any search, let’s say “Seattle Homes” or even “Million Dollar Listings“, you can sort the results by the price per square foot. (This would be an even more useful feature if more homes didn’t have “0” listed as their size, but that’s better left for another post… ๐Ÿ™‚
  4. Rain City Guide Search StatisticsSearch Statistics. With every search result, a box is presented that gives you statistics like the average list price and size for homes for that search.
  5. Complete Seattle Listings. Unlike some of the other search sites that are cropping up, we’ve got a complete list of homes that are for sale by real estate agents in Seattle. (I’d tell you that it is “MLS” data, but I don’t think I’m allowed to say that… ๐Ÿ™‚

So who might find this search tool useful?

  • Home buyers who want to be updated on new homes as they hit the market! (it only takes a few hours (minutes?) for a home to be listed by an agent before it hits our servers and is picked up by the blog reader of your choice!
  • Home owners who are curious what homes are being listed in their neighborhood (or zip code!)
  • Real estate agents (like home buyers) who want to be notified of listings as they hit the market via their RSS reader!

And I’m sure there are others…

By the way, because of the nature of RSS feeds, I’ve been able to present the results from selected home searches as they get listed on my sidepanel. I’m sure that there are a ton of other interesting ways to use RSS feeds on real estate sites… Any recommendations?

Heard around the web:

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