Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate has revolutionized real estate search by delivering the most comprehensive lifestyle and community data-based search and sort experience fully integrated within the property search of a national website. Additionally, it has transformed the way its network will be able to compete on the Internet by providing all Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brokers with customizable, IDX-based brokerage websites featuring new search capabilities at no cost. A roll-out of individual agent websites featuring these same benefits will occur in the first quarter of 2015. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate custom website environment, BHGRE.com, is built upon a fully responsive platform designed for mobile-first usage.
“This exciting milestone reflects Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s dedication to the consumer and the needs of our affiliated brokers,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. “Consumers are buying homes based on lifestyle requirements, but the way real estate search is done online had not yet evolved to meet that reality. There are many sites out there, but fundamentally they all behave the same way. We have created a site that will forever change the search paradigm. Additionally, many brokers have voiced that they are unable to keep up with the exponential technology requirements necessary to stay competitive on the web. Our new web environment is the next, exciting evolution of our brand’s value proposition. We have delivered company websites that are unmatched in terms of functionality and flexibility, at no additional cost. We look forward to the continued enhancement of our broker websites as we work toward integrating with the ZipRealty platform.”
“This is the ultimate representation of a national brand delivering significant business value to its brokers,” says Chris Masiello, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group, a leading brokerage firm in New England based in Keene, N.H. “This new website environment will not only bring us direct brand contribution as a lead source, it is also saving us significant time and money by serving as a highly functional website option. The launch of the brand’s equally innovative agent websites in 2015 will be a significant advantage in our talent attraction, productivity, and retention strategies.”
The New Personalization
Search Designed for the Way You Live: Consumers are able to begin their property search using lifestyle triggers such as drive time, school/school zone, or neighborhood/address. These integrated search criteria set the stage for the highly personalized experience they will enjoy with their agents.
Innovative drive-time based property search is powered by INRIX, a leading provider of drive time insight in the connected car and smart cities worldwide. Consumers begin their personalized property search by selecting a drive time maximum along with a time of day requirement suited to their lifestyle. The website delivers targeted property results that meet those commute requirements.
“Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has successfully transformed big data into personalized insights,” says Kevin Foreman, general manager of GeoAnalytics at INRIX. “People no longer measure distance by miles. We measure it in minutes. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has achieved the ultimate execution of INRIX’s intelligent technology by making dynamic drive time a search criteria right at the top, within the actual property search. Along with other unique functionality, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is demonstrating their service commitment to the consumer and to the efficiency and productivity of the agent.”
On the Map: Consumers can refine the results of their search based on pinpoints on a map, free-hand drawing, and viewing homes against typical traffic distances. Collectively, this design represents the most comprehensive approach to property search on maps in the industry.
A Refined Sort: Once the initial property search returns, the BHGRE.com site presents the consumer with property cards featuring photos of each home, property information and indicators grading how the home performs against the consumer’s top three selected lifestyle criteria. This empowers the consumer to holistically compare each house. The consumer can dynamically re-sort the search based on a number of property and lifestyle parameters to further refine their research based on deeper levels of personalization.
“The lifestyle brand of real estate has made lifestyle search a reality on the web,” says Jonathan Bednarsh, president and COO of Onboard Informatics. “Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is the first to leverage community, lifestyle and school data within the property search experience to more closely emulate the home search process people undertake in the offline world. BHGRE.com is positioned to be a category breaker in its delivery of the industry’s most personalized, integrated and complete search experience in a single destination.”
Innovation beyond Search
Unmatched Content: BHGRE.com has been designed to put content at the center of the real estate experience. In addition to lifestyle and community data, Yelp, National Weather Service, dining and entertainment data mingles with video, photography, DIY, real estate and local content to cultivate people’s passion for their homes.
Transforming Visits into Leads: All brand-generated leads will flow directly into the company’s specific lead routing process to seamlessly integrate with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s CRM system.
Multi-Lingual Capabilities: The site supports the addition of Spanish language property, informational and affiliated agent content.
Built for a Mobile-First World: The custom platform goes beyond mobile responsive; it is built for mobile-first. It supports multiple photos in a swipe and clickable format. Property pages can be accessed in-line, eliminating the need to open a new browser window, which gives the tablet and mobile user a better experience. With its mobile-first platform, BHGRE.com preserves all functionality and presents the site true to the mobile channel experience when users interact via a phone or tablet.
Agent Benefits: Affiliated agents are able to customize their profile pages with awards, testimonials, biography and social media feed information. To save time and effort, and to increase the visibility of listings during property searches, all listings will have auto-generated single property pages fully optimized for search. Each listing will also be featured in an auto-generated virtual tour, powered by Onvedeo. The technology leverages the site’s IDX data and supplements it with school, mortgage, walk score, and neighborhood information to create an engaging two-minute product that gives consumers a true picture of the home in the broader context of the community. These video tours are fully optimized for search, can be viewed on any device or platform, and can be shared across all social and email channels seamlessly. For agents who choose to augment their listing marketing, the videos can be further enhanced with additional language, video content and voiceover capabilities.
To experience the Friendliest Search in Real Estate, visit www.BHGRE.com.