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May
11

In this episode of Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates the public website listing search. You'll see functionality related searching for listings in multiple markets, boundary areas, or even driving distance.

Video Transcription

Harley:

Hello and welcome to another edition of Tech Tuesday presented by Delta Media Group, where there are only 25 letters in our alphabet. We don't know why. So today we're going to go about things a little bit differently than the way we normally do them. And we're going to take a look at the public site. Mainly, try not to be too concerned with the template that I'm using, because that's not what we're looking at, we are going to take a look at the public property search and go over it in some detail and just really show you the kinds of things that the customer can do with it when they come to your website and how to control that. And just the kinds of things that it can do. So without further ado, we're going to go ahead and do a property search. Now I'll warn you, it is all sample data, test data on this particular website. So these aren't real listings, but this will give you an idea of the kinds of things that you can do.

Harley:

So first off, we can either click on one of our property search links that this website happens to have, a property search link up at the top that'll just take us to a search results page, or we could just use the quick search down here. Type in the area that we want to start searching for and click the search button. So we'll go ahead and start with our quick search. Now what I'm going to do is I'm just going to type in a market name. Now I chose a city, but I could have typed a school district, a zip code, even an MLS ID. And this auto completer would have picked up what I typed in and given me matches for that. So I typed in a city name. You can see it also matches to some boundary areas and some school districts, as well as even a street name, but we're going to go with the city on this one. So I click on my selection and click search, and this takes us through to our search results.

Harley:

Now, from here, you can see, obviously we have all of our search results. You can see, we have a heart on each one of these listings. And if I click that, that would save that particular listing for me, I'm not logged into an account. So if I click on it, you can see it prompts me here to sign up so that I can save that listing. So, that's a call to action there, or if I'm already logged in or not already logged in, but already have an account that I am just not logged into. I can click this sign in here and sign into my existing account also. But either way, once I get signed into my account, it'll save that listing so that I can come back and easily pull that up later on.

Harley:

So, we'll Close that out for now. And like I said, primarily, we're going to look at how the actual search functions. So let's take a look at that. So if I go to our quick search, this quick search field is how we define all the different areas that we want to search. So again, I can define that by city or zip code or subdivision or school district, just depending on what I have turned on there, but we'll go ahead and type in another city name.

Harley:

And you can see just like on the homepage, it comes up in the auto completer. So I'm going to click on that. But now it is going to prompt me to choose what I want to do with that new area I added. So my first option is to add this location and narrow the results. So what that would do is we've already searched for Canton. The city of Canton and we searched for the city of Massillon is what we're adding. So if I say add location and narrow results, it's only going to show me listings that are both in Canton and Massillon. Well, I can tell you, because those are two separate cities that I'm not going to get any results that way. However, this kind of search would be useful if you did have a customer that was looking for say they wanted to live in a specific subdivision or a specific zip code, and then also wanted to live in a specific school district.

Harley:

So you could search for that zip code, and then you could add the school district in and say, add location and narrow results. And then you'll only see the listings that are both in that school district and in that zip code. So you can kind of see how it allows you to fine tune the search there and really find the customer, or really find the listing that that particular customer is looking for. So, the next piece we have here is we can add location and include in the results. So that would make more sense for this. If I were a customer that we're interested in living in one of a handful of different cities, I could type all the cities in here. And one at a time I could say, add location and include in results. And that results that will show me all the listings that are in any of those cities, not just the listings that are in both of those cities, so to speak.

Harley:

Now, the way that I use that most regularly is when I was searching for my last house, I was searching by school districts and really location wise, that's all I cared about. I knew that I wanted to be in one of say four different school districts. So I typed in those school districts, I told it to add those locations and include them in the results. And then it showed me all the listings that were in any of those four school districts. So it was exactly what I was looking for. Now, the next thing we can do is we can search this location separately. So what this would do is essentially clear out whatever information is already in there and start a brand new search for the area that I just typed in.

Harley:

So in this case, it would clear out Canton and just show me the listings in Massillon. So it's basically like starting a new search. And then lastly, you have, exclude this location from search results. Now this can be particularly neat in that, let's say for example, and I'll just use some areas from around here to try and illustrate the example, I guess. We have a school district that spans multiple cities, subdivisions, and townships.

Harley:

What I might want to do is live in that school district. So I would search for Plain Local Schools because that's the school district that I'm talking about. And I don't want to live in Canton city, because I don't want to pay city taxes. So what I would do is I would run a search for Plain Local School district, and that would be my initial search. And then I would type in Canton and I would select the city result. And then I would select exclude this location from results. At that point, it would show me only listings that are in Plain Local Schools, but are not within Canton city. So that would be locations that are Plain Local, but in Jackson Township or in Plain Township. So basically it would exclude all those listings that I know I don't want to see because I would have to pay city taxes if I lived there.

Harley:

So, that is the kind of thing that you can do here. So, in this case, I'm just going to say, add location and include in results. Why not? So we'll add those to the list and it turns out that with our test data here, there aren't any in that market anyway, so it doesn't make any difference. But that is one of the things or the ways that you can go in here and really fine tune the areas that you're picking up listings from in these results. Now the next thing you can fine tune here is if I go over to listing type, you see when I open up this dropdown, I can select from different property statuses. So, that's all this first section of check boxes is. These are the listing statuses I'm interested in. You do have settings in the DeltaNet to decide how these default for users that are using your agent website, but the customer can always go in here and they can select from the ones that make sense.

Harley:

Now, some of these options, depending on the company you're in and the data available to us might not be in here. So you might not have a recently sold option if that data is not available to us. Same goes for coming soon. You may not have a coming soon option in here, but that's all this comes down to. So by default active are the ones that we care about. But these days with the market, the way it is, coming soon is getting to be more and more popular. And a lot of people do like to include contingent listings and sometimes even pending listings in these results sets. If nothing else it can just tell you what the market is doing.

Harley:

So the next pieces down here, allow us to define our results by property type and subtype. This works exactly the way it looks, exactly the way it sounds. I will mention that it looks like a lot of these don't have any subcategories, but if I click on land, for example, you can see the subtypes of land will show up underneath it. And then if I wanted to further narrow land, like I only wanted residential land, then I could check on that and that further narrows down the results. Now, at this point, it's still including all residential. So, keep that in mind. The other thing to keep in mind about these property types is that if I select only residential and none of the subtypes, it's going to show me all residential listings. If I searched residential and single family, now it's only going to show me the single family residential listings.

Harley:

If I select all of these subcategories, I still might not get as many listings as I get by just selecting residential. And the reason for that is that we could have some residential listings in the listing data that don't have any of these property subtypes attached to them. So by me telling it that I only want to see properties of these subtypes, it's going to leave out the ones that don't have any subtype. So, if you want everything, it's always a good idea to leave these unchecked. But obviously if you are looking for specific kinds of residential listings, then you know, you want to check the property types that you're looking for. Same goes for the rest of these categories.

Harley:

All right, so if we collapse that one, now you can see, we also have filters for price. That is exactly the way it looks. And the only nuance here is that zero is the same as nothing, same as empty. So if I say price low to a high price of zero, you can see it just clears out the zero when I try and type it, because it's the same as having nothing at all or no restriction at all. And the next pieces we have our beds and baths. Now those are obvious enough. The only thing that I'll point out about beds and baths is there is no option for a specific number of bedrooms or bathrooms. It's always that number or more. So if I select three, it's not looking for listings that have exactly three bedrooms, it's looking for three bedrooms or more. And there is no option to look for exactly three. Same goes for bathrooms.

Harley:

And now the next piece we have here is filters. Now these are basically the more advanced filters for all these searches. Everything in this first column is pretty straightforward. Square feet, acres, year built, taxes, garages, stories. So these things are all pretty straightforward, pretty standard as far as searching for listings. The next column is much more of the same. Now in both of these columns, what you have in these maybe a little bit different, because these are sometimes customized on a per company level, depending on the kind of listing data that we get for your company and the kind of data that is more relevant in your market. Depending on what the company has chosen when the site was built out. So you may not have all of exactly the same options here, but it amounts to the same.

Harley:

Just straightforward enough. If you're looking for a listing that's on a lake, you check the lake box. That's pretty much it. So the next column we have open houses. Again, that one is pretty straightforward. The only thing I'll specify here is that we do a virtual open house functionality. So there is a way to narrow down to just those. Also, upcoming open houses is defined at the company level. So, upcoming generally means coming up in the next week or two, but the company does have a way of defining if upcoming includes open houses that are up to like four weeks away or up to three weeks away. So, that is what upcoming means since it's not specifically defined as only listings with an open house coming up in the next week, that kind of thing. And now the next piece we have here is the display options.

Harley:

So under the display options, we can break this down by only recent price reductions, only those with virtual tours or videos attached. So there are a number of different options here. The only one that I would point out a little bit is we have only listings I've shown. So this isn't looking at your listings. You've got only my listings for that. Only listings I've shown is looking at listings that you have specified that you've shown before in your settings in the DeltaNet. So there is a page where you can specify listings you've shown. So, that is what would allow you to return just those listings in a search. And there you have it. That is the public search with most of its primary options here, or primary filtering options. So the additional things you can do in the gallery mode of search is you can sort those listings a little differently.

Harley:

So by default, these are usually going to be sorted by price high to low, but you can change that default sorting through your settings in the DeltaNet, or you can just click on this dropdown and change that sort or the customer rather when they're actually running the search can can sort the listings by different things also. Maybe they want price low to high instead of high to low. They just select the option here and that's what they'll get. Now, the next thing is, if you have multiple pages of listings, you can also determine how many listings you see per page down here with this properties per page option at the bottom. And then you would also have links over here to move between those pages. So since we only have nine results in this set, we only have the one page, but you get the idea there.

Harley:

Now, the next thing we can do here is on the fly, while we're looking at our search results, we can actually switch this from a gallery result or a gallery view like this into a map view. So if we click on this change results view and click on map view, you can see, we have switched over to map. Now from here, the map has its own set of criteria and things that it can function on. So we'll close that out. We'll get back to that, I promise. But what we have primarily is we have a Google Maps based map view down here, and we'll scroll down a little bit. So this is our Google Maps view. You can see, we have a little dot for all the listings that are on here. And because I specify the area by a city name, it is automatically picked up from public record data what the boundary area of that city is. So this is actually the boundary area of Canton.

Harley:

So, now what it's doing, and the reason it's showing listings outside that boundary area has to do with this being test data, first of all, but what that's doing is this listing with this address or in this location says that it is in Canton, in our listing data, even though it's not within the boundary. So a search like this is going to show me every listing that's within the boundary area plus every listing that says, according to the MLS data, that it's in the city of Canton, regardless of whether or not it's in this map boundary area. Now the particularly nice thing about this is that if a listing is entered incorrectly in some way at the MLS, or let's say the wrong city is put on it, but it actually does land within the boundary area for that city. Then you'll still see that in this result set, because it's going to include everything in the boundary area.

Harley:

So, that part of it is pretty neat. Now, the other thing you can do with these kinds of searches ... Now we'll go ahead and remove this boundary area. So I'm just going to click on areas up here and this works the same way on the gallery view. So you can see we've got Canton Place is actually our boundary area. So I'm going to uncheck that and that goes away and we'll even take out Canton and Massillon too. And you can see I just check the check box and that removes those from our search.

Harley:

Now we'll collapse our areas drop down and now we're going to define the search a few different ways. So we can see, we have a handful of options over here. And if I roll over those, you can see that it will bring up a little tool tip that'll tell me what it does. So show your location if I'm using a mobile device and I have granted location access to the website, then it can actually show where I am on the map. So, that's kind of neat. This will show all of the company offices. So if I click on that, you can see the little icon shows up where the offices are.

Harley:

Next piece we have here is traffic, which is kind of fun. So if we click on traffic. This is actually the current traffic that is on all the major roadways around here. Now this is an optional function that is actually very neat. It is turned on for some companies by request. But if this function is turned on for you, what it will do is allow you to produce a boundary area based on drive time. So if I click on this, you can see it brings up our INRIX powered Drive Time search. I'm going to put in an address, just kind of a random address here. Here we go. How about one on Hills and Dales? So I want to see everything let's say, for example, this is the customer's workplace and they want to see every property that is within a 30 minute drive to that place at 8:15 in the morning, because that's when they would be driving to work and they don't want to pay any tolls and they don't want any ferries.

Harley:

Not that there are any ferries around here, but they don't want to have to take one to work anyway. So, we'll check those, click add, let it think about it for a moment. And then there you have it, it draws out our boundary area for us. So now we know that everything within this box and box is kind of a strong word for that, but everything within this polygon, let's go with that, is a listing that matches the criteria we're looking for. Everything that's in here is within a half hour drive at that time of day, from the address that we specified. So that can be very cool and a very powerful feature if it is one that is turned on for you. So, we'll go ahead and clear that out the same way we would clear out any of the other boundary areas. So I'm just going to go back up to areas and check that to take that off of here.

Harley:

And we'll take that traffic out of here too. Now you can see that it automatically turns the traffic on when we're searching by drive time, because the traffic really becomes relevant then. Now the next piece we have is we can draw a custom boundary area if we choose. So if I click on that, our first option, oh, there we go. Zoom in a little bit and draw our shape here. So our first option allows us to actually freeform draw out a shape that looks however we want it to. Which when you need, you can draw an area around a specific subdivision if you want, if it's one that's not defined. And then even once you've drawn it, you can grab little toggles and you can make a kind of minor adjustment to it as well.

Harley:

So, that's our polygon search. So the next one in line here, this one is also a polygon search, but instead of being a freeform drawing, I can click and basically set down points and you mean to create a shape the same way, and this can be nice if you have a nice kind of rectangular area or a nice solid polygon and not something you would need so much of a freeform for. So we'll clear that one out as well. And on the next one we have here is a radius. So if I click on that one, I can just click on the center and drag outward and it builds out a radius for me. The radius searches are another nice one for going off like a workplace or a school if I want something that's exactly within a two mile radius of a specific location, like a lake, and I'm not overly concerned with drive time specifically, I'm just looking for something purely in the matter of proximity, then I can create a radius search like this. Then again, it's only going to show me listings that are within this circle.

Harley:

So, we'll close that out, or we'll pull that boundary off, there we go. And now the next piece we have here is if we click in this section, typically there's an icon here, a little boundary icon, but if we click on that section, you can see that we can select from some different boundary types as well. So one thing we can do for these boundary areas is we can look at school districts and that's where this thing can be particularly useful. So if I search by school districts, we've done a lot of talking about Plain Local. So let's see what that school district looks like. So I'll just select districts and then the Plain Local School District, or at least part of it, is on the map we're looking at. So it's one of our options here in this dropdown.

Harley:

And you can see if I select Plain Local, it zooms right in and draws out that map boundary area for me. So I can see exactly where Plain Local is. Now I can do this or I can use these options for not just school districts, but a number of other things. I mean, you can see, we have school districts, school attendance zones, which can be nice if you're looking for like a specific elementary school is where that's really useful. So at least around here if you're in Plain Local Schools, the high school you're going to go to is Glen Oak or the high school your kids are going to go to in that case. So if you're looking at the district and the attendance zone, it amounts to the same thing there. But for an elementary school, like if there was a specific elementary school I wanted to send my kid to, that's where I would use that attendance zone and actually choose that school.

Harley:

So if I say school attendance zones, so I know I want to be in Plain Local Schools. There we go. But I also want my child to attend Avondale and you can see here's the attendance zone specifically for Avondale elementary school. So you can do a lot of neat things with these boundaries. Now, in addition to doing things like school districts and school attendance zones, you can see that counties, subdivisions, zip codes, metropolitan areas are not necessarily cities, but kind of like a combination of city and surrounding communities. Places tend to be cities, entire states, regions, districts, or neighborhoods. Now those last three region, district and neighborhood, those are actually custom areas that can be defined at the company level for the DeltaNet. So company admins can go in and actually create these custom boundary areas that make sense in your market, that maybe there is no public record data for. So they're not in here inherently, but still add them in and make them searchable. So there's a lot of cool stuff you can do there.

Harley:

So we'll close that out. Now, the last thing you can do here is we can click on our little coffee cup down here and we can add points of interest to this map. So if I want to see nearby bakeries, I can just select that. And then you can see it adds the bakeries to the map. And there's just a little icon on here. So you do have the ability to add in those points of interest as well. And that could be particularly nice for a customer that just wants to know if there's a bakery nearby or one of 50 other things that are in this list. They want to know where the nearest ATM is. They can add that on and there's some ATM's. So, you can see that there's a whole lot that can be done with this map search.

Harley:

So, there you have it. Now, the last thing I'll add about the search in general is that once a customer has produced the search that they want, they've applied all the right filters, or you've done it for them. They've gone in here, they've applied all the right areas and made the correct, shouldn't say correct, but made the exclusions and inclusions and ands and ors and all the things that they want there. Ultimately they can click up here on the heart and then save that search. And the system can notify them automatically when new listings come up that match. So I would click on save this search, because I'm not logged into an account. It's going to pop up here and I can enter my information here in order to create an account. If I already had an account, I can log into it by clicking on existing user and then just put in my information.

Harley:

And lastly, if I do have an account already and I am already logged into that account, the interface here will look very similar to this. Only, it's only going to have me give the search in name and choose the interval at which that search runs. So the way the system works is it will run the search. Let's say I set this on every two days. So every two days the system will automatically run the search. And if it finds new listings, it'll notify me. Whereas, if I have the set to instantly, then the search is essentially running all the time. And again, when it finds new listings, it'll notify me. So these would be the only two settings available to me here if I were already logged into an account. So I would just set those up, click continue, and then my search would be saved.

Harley::

So there you have it, there's a solid rundown of both the gallery and the map views of the public property search on your website, along with a lot of things you can do and how you can use that search to kind of really narrow down to the listings that your customer is looking for or how your customer can really go to your public search and narrow down the results to exactly what they're looking for. So as always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to send an email to support@deltagroup.com or give us a call and we can walk you through whatever you need. Thanks a lot.

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