Behind the Scenes of a Lifestyle Search Engine

October 21 2010

neighborhood200pxThere has been a lot of talk lately in the real estate industry about lifestyle search. A number of different websites have flooded the market trying to attract real estate consumers. Unfortunately, some of these “lifestyle search” providers only represent a small segment of lifestyle search while others are strictly destination portals.

  • Destination portals may have some lifestyle data sets, but come with the unfortunate consequence of taking consumers away from brokerage and agent sites.
  • There are also a number of hosted applications that are marketed as providing users with lifestyle search. These applications contain community, school, points of interest and other types of information. The main problem with these applications is that they only provide the user with access to proximity-based search. The user is able to search for points of interest or schools around a specific geography. They do not actually provide any lifestyle-based information. For instance, what is more important to the user: the proximity of an elementary school or the proximity of a top-rated elementary school with solid parent reviews?

Onboard has created a Lifestyle Search Engine designed to meet the above challenges.

Using lifestyle indexes that are modeled by their data team, along with an algorithm that allows users to chose their best place, brokerages and agents can ask questions on their site that currently aren’t being asked anywhere else. It is neither a destination site nor a ‘plug and play’ application, so clients do not have to worry about clunky implementations.

The biggest differentiator with LSE is the complete control clients have over their user interface and user experience. Onboard has continually heard how companies want to have a one-of-a-kind website, to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The possibilities are limited only by the creativity of the developer.

Onoboard's Lifestyle Search can be implemented in a number of ways. Here just a few ideas that come to mind:

  • Layering the search engine into your existing search is quick and easy. This can minimize the amount of time and effort clients need to add a dynamic search experience for their users. Clients can continue to use their existing listings search while getting the benefits of lifestyle search.
  • Individual landing pages can be created to highlight specific lifestyles. Agents and brokerages can show their local expertise by providing visitors to their site more information on individual neighborhoods.
  • Another great advantage for clients using the Lifestyle Search Engine is the benefit of improved SEO. Users will spend more time on your site, browsing not only the lifestyle information but ultimately navigating to listing and property detail pages. Search engines are placing a higher importance on this user behavior, which means companies should expect to see higher page rankings for their site.
  • The web service does so much more than just return to the user the best neighborhoods that match the criteria they submit. Developers can access boundary information as well as additional information that will help improve the display for specific attributes. Information can be provided to end users on how neighborhoods compare across attributes within a specific geography.

There are many more opportunities for creativity. Providing lifestyle search on your site will start the ‘conversation’ on your site, all of our additional content will keep that ‘conversation’ going. It is only one piece of the puzzle. Onboard can easily supplement the search engine with demographic information, school profiles, points of interest, market information, and much more. Onboard's Lifestyle Search can also be seamlessly integrated with their Listings Search Engine. Developers have access to a full suite of products to create the most unique website in the industry.

So look around at the different lifestyle searches available. Onboard believes you will find that our solution one of the most powerful in the industry.

If you would like to read the original blog as posted on Onboard Informatics' blog, please click hereclick here.

If you would like to learn more about Onboard Informatics, please click here.

If you would like to read a product description about Onboard Informatics' Lifestyle Search, please click hereclick here