Traffic. It’s a constant in many of our daily lives. All it takes to trip up your regular commute is an accident, inclement weather, or road work. And the more inconvenient the commute, the bigger the hit to your quality of life. That would explain why nearly three-fourths of home buyers rate convenience to work as a critical factor in their home purchase decision.1 But “convenience” means different things to different people. For some, walking to work is the definition of convenience. For others, it’s a maximum of a 15 minute drive time between work and home. And in some larger cities, anything under 45 minutes is considered convenient.
Starting today, buyers who put a lot of value on how much time they spend commuting in their car have a new, innovative way to search for homes on Windermere.com. Powered by INRIX, Windermere is the first real estate company in the nation to offer “Search by Drive Time”, giving buyers the ability to view all homes for sale within a specific drive time of a frequented destination, such as work or school.
Do you work in downtown Seattle and are willing to drive for up to 30 minutes, but need to arrive by 9:00 AM? Do you work in Portland, only want to spend a max of 20 minutes driving, and need to get there by 7:30 AM? Do you want to live within a 15 minute drive of your kids’ school which starts at 8:25 AM?
Done, done, and done.
Now, when searching for homes on Windermere.com, you can enter your work address (or school, etc.), the maximum amount of time you want to spend driving, and your preferred arrival time. Then, plug in your price parameters, numbers of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc., and Windermere.com will show you homes for sale that not only fit your price and physical specifications, but preferred drive time to work, as well.
OB Jacobi, the president of Windermere Real Estate, and someone with a serious passion for technology, feels strongly that “Search by Drive Time” is going to revolutionize how buyers search for homes – especially in high-traffic, metropolitan areas.
He was recently quoted as saying the following:
“We already know that commute times are a critical factor for 73 percent of home buyers, and now with Windermere’s Search by Drive Time, buyers can filter their search results based upon drive time criteria, just as you would for price, number of bedrooms, and other important attributes. It just makes perfect sense for a large population of home buyers.”
In March, Windermere launched phase one of INRIX Drive Time by attaching a drive time calculator to every home for sale on Windermere.com.2 The addition of Search by Drive Time takes this capability even further by enabling buyers to use commute time to define their search criteria alongside price, square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
What is INRIX?
INRIX provides Windermere with the in-depth traffic data needed to power our Search by Drive Time technology. It also happens to be one of the fastest growing big data technology companies in the world. INRIX leverages big data analytics to reduce the toll traffic takes on people, places, the environment, and the economy. INRIX Drive Time information is sourced from the INRIX Traffic Intelligence Platform, which analyzes (literally) billions of real-time data points from a unique combination of sources, including road sensors and real-time traffic speeds that have been crowd-sourced from millions of GPS-equipped vehicles and devices.
Unlike traffic sources that only provide travel times based on speed limits and distance, INRIX Drive Time accounts for common traffic-impacting factors, such as time of day, day of the week, season, local holidays, special events, current and forecasted weather, accidents, and road construction.3
Have you ever tried driving into the city when there are multiple sporting events, a concert, and an accident on the freeway, while it’s raining cats and dogs? Unfortunately, it happens, but thankfully INRIX is always one step ahead, taking all of those details (and more) into account and spitting out up to the minute information so you can avoid a serious headache of a commute. It’s this same depth of information that enables INRIX and Windermere to provide buyers with highly accurate search results based on Drive Time information.
So, what does this mean for you? It means that if you’re a home buyer and you care about the amount of time you spend in your car commuting every day, finding the home that best fits you and your life, just got a lot easier.
Check out our new Search by Drive Time feature for yourself by going to www.Windermere.com and selecting the "INRIX Drive Time Search" option from the main search panel in the center of the page.
1 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2012
2Drive time information is not currently available in Mexico.
3 INRIX real-time traffic information has been found accurate within 3 mph of actual traffic speeds under all driving conditions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Source: I-95 Coalition Validation of INRIX Data: Two Year Summary Report, September 2010
Shelley Rossi is responsible for all internal and external communications for Windermere Real Estate. Shelley helps direct company messaging through public relations, social media, advertising, and marketing communications. She also oversees the flow of information to the company’s network of 300 offices. Shelley has a deep understanding of the residential real estate industry and how PR can be used to leverage company branding and messaging.