New feature enables consumers to find homes based on typical commute times in traffic
HOUSTON —(January 29, 2015) — One of the most important factors home buyers consider as they begin the process of searching for their dream home is the distance to work, school, shopping, place of worship and other important destinations, and how long it takes to drive that distance. That is why the Houston Association of Realtors’(HAR) newly designed HAR.com statewide website (beta.har.com) now offers a tool to help consumers calculate travel time during typical traffic conditions. It’s called “INRIX Drive Time™,”and it allows consumers to search for properties based on desired drive times in traffic to work, schools and other frequent destinations.
HAR.com displays property listings from across the state of Texas and has member listings elsewhere in the United States and around the world. HAR is leveraging technology from leading logistic company INRIX to offer this new service. Users simply enter the address of their office or other key destination along with desired commute time. A map then appears along with available property listings that fall within the desired commute time. Consumers may narrow down their search criteria and easily contact a Realtor to schedule an appointment to tour those homes in which they are interested. To try this tool, you may visit beta.har.com/drivetimesearch.
“This information is so valuable that we not only placed the functionality on the front page of our site but also on every detailed listing page, school page, apartment detailed page, home value page and sold detailed page,”said HAR Chair Nancy Furst. “Texans are so dependent on their cars that it only makes sense that consumers should be able to conduct a real estate search based on their commute time.”
According to the most recently conducted HAR consumer survey, 74 percent of home buyers said convenience to their job was an important factor in the location of the home they purchased.
“We operate under a ‘give the consumer what they want’perspective at HAR,”said HAR President and CEO Bob Hale. “We are proud to be able to offer this to people across the state before any of the third-party portals. It is another example of why HAR.com is the best source of information Texas real estate consumers are seeking, promoting the connection between consumers and Realtors.”
“We are very proud to partner with one of the most forward-thinking associations in the country – HAR,”said INRIX General Manager of GeoAnalytics, Kevin Foreman. “As a proof point, HAR has implemented INRIX Drive Time in such a unique way to show all of the various ways commute times can be used to remove the guesswork of finding the perfect home.”
According to INRIX annual report on traffic congestion in U.S. cities, Houston is America’s 15th worst traffic city. Traffic congestion is up 20 percent in the last year thanks to an improving economy with drivers in the Houston metro area wasting on average 32 hours annually in gridlock.
Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR) is a 30,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of Realtors® in the United States.