Have you ever looked at a typical real estate listing? They're hideous.
And the ways to search for these listings online? Words like awkward, confusing, and inefficient come to mind.
It's shocking that in 2012, an industry as massive and wide-reaching as real estate lags digitally in so many ways. Canadian startups like Hoperty, BuzzBuzzHome, and Allur have made inroads in making home shopping a more slick and modern experience. Vancouver's Live or List is the latest venture attempting to bring real estate up to date.
In the company's own words, "Live or List is a comprehensive, open real estate marketplace where anyone can list any type of property for free. The application integrates Municipal Open Datasets such as: schools, zoning, parcels, assessments, housing starts, etc., alongside all the features of Google Maps API such as: Places API, drawing tool, heatmaps, KML layers, directions, streemap, and layers."
Live or List also says its app "brings a higher level of transparency to the real estate industry," which is always a good thing.
The Canadian startup was founded by Adam Naamani, who soft launched the service in early October. As a result, the map currently only has select listings currently. But Adam, who used to work as an appraiser, says he doesn't want to scrape listings just to get more up early on; he'd rather hold out for partnerships in order to maintain the high quality of his site's listings.
Living and dying by the sword, Live or List relies on open data for a lot of its functions. When it works, it works amazingly - just check out the bike and public transit routes on its Vancouver map. But without open data, the site lacks layers of information and it loses its lustre.
"There are only a handful of municipalities that are leading the way with complete sets of Open Data, such as The City of Vancouver, The City of Surrey, and Langley," Adam told DataBC. But he adds there has been a bit of a movement happening recently in which more cities are opening up more data.
You can check out a sample listing here.