Playing off its initials, HAR, the Houston Association of Realtors recently added the tagline Homes and Realtors on the HAR.com home screen in order to reflect the association’s decision to include property listings from all over Texas, not just the Greater Houston Area. By including listings across the state of Texas, HAR is allowing the site to remain competitive beyond the Houston market and give agents from other cities a place to market their properties free of charge.
The new site, which launched in spring, is still in beta testing and can be accessed at beta.har.com. There is still no word when the official launch will take place.
Along with adding the tagline to its site, HAR.com, a popular home listing database that formerly focused predominately on the Houston area, has added a number of new features, most notably the addition of “Drive Time.”
“Drive Time” is a new, innovative way to search for homes. The new technology allows consumers to search for properties within a specific drive time of a frequented destination, such as your workplace or child’s school. Users can input their office address and desired commute time, and the new HAR.com will create a map and a list of active home listings within the desired commute time.
Other features include sending mobile users push notifications on their GPS-enabled phones for new home listings and nearby open houses. Realtors will also be able to provide audio tours of homes for homebuyers to listen to.
Realtors can also fill out profile pages introducing their services to potential homebuyers for free, as well. The profiles allow Realtors to participate in discussion boards and share expert advice on a variety of topics, from schools and neighborhood amenities to the home buying process. Additionally, homebuyers can rate Realtors on their profiles, read reviews of neighborhood schools and share homes they liked with Realtors more easily, which can cut down on the volume of emails and text messages between the agent and buyer.
Functioning under the mission to connect home sellers, buyers and renters with Realtors, HAR.com works to provide the most comprehensive real estate listings and local data. Taqi Rizvi, HAR’s chief technology officer, commented on the empowering medium that allows the association to provide its consumers with the best information.
“Technology is truly the most amazing thing because it really empowers people,” said Rizvi. “Our job is to provide the best information to the consumer because a more educated consumer makes the real estate industry better.”