Software helps buyers pinpoint which school a particular home is assigned to
Maponics also has multiple listing service clients that license the data directly. If, as a Realtor, you own a real estate brokerage company, you can license the data for your website and allow customers and prospects to interface with the software -- that's a pretty good marketing tool.
RPR was hot for the product because it knew the software created information consumers really wanted.
"If you think about it, the proximity to high-quality schools is one of the most important factors in homebuying decisions," Frame said. "If prospective buyers have kids, selecting a property where they will be going to school is critical. This is especially so in urban neighborhoods, where one school to the next can be quite different in quality."
Even for homebuyers without children, the placement of a good school can also be important because living in a district where the schools are considered high quality makes it easier to market your home when the time comes to sell.
As ZIP code and school boundaries change, "The 'currentcy' of the product is key," Friend said. "That's a core competency. You always want current data and this is especially true with schools. We are committed to updating each school district annually. There is no silver bullet; we are going to have to go back and touch each one of these districts at least once a year."
Being current is extremely important because the desirability and value of a prospective home can change dramatically if a school's boundaries are altered and that house is suddenly within a different school boundary. It's an event -- especially in consolidating urban locations -- that happens all too frequently.
"People do care about what school district they live in," Friend said. "But what they really care about is where their children are going to attend school. You can be located in a school district that might have a dozen elementary schools. Some of the schools might be great -- some of them might not be so great."
Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, "After the Fall: Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade," has been ranked as a top-selling real estate investment book for the Amazon Kindle e-reader.
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