April 23, 2011 in Business

Web site adds lifestyle to house-hunting data

SpatialMatch taps into range of demographics
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Web technology has transformed how companies or brokers market and display real estate. Spokane entrepreneur Grant Gould wants to continue the process, hoping the company he co-founded, Home Junction, rocks the way people hunt for and select a place to live.

Gould lives in Spokane and is vice president of sales and marketing for Home Junction, a virtual web company with more than 20 employees across the country.

Last year Home Junction launched SpatialMatch, a web data system that lets real estate firms and brokers incorporate information covering more than 100 lifestyle, geographic or demographic attributes.

Gould grew up in California, then moved to Spokane two years ago with his wife, who has family in the area. “We’re a virtual company, so there is no real main office,” he said.

His co-founder, John Perkins, lives in Southern California, where they formed Home Junction in 2007.

Home Junction goes out and gathers all that data, then licenses it to regional or metro listing services to add to their real estate search sites. Home Junction collects monthly fees based on the amount of data it pulls and places onto the website of the realty or broker site.

The SpatialMatch layers add extra information that Gould calls lifestyle data. It provides, for instance, the class sizes and number of schools for school districts. With a number of customized controls, users can dial in other data: How many Starbucks are in a given neighborhood? Where are the bike paths or libraries?

Plenty of large successful sites, like Zillow and Trulia, offer web users tons of data on prices, valuations, taxes and populations. But they don’t dive into lifestyle data piles, Gould said.

One data set Home Junction collects is on crime. But few real estate firms want that information added to their search sites, he said.

When the new version of SpatialMatch is released, it will add transit data and other options some realty sites are looking for, he said.

So far about 20 multiple listing service websites have licensed SpatialMatch, Gould said. Spokane’s listing service is in line to add it within a few months, he added.

The company is not yet profitable. “But we expect to reach profitability later this year – by August or September,” he said.


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