What with so many online tools at our disposal, it's never been so easy to find that “perfect home”. But of course, that dream home of yours could soon become a disaster zone if you don't like the area or neighborhood that you're living in. It's one thing to locate properties on the Web, but quite another to check out if the place you're moving too is somewhere you'll enjoy living.
It used to be that we could only find out about the people and places in neighborhoods by actually living there and seeing it for ourselves, but that's no longer the case thanks to WikiRealty – a kind of Wikipedia for real estate that helps you find people, places and properties in any part of the country.
“There is an overload of "hard data" about real estate available online,” said Sanjay Kuttemperoor, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of WikiRealty. “However, this data is not knowledge. Consumers today want local insights, not just data.”
That's exactly what WikiRealty provides – local insights and neighborhood-specific content that's provided by an online community of neighbors, realtors, brokers, bankers, developers, contractors, designers, architects, municipalities, what Kuttemperoor likes to refer to as “the crowd”.
Crowdsourced local insights from local people, you simply cannot find a better source for hyper-locak information than that, and that's exactly why WikiRealty is gaining so much traction. Having originally focused on the California, Florida, Chicago and Milwaukee areas for the past year, WikiRealty has just announced this month that it now has a nationwide footprint, and it's now welcoming both content contributors (those that have hyper-local insight about properties and neighborhoods and want to share that insight), and content consumers (those that are seeking the information provided by the crowd) all over the country.
Searching through WikiRealty, users can find a mix of both quantitative and qualatative data, Kuttemperoor explained. “The quantitative data includes things like property listings, demographic information, real estate stats, crime stats and school information,” he said, but its the qualitative data that really sets WikiRealty apart.
“This includes neighborhood hyper-local lifestyle information, for example where are the best farmer's markets, local parks, new developments, and so on,” Kuttemperoor said. “It's also things like home owners association information, and any other neighborhood information that you typically only get by word-of-mouth.”
Kuttemperoor has big plans in store for the site over the next five years. First he's setting his sights on WikiRealty becoming the go-to source for local neighborhood insights in the U.S., but ultimately he wants to expand all over the world.
“WikiRealty certainly has a global application because real estate today is a global industry,” he said. “Buyers and Sellers are consummating transactions across international lines on a regular basis. We recognized this a long time ago and are planning for an international expansion of WikiRealty in the near future.”