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Company Spotlight: Incorporating Lifestyle into the Real Estate Experience

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By John Voket

RISMEDIA, April 21, 2011—Eric Bryn, vice president of Digital Innovation at Baird & Warner sees his partnership with Onboard Informatics as an opportunity to provide real estate buyers and sellers an innovative way to search for real estate.

As Baird & Warner tweaks the final stages of the content-rich Lifestyle Search platform provided by Onboard Informatics, Bryn knows its client- and agent-friendly interface and under the hood analytical and information gathering tools will put Baird & Warner in a place technologically where few companies in any industry dwell.

While he is far from the front office, Bryn knows that in a tough Chicagoland market, Baird & Warner is “consistently beating the average with a focus on providing services to our agents to help them get the pendulum moving in a positive direction.”

In a nutshell, once launched, visitors will be able to use the Lifestyle Search platform to thoroughly explore and experience the communities and neighborhoods where they may want to live.

“With over 20 offices in the Chicagoland area and nearly 50 miles between some of them, buyers and sellers may not be as familiar with a neighboring community where they plan to move,” Bryn says. “The Lifestyle Search somewhat replaces that consumer experience.

“Prospective buyers and sellers can choose certain lifestyle markers, such as school rankings, preference for public transportation, and access to cultural activities to determine the best communities that suit their lifestyle. The Lifestyle Search feature delivers much more relevant and contextual choices for clients based on their own needs and lifestyle, versus the level of detail or depth they may get with traditional existing data or the MLS,” adds Bryn.

Bryn has enjoyed a long relationship with Onboard Informatics, going back to a previous post where he tapped the firm to be a data provider.

“Their data is consistently on time, never faltering, so when you look in terms of a website delivery in conjunction with the stature Baird & Warner has in this market, it was a logical choice,” he says. “The ability to come up with effective data products is easy to say, but not always as easy to implement. Onboard Informatics has all the bases covered, providing both a reliable and innovative roll out.”

According to Bryn, most real estate websites still force visitors into the role of “hunter-gatherer,” but Lifestyle Search provides a unique real estate experience. “Implementing the Lifestyle Search technology into our website has created a competing point of differentiation as well as the ability to provide rich consumer value.”

Bryn is also excited about the power it provides agents.

“As agents become more familiar with Lifestyle Search, they can take this huge sphere of information down to the individual neighborhood and property,” says Bryn.

“The Lifestyle Search experience is intended to enhance the search and enhance the user experience—ultimately, creating a higher affinity for our agents and the global structure of our company brand,” he continues. “Home buyers have been searching based on their lifestyle preferences for years, so this isn’t new—it’s just new to the Internet.”

For more information, visit www.onboardinformatics.com.

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