Family in front of house with for sale sign

Data

Data Visualization Company

Dynamic boundary data boosts home buyer engagement on real estate sites.

Client profile

  • Provides turnkey data visualization solutions for real estate companies
  • Offers more than 75 different data visualization templates on 150 million U.S. properties in 222,000 communities

Business goals

  • Deliver a turnkey data visualization solution.
  • Add map-based neighborhood data to its offerings.

Benefits

  • Added new customers and strengthened offering for existing customers
  • Increased amount of time customers spend on real estate websites by 40%
  • 80% increase in hover rates for map-based data display

Technologies used

Boundary Data

Boundary data sets from Pitney Bowes accurately define zip code, neighborhood and geofenced areas. Businesses can use this data to enhance marketing effectiveness, avoid risk and increase profitability.

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Demographic Data

Collection of demographic, geodemographic and location context data designed to help you understand people and the places they live.

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Overview

In real estate, location really is everything. When you’re looking for a home, it’s all about the neighborhood. Are the schools highly rated? Is there a coffee house within walking distance? What are the neighbors like? One Pitney Bowes client, a leader in the data visualization field, knew that when you put that information on a map, it comes to life. Their challenge: giving real estate professionals an easy way to deliver that critical neighborhood information to their customers.

Business challenge

The company had an extensive suite of relevant real estate data, which it presented largely through interactive bar charts. “We had our own demographic information on the zip code level, but our customers were asking for the next level of granularity,” says the client.

That next level is neighborhood data. Neighborhood boundaries are more relevant for real estate customers than zip codes, which are often too broad to be useful. Neighborhoods, on the other hand, offer more granular, local information that’s reflective of what matters to a potential home buyer. “Neighborhood data provides the information potential buyers want; it’s ultimately the level of detail where purchase decisions are being made,” the client says.

Major real estate players, like Redfin, provide neighborhood data. But, it was beyond the capabilities of smaller players, such as the regional real estate companies and start-up developers. The data visualization company needed to find a way to give these companies the data they needed to close more sales and make it a plug-and-play solution.

“We license boundary data from Pitney Bowes because they’re a unique provider of this data. There’s no one who offers comparable data.”

   

Solution

To deliver a complete turnkey data visualization platform, the company turned to Pitney Bowes. It had been using Pitney Bowes’ boundary and demographic data internally for its own real estate search engine but wasn’t providing that information to customers.

That changed when the company formed a technology partnership with Pitney Bowes. Under the partnership, the data visualization company licenses neighborhood and school boundary data and demographic data from Pitney Bowes for use in its real estate solution. In all, the company provides more than 75 different data visualization templates on 150 million U.S. properties in 222,000 communities. The data visualizations are based on the most important information for the real estate industry, including property information, location information, school information and more. With these data visualizations, a home buyer can learn all about a neighborhood before visiting it.

The data visualization company chose Pitney Bowes as its data provider for the quality of its boundary and demographic data. “Pitney Bowes is a unique provider of this data,” the client says. “There’s really no one else who can deliver that depth of neighborhood data.”

The company relies on Pitney Bowes’ extensive research and validation of the informal neighborhood boundaries. The scope of the neighborhood boundary database is constantly evolving, as Pitney Bowes adds and consolidates neighborhoods, and finds new ways to maintain the freshness of its data.

“Our partnership has truly expanded because we can take the highly-valuable data from Pitney Bowes and build a solution that our real estate customers have been asking for.”

   

The company receives the Pitney Bowes boundary and demographic data files, processes the data and creates the data visualizations. Real estate professionals embed these visualizations on their web sites and portals using an application program interface (API). Web developers can quickly implement the API, and customers can choose the specific visualizations they want to place on their site by simply plugging in the corresponding embed codes on their pages.

The ease of implementation is a boon for smaller real estate firms, who generally don’t have the data or graphic expertise to create their own visualizations. With this new offering, they get the local Pitney Bowes data, in different presentation styles (for example bar charts and maps) that increase site engagement and boost sales.

Benefits

How can a simple change in presentation style increase engagement? Consider demographic data. Before forming the partnership with Pitney Bowes, the company showed demographic data only on the zip code level and above and largely represented on bar charts.

Now, they present the data on a neighborhood level and in a more compelling map-based visualization. Potential home buyers can view the neighborhood demographics sorted by age, ethnicity, education, language and marital status.

The improved visualization has resulted in an 80% increase in user hover rates for the map-based data display, when compared to the same data in a bar chart format.

“Offering neighborhood data from Pitney Bowes has been an important element in our success in the real estate market. A number of our customers have asked about upgrading their own products to add this level of detail.”

    

By offering dynamic, neighborhood-level visualizations, the company has found that real estate professionals can increase the amount of time visitors spend on websites by up to 40 percent. And the more time potential home buyers spend on a site, the more likely they are to arrange a property tour.

On a business level, adding neighborhood boundaries to its data arsenal has helped the data visualization company find new customers and impress existing customers. “The extension of our partnership with Pitney Bowes and being able to sub-license the neighborhood boundary data has been huge,” the client says. “It’s suddenly opened so many doors for us. Some customers have inquired about upgrading their existing product to include neighborhood-level information.”

The company plans to build on its relationship with Pitney Bowes. It’s exploring ways to more fully leverage the data it currently licenses, and is hoping to add to its data portfolio.

“We’re experimenting with different ways of showing school attendance zones to make them even more attractive to end-users,” the client says. “Pitney Bowes offers so much more data on neighborhood or residential levels, even information outside of the United States. We’re exploring ways to incorporate this data into future products.”