Walk Scores for Finding Places

This has more to do with marketing than blogging.   But I ran across a tool this week which you might find really useful in an un-intentional way.   One of those Serendipitous things I’m always talking about.   Briefly:

  • Email from Eric Wu about rentwiki.com
  • Went to the site and found walk scores
  • Browsed to Walk Scores and found the real estate related script
  • Got an idea of how to use the script for something beside walk scores


Walk scores tell you how easy it is to walk from a particular address to things like shopping, hardware stores, coffee shops etc.

Here in the West things are spread out.   I plugged in my address and got a walk score of 6   meaning you better have a good strong horse to go anywhere or you won’t make it there and back in a day.

I’m surprised it wasn’t a -50 score of there is such a thing.   There are some places in Tucson where you can live and walk to about anywhere you want.   But there is a lot more of the city like where I live.   So not much use for walk scores since most addresses won’t be very “walkable”.

Three hours earlier

I’ve been seeing a lot of this on TV this season, we get a quick clip in the present then they take us back a few hours to a few days.   So here is my version of that effect in a blog post.

A day before we were showing buyers potential homes.   We went to about 11 homes and one of the recurring questions was “How far from here to the grocery store?”   How far from here to the hospital?”   “How far from here to a fitness place?”   We get a lot of “How far from here to . . .   ”   questions all the time.

When I saw the Walk Scores widget on a test post I created for one of our listings it showed me exactly how far it is to many of those places.   And if I don’t like the closest one returned I simply click the little arrow it the next closed store, coffee shop, dinner shows up in the results with the new distance from the address.

Present Time

I put the walk score script code on each of your listing sites on a page for that address to show potential buyers how far it is to all those things they might want to know about if they bought the home.   One nice feature “You can not show the walk score by setting the option if score is less than (you pick the score) the walk score isn’t displayed.

I don’t have any need for the walk score at all.   We all know you have to have a horse and pack a lunch to go to lunch.

But Finding Places, that is something everybody wants to know and for that this is one cool tool.

Here is an example From an listing site of ours.

How to Add Walk Scores

  1. Go to this Walk Score Real Estate Tile
  2. Enter an address
  3. select a width that will fit your posting area
  4. copy the code generated below
  5. Apply for a WSID Code (very easy to do)
  6. Past the code using the HTML Tab on your post where you want it
  7. Open your email and copy the WSID code and paste it where it says YOUR WSID CODE HERE
  8. Option: if you don’t want to display the walk score put: var ws_hide_scores_below = “50” in the script

There you have it.   Pretty simple to add a “How Far is it to?” widget in your post.

The walk score above is for the Oregano’s Pizza Bistro in Tucson.   You can click on the arrows to see new names of places appear with the distance.   When you click on names they are located on the map to the right.

Very nice tool even if this isn’t why it was created.   My dad would be very proud.   We used to cruise the hardware store looking for ways to make new things out of things we found.

You can turn a “Walk Score” widget into a “How Far Is it To” widget and you don’t even have to get creative to do it.

Comments

  1. Dave,

    I receive Google alerts for “real estate blog” and that is how I received notification of this post. Do you know why your posts are found in this search criteria and so many others are not?

    Regarding the post, thank you for this information. This will certainly enhace the lisitng created on our web site / blog and provides another feature to talk about during the lsiting presentation.

  2. Doug,

    I think walkscores.com tiles is a great way to add value to a listing.

    As to “real estate blog” coming in your google alters. LOL, it is all in a name. SInce it is the real estate blog lab. When a post in indexed the name of the site is included and because the name of the lab has your alert phrase in the name it triggers an alert being sent to you every time a post is indexed.

    Now that is a novel way of keeping up on when a post has been published here.

    Dave

  3. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for checking out RentWiki.com, and I agree that “walkability” of a area in an important factor for both renters and home buyers. I definitely think there are lots of tools that can provide bits of additional informaiton about the surrounding areas of properties. Let’s chat sometime about a coulpe of ideas I have about providing home buyers with more resources/data/content before making a purchasing decision.

    -Eric
    Twitter: @rentwiki
    Blog: http://www.rentwiki.com/blog
    eric@rentwiki.com

  4. Shannon Ensor says:

    What a great tool, thanks for sharing! I also love the idea of adding it to listings!

  5. This is the best tip I have read about in a long time! I’ll definitely be using this to promote my listings…just need to figure out how I want to use it now.

    I really love that you can use the small arrows to see where the next closest place is located in case you don’t like the grocery store that it chose.

  6. What a great idea. I love this idea for homes located in downtown areas or fairly populated areas. It isn’t much of a benefit for rural properties though. I live in a smaller town and about 50% of the properties would benefit from this addition. The larger the town, the better the info would work. Intergrating this into your MLS listing results would be quite a nice addition.

  7. Hi, it’s Lenny with Sundream Estate in Marbella Spain. I’m impress, a really good tool. It can be very good for our clients (90% of our clients are from other part of Spain or foreigner) and they don’t know much about the area.

  8. I think this is a great feature. I actually have an order in to soon have it added to my site. I think for the end user it does provide a bit of useful information and definitely helps me as well. There are certain areas of my town where I can tell you everything around but some areas I have no clue.

  9. Betty Saenz says:

    I love the walkability ratings! Thanks for your great blog! I actually serve in a volunteer capacity as a Commissioner on Planning & Zoning in Leander, Texas, in addition to my work as a REALTOR. In Leander we have a TOD- Transit Oriented Development. Designed around the new commuter rail line and Express bus service into Austin, Texas, the TOD is designed to be very walkable. The first concept plan was just approved for the Leander TOD. I want to use the walkability ratings on the concept plan.

  10. Looks like a great tool to add to a real estate site on the IDX listings. Just wonder how acurate it is.