With more than 1.2 billion users (and counting) Facebook has managed to change the way we keep in touch, how we consume content, even how businesses interact with consumers.
However, its less mediatized role in our lives is that of looking up personal information on friends and acquaintances. While few of us like to admit it, Facebook has gradually turned into our very own ‘database’. The type of database where you know what type of information is ready available, and you simply turn to it whenever you don’t remember a friend’s birthday, when you want to find out whether your high school sweetheart is married or not, or simply to see what your former classmates have been doing lately.
The world of real estate has its very own Facebook for this type of data-mining, PropertyShark.com. The difference is that, instead of looking up people, this portal allows you to look up buildings and properties of any kind – both commercial and residential.
We’ve looked at the type of property information PropertyShark offers in its core product – property reports on 90 million+ buildings throughout the U.S., with New York and California as key markets – and the similarities with Facebook are actually kind of funny. Here’s how:
- Property reports, much like Facebook timelines, give you all the essentials: photos and in-depth property characteristics (like year built, square footage etc.), along with some of the most crucial data points in the world of real estate: ownership information, sales history (deeds, mortgage, liens), building permits, property taxes, and much more.
- You simply enter an address in the search bar and get to see who owns your childhood home, how much it would be worth nowadays, what improvements the new owners have made to the property, who moved in next door, see a list of building tenants etc.
- You can even use the owner search to look up people and see what other properties they own (and, just in case you were wondering: yes, you can look up celebrities too).
- On the professional side, much like online marketers use Facebook to better understand their audiences and promote their products, PropertyShark.com is most likely bookmarked by all real estate professionals that want to stay ahead of the competition. That’s because the site, on top of providing extensive, reliable property information, offers a series of tools meant to help professionals get more leads, asses the value of a property by looking at comparable sales, or meant to ease their research with visual representations of real estate trends (by means of interactive maps).
And since we’re at it, why not mention that PropertyShark.com was placed right next to Facebook in TIME’s 2009 list of Top 50 Best Websites.
So, the next time you’re house-hunting, make sure you look up your potential home on PropertyShark.com. It may not tell you who the owner used to date, but you’ll find out just about everything else.