Investment Property Search Engine
The highlights of this project were really in the end result. We were able to create a tool that investors still use today, and there is nothing else of its kind available. There was a real sense of innovation in this project, which is always inspiring.
We were approached by a publicly listed real estate investment company to create a purpose-built search engine to assist in the identification of the best investment opportunities throughout Australia. The idea was to make it easy to identify available properties in any geographical location that had the highest rental yield, while also being customisable to user preference.
The main challenges of this project were ensuring our web scrapers could accurately capture the necessary data. Being a multi-national effort, we targeted websites like www.realestate.com.au, Domain and some larger sites in New Zealand.
Once our program could capture all of the important data, we then needed to build in the right types of filters that investors really want, and make it as user-friendly as possible. For example, rather than a simple distance filter, we used an inclusion and exclusion filter.
This allowed investors to include all properties within 15kms of the CBD, for example, but exclude those within 2kms of the CBD, as these were usually apartments with different rental structures..
The project was carried out over five-stages:
1. Determine the best sources for locating property sale and rental data online.
2. Locating the appropriate government statistic websites to find property prices and rental data.
3. Create web scrapers to collect property sale and rental data from the biggest real estate websites throughout Australia and New Zealand.
4. Building in filters, allowing investors to customise their searches to either include or exclude keywords, and also locate properties a certain distance from the CBD.
5. For investment properties already rented, our program could quickly calculate the rental yield by examining the asking price and the current rent amount. For non-rented properties, Government and real estate data would indicate the probable rental income based on similar properties in the area.
At the time of creation, even the larger websites themselves were unable to provide a keyword search, making our product unique. While keyword searches are now available on some sites, our tool is still unique in identifying and sorting positive rental yield properties.