If you’re looking for help with RPR Maps, you’re in the right spot! In this article we’ll cover how to use the RPR Map to visually search for properties and uncover market trends.
The map layers offer various views and ways to “zone in” on areas, neighborhoods and properties themselves. From aerial, road, and overhead views, to schools, estimated values, heat maps, and geographic overlays, we’re going to walk through how easy it is to draw or designate your map in ways that will help you and your clients. Let’s get started…
There is more than one way to start a map search, but the quickest is to simply click the Research menu and then select Map search. Enter in a geographic search area including any filters in the top search bar (note your advanced search filters are here). Select the orange magnifying glass to search and your results will appear on the map.
In this view, you can define your own search areas by drawing them on the map, or by displaying the outlines of geographies such as neighborhoods, ZIPs, cities, opportunity zones, or counties on the map, and then searching one or more of those areas.
We mentioned that there are other ways to search. If you search from the main homepage search area, when you arrive at the results list, choose the Map icon. Also, from any Property Details page, you can select the map to open a new window with your map search tools.
This is a good time to mention that you’ll search Residential properties on the map if you are toggled to Residential, and you’ll search Commercial properties if toggled to Commercial. (Check out our Commercial Map Insights video to walk through Commercial map search and analysis.)
Go big: RPR map Controls and View Options
Before diving into the map search options, let’s take a moment to explain the map controls and view options. To control the zoom function, look to the right of the map: the plus or minus icons let you increase or decrease the zoom level. Select the “your location” icon to spotlight your current location on the map. (Note: this only works if you’ve allowed your browser to access your location).
Want to see the big picture? To increase the size of your map to full screen, select the cross arrows. Select again to return to fit within your browser. You can also change up how you see the map: the view icon allows you to change your map view to Satellite, Aerial, Road or Terrain.
Last, but not least, look towards the bottom right of the map, to select the map Legend. Now you can see a key of all the map icons that are available to you. After you know how to control the map, it’s time to look at each way to conduct a map search.
There are multiple ways to view, interact, search and conduct research with RPR Maps. Here’s a rundown:
Defining areas on a map to research properties, neighborhoods, schools, etc., will help you better serve your clients’ needs.
Here’s how to do it: select the pencil Draw icon to draw a shape on the map. You can choose to draw freehand or select a shape – radius, polygon or box. All the drawing tools work similarly, with each serving a different purpose.
The radius search can be useful if your search involves a landmark, or a property you need proximity to. (Finding a home close to someone’s place of work, for example.) The polygon search can be helpful when you have clear, linear boundaries for the area you want to search, such as a highway or river. The box search can be useful for finding a potentially representative sample of properties in an area you don’t know well.
The freehand search method allows you the most flexibility in your search parameters. To start using freehand, click to start drawing a shape. Unclick when you are finished drawing your area. Make sure to keep your cursor clicked down until you are finished. As soon as you release the mouse, a window will pop up revealing the custom area size.
Select Search for Listings Here to search for listings within your custom shape or Create Market Activity Report to redirect to the reports generation page and generate a Market Activity Report for that area. You can also delete the custom area, edit the area, or save this selected area by choosing Save area. If you choose to save, you’ll be able to enter a name for the custom area, select Save Area again, and then access this from Use a Saved Area on the upper left of the map.
Getting from point A to point B can be a serious consideration for many home buyers. Sellers can also utilize this information to promote how close a home is to certain destinations. To access the drive time, distance search, and traffic counts on the map, select Driving.
Here’s how each option works:
The Travel Time search option uses RPR’s data on traffic patterns to enable the display of approximate driving times, in average conditions. This search type is helpful, for instance, if a client is searching for a property no more than 15 minutes from a specific location like an office, school or other property.
When you select Travel Time, enter a complete street address in the search address field or move the map pin to where you want to center your search. Select Next.
Now you can adjust your Travel Time criteria—are you traveling by car or walking? What time of day are you traveling? What day of the week and how long is the length of your journey? Select Next after applying your criteria.
A window appears showing the custom area size. Select Search for Listings Here to search for listings within your custom shape. You can also click the highlighted area again to find your custom area options. Select Create Market Activity Report to redirect to the reports generation page and generate a Market Activity Report for that area. And again, you can delete, edit or save the area.
The Distance search works similarly. Once you enter an address or move your pin and select Next, you now select the distance to search, between 1 and 25 miles. Select Next, then Search for Listing here.
The last Driving option allows you to overlay traffic counts to your map. The tool displays estimated current and historical data based on average daily and average weekday traffic counts. Choose the traffic counts you want to see. Select Apply. Now click on the traffic count icon to view the daily traffic counts as well as historical traffic.
Moving down the screen on the right side of the map, you’ll see POIs, or Points of Interest. POIs are used to uncover amenities and businesses within close proximity of your search area.
Once you select POI, you can select from the community and business POIs such as parks, grocery stores, shopping centers, daycares, hospitals, restaurants and more. You can also select a grouping of points of interest preset defaults – The Basics, Entertainment and Seniors. Select Apply.
The map will now display interactive map pins that you can click to see each place’s business name, address, number of employees, sales volume, industry, and building square footage. If your zoom level is close enough, the map pins will represent the point of interest.
“Quality of schools” ranks up there as one of the top priorities for many home buyers. And RPR maps give you the capability to inform these parents about many school facts. To get started, select Schools and choose to search Public, Private or Charter, and Elementary, Middle or High School. Click Apply to view directly on the map.
A graduation cap icon will appear, select to see the general school information: address, level, type and school rating. You can select the name of the school to view the full school details and reviews.
Select Search for Listings here to search for properties within the school district boundaries. This can obviously really come in handy when buyers want to live close to a school or in a particular school district.
While there are various ways to search, there are also additional layers of information you can add while viewing maps to increase your knowledge of an area or help further your parameters of search.
One of these is data layers or heats maps. These showcase current market trends and historical data from up to 11 different datasets—each layer a graphical representation of a geography’s home values, average sales price, flood zones, square foot values, distressed properties, and more. The data layers displayed are intended to give users another way to understand trends and data for geographies of interest.
It’s helpful to choose the “Road” map background option when using the map layers so you can better visualize the data. Choose an indicator such as “12-month Change in Estimated Value” or “Flood Zones” to see similarities and differences across the area you searched. A legend for interpreting the data is shown on the bottom right of the map.
Use the Saved Area search option if you have a predefined area that has been saved. From the menu, simply select the custom area. You can edit the list or rearrange the order in which you view. Select Update to save your changes.
Your last map tool is the “Show Geographies” dropdown. You can search the map by counties, townships, cities, ZIP codes, neighborhood, census block groups, school districts and school attendance zones. First, select the geography you wish to search. Your zoom level may change automatically depending on the area you choose.
Once a geographical boundary has been selected, it will be shown on the map below, and you simply click to select.
Click once on an area to select it for your search. Click again to deselect it. Select multiple areas by clicking on them one at a time. Select “Remove Boundary” to start over. When you have finished selecting your area or areas, click on any selected area and choose Search for Listings here. You can also save the selected area from the pop out.
As you can see, The RPR Map is a powerful way to visually search for properties and uncover market trends. RPR Maps are big, dynamic, and with a little practice, easy to use. Hopefully you can search and do research with them to help you find the perfect location for your client.