Today, I came across a feature that, as a long time real estate junkie, made me do a bit of a happy dance. It is MapQuest’s Route Planner.
You can enter multiple locations, from A-Z, and it will set the shortest route for you to take to go to every destination. My husband and I love looking at properties, and this weekend plan to visit some open houses, so I had some fun with this tool.
>>> Buying a House? Click Here for a board to organize all of the houses you find all over the internet … yes, this is a useful, free tool from a non-real estate agent :)
This goes well beyond helping make open house tours go more quickly. Those of us who enjoy investing in real estate have to look at a lot of properties before we find one worth making an offer. This tool is very handy to help us look at 10 homes in the time it might otherwise take us to look at only 4.
Example: Here is this weekend’s Open House route in Billings, Montana, to show you what I mean.
First, I searched Realtor.com and the local MLS for open houses. From there, I looked up open houses in our local newspaper. The newspaper requires a download of an app to view this weekend’s open houses, which I downloaded and searched.
Updated June 5, 2018: I originally wrote this article in 2015. It was very helpful – and I still use links here to reference this cool MapQeust Feature. Below I have altered the post to be timeless or “evergreen.”
Zillow also lists open houses, and is becoming a more popular tool among real estate agents. Thankfully so! This is a great example of professionals providing information to their audience where their audience prefers to consume it.
Example of Setting Up an Open House Route
Keep in mind, these open houses are as of June 5, 2018. After this weekend, this is outdated, but you can still use this as an example of how the Route Planner works.
Step 1: Look Up Open Houses
I looked on Zillow and Realtor.com
From this, I can see that I might like to visit the following houses on Sunday:
- 2223 Interlachen Dr, Billings, MT 59105
- 4643 Elk Rdg, Billings, MT 59106
- 2031 Willet Dr, Billings, MT 59105
- 3254 Granger Ave E UNIT D-6, Billings, MT 59102
- 4804 Box Canyon Rd, Billings, MT 59101
- 828 Governors Pl, Billings, MT 59105
- 3224 Zimmerman Pl, Billings, MT 59106
>>> Buying a House? Click Here for a board to organize all of the houses you find all over the internet
Step 2: Enter Addresses into the Route Planner
Sort so you take the shortest route.
And poke around to see the other cool features this handy tool offers.
From original, 2015, article:
As you can see, each stop can be annotated, which is how I was able to include the day and time of each open house, as well as a note regarding which agent is hosting the open house (or if it is for sale by owner, or FSBO).
With GPS, once the order of the addresses is known, you can just plug one in after the other, and you are good to go! The hardest part in the past has been getting the locations in the most efficient order.
Cons: it seems that MapQuest isn’t as caught up with addresses as Google has been. I tried many multiple destination route-making services, and one other resource I liked was RouteFast, which uses Google Maps, but the speed of the program doesn’t seem to be as quick, and the service not quite as robust.
Once you click on and explore those different options – which do you prefer, and why?
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