The master-planned community of Summerlin ranked as the nation’s fifth most popular searched area for prospective homebuyers during 2008, according to ZipRealty, a publicly traded full-service residential real estate brokerage firm that operates in 35 major markets.
“Even with the slowdown in home sales, it’s important to remember how many people are still looking,” said Pat Lashinsky, chief executive officer for ZipRealty.
“Our research provides a snapshot as to where they were looking in 2008.”
Phoenix-proper, nearby Scottsdale and Chandler, Ariz. were ranked as the top three searches, followed by Orange County/Irvine, Calif. as the fourth.
“Homebuyers are becoming much more sophisticated,” said Nikkole Liesse, marketing director for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin.
“Most of today’s homebuyers do a considerable amount of research online before they ever step foot into a house. Having an efficient, user-friendly, up-to-date Web site and online presence is a top priority for Summerlin and its home builders.”
Summerlin’s Web site, summerlin.com, has an extensive home search option, listing all of the nearly 100 new model homes selling in the community. Listings include price, home size and builder information.
In addition, guests can view an interactive map to see a listing of all the community’s amenities and their relation to the considered residence.
“The interactive map is one of the Web site’s most popular features,” Liesse said.
“Prospective homebuyers can view a neighborhood’s proximity to schools, parks, trails, houses of worship, golf courses and office and retail space, all with the click of a mouse.”
Summerlin’s Web site receives an average of 11,300 visitors per month, a 10.5 percent increase since 2007.
According to Liesse, improvements to the site are ongoing.
“Just as the Internet and Web-based marketing programs continue to evolve, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve function and usability,” Liesse said.
Summerlin began to take shape in 1990 and is located along the western rim of the Las Vegas Valley.
The master-planned community encompasses 22,500 acres with about 9,000 acres still remaining to accommodate future growth, including the community’s urban core of Summerlin Centre.
The community is currently home to more than 95,000 residents.