Hello industry friends:
NEW MOBILE MLS APPS:
I’m pleased to share with you that our 18-month-long engineering cycle is almost complete, and we’re introducing the most performant mobile app API in the industry. As you may have read recently with reviews by Clareity and others, the quality and performance from mobile solutions varies greatly, and some poor solutions leave you and your members relying on the portal apps to stay in touch with consumers. We set out over a year ago to help solve this issue and I will be sharing some key performance metrics you need to be aware of when evaluating any mobile solution, and how we solved these issues.
Please read all about it below and see our “cheeky” flyer for this event. 😉
DATA-FIRST APPROACH WITH PERFORMANCE TOP PRIORITY:
We started at the data, then indexing the data, then the search engine, then the API server. Every piece was carefully evaluated and tested before any technology was approved for our mobile “stack”. I’m pleased to note that our API servers alone with just a static response message, serve requests at 20,900 requests/second per server. Zillow’s returns approximate 147 requests/second for a static error message, for comparison. Our user preference database performs write operations at over 152,000 writes/second. Just to give you a comparison of what this means, we performed some benchmarks on many leading portal apps.
BENCHMARKED AGAINST TOP PORTAL APIS:
Using a brand new linux server in a large Texas datacenter with quad core processing, gigabit ethernet (1Gbs), and Sandy Bridge Intel processors we gave every mobile API a fair shake. By monitoring network traffic on our wi-fi network, we documented the API urls that portal iPhone apps were sending listing search requests to, and then set up our tests to these servers with a small amount of traffic, off-peak. Our tests revealed that the fastest portal API was Redfin, serving requests at 54 requests/second. Zillow came in at 39 requests/second, then Trulia and Realtor.com between 13-15 requests/second. Solutions like Smarter Agent and others either timed out or were below 5 requests/second.
GOOMZEE OUTPERFORMED FASTEST PORTAL API OVER 10X:
We performed the same tests on our API returning both 1 result and 20 results for a geo search (map search) and our API returned 1,200 request/second for 20 results, and over 4,000 requests/second for 1 result, primarily just limited by network bandwidth and speed depending on size of the response data. These tests were against a single server and indexed database with over 10 million listings and 70 million photos. To ensure fairness, we also tested from slow, low-bandwidth, out-of-network server and still returned over 200 requests/second to an 8-year-old 2GB RAM server with a 10Mbs connection (100x slower connection). What this means to you, is that when tens of thousands of simultaneous users connect to a Mobile MLS, a tool they need/use daily, less of them will be waiting for the server to respond.
SEARCH PERFORMANCE THANKS TO A REAL SEARCH ENGINE:
Long gone are the days of an OR clause and a % wildcard symbol in a SQL query for real estate search. To remain competitive with portals, you need to implement the kind of technology they have access to. We can all attest to the importance of accurate results and we took that very seriously, adding a real search engine with Near-Real-Time (NRT) indexing which means fresher data and search results. Similar technology offered by Zillow and others, using Lucene search engine, had limitations with the powerful front end called SOLR because it required nightly batch re-indexing, thus listings would not be up-to-date as frequently. Those technologies are catching up, but our chosen solution is already setting the new standard.
SEARCH ACCURACY THANKS TO GREAT MLS PARTNERS LIKE INTERMOUNTAIN MLS:
On the accuracy front, I’m grateful for MLS partners like Intermountain MLS in Boise Idaho and their staff who literally took a prototype app out in the field and tested our search, tested common agent searches and mistakes, and helped us tune our search engine to deliver the most accurate results. I personally have tested a few industry apps and the search accuracy has been all over the board. The complaints we heard from MLS staff around the U.S. we focused on solving first, and we’ll let them tell you how we did – find Greg Manship, their CEO, in Boston.
ASK FOR DEMO OF OUR IPAD APP AT CMLS BOSTON 2012:
I do hope to see most of you this week in Boston and please don’t hesitate to grab me for a QUICK demo. Battery-life-permitting, I’m very excited to show off what we’ve toiled over for nearly 2 years behind the scenes and what we’ll be formally unveiling very soon. My hope is you too agree, and choose to team with Goomzee and offer the best tools available to your customers.
Thanks for your time and continued support!
Mike Sparr, CEO and Founder