FindTheBest Launches Real Estate Search, Taking On Zillow And Trulia

FindTheBest Homes FindTheBest is a structured data directory or discovery tool for comparing products, services and entities in a wide array of categories such as Travel, Health, Education, Finance and Home & Garden among others. It looks very much like a "search engine" but founder Kevin O’Connor argues it's much more efficient and effective than general search because of the wealth of structured data under the hood. The site has evolved considerably over the course of its four years of existence. To distinguish it from conventional search it was initially called a "decision engine" (like Bing) an [...]


Trulia Is Making A Real Estate Search App For Google Glass

trulia-logo Google Glass may never become a popular consumer device, but that's not stopping Trulia from making what should be the first real estate search app for Glass. The real estate search engine revealed its plans to San Francisco's NBC affiliate over the weekend and shared more details in a blog post Monday. When available, the app will tap into property listings in Trulia's database, look for those that match a user's home search preferences, and send matches to Glass. And, the app looks like it'll have some added functionality such as saving properties to a "My Trulia" account, receiving no [...]


“Trulia Suggests” Search Results Without Searching

Trulia logo One of the very interesting things going on in search is the phenomenon of "predictive search" or personalized recommendations based on a range of user data inputs (i.e., behavior, context, etc). Effectively, these are search results produced without entering a query into a search box. Much of what is happening in mobile and Google Now is perhaps the best-known example. But, there's also the related concept of the personal virtual assistant, represented by Apple's Siri. Expect Labs and Grokr are both doing some version of these things, as are several others. You can now add real estate [...]


Google’s Maslan Says The Company Not Pushing Into Real Estate

In an on-stage interview during the Inman Real Estate Connect conference this week in San Francisco Google's Carter Maslan said that the company was not pushing into real estate specifically or going to build a direct national database of property listings and become a "universal MLS": "What we are doing in real estate is really (no different than) what we are doing in (other areas of) local search," Maslan said. If there's a property for sale, wherever its mentioned on the Web -- whether on "Rotten Neighborhoods" or Trulia.com -- Google wants to put those pages at users' fingerti [...]


Google Plans To Buy Its Way Into Real Estate

Google is making its intentions in the real estate vertical more clear. Speaking this week at Inman Real Estate Connect, an industry conference, Google's Sam Sebastian reportedly said: "We're actively looking to acquire one to two small real estate companies a month." (Update: We now understand that the Realtor.org blog post linked above may have misquoted Google's Sam Sebastian. Via this tweet, this attendee blog post, and a comment below, it appears Sebastian may have been referring to acquisitions in general, not specific real estate acquisitions. We'll contact Google for clarification.) [...]


Google Builds Out A National Real Estate Search Engine

While the National Association of REALTORS® is planning to launch its own national property database sometime next year, Google seems to have just stolen the NAR's thunder. How? By rolling out individual "place pages" for every property that's listed in Google Maps. Like this one for a home in Seattle: The real estate listing place pages include property information, photos, map placement, Street View imagery and functionality, nearby public transit details, and even AdWords ads. Google has added links for "Directions" and "Search nearby," as well as a "Send" link that opens an outgoin [...]


Land Grab: Google Expands Real Estate Listings

MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Craigslist, fellow real estate listings sites, newspapers and other classified ad providers ... please meet your new neighbor: Google.com. Google has expanded its real estate listings and added extra search functionality for users to find property listings in Google Maps. A Google Maps search for "seattle real estate" looks mostly like it always has -- listings of real estate agents and brokers on a map. But right below the search box is a hard-to-miss invitation to search current real estate listings. And the result, at least in this Seattle example, l [...]


Google Adds Real Estate Pull-Down Filter To Maps

Google has offered the capacity to search real estate listings for a long time. For example, when entering queries such as "homes for sale in San Francisco," a "one box" result used to show pull-down menus for "location" and "listing type." Activating these boxes would then lead into a specialized "Google Base" screen that allowed for further refinement. I found those screens as recently as earlier this week but today couldn't duplicate them. However, earlier this week Google exposed a "real estate" filter, among others, on Maps. A search in my old San Francisco zip 94118 shows these listi [...]


Real Estate Engine Trulia Adds Google StreetView Imagery

When Google launched StreetView it was widely discussed (and in some cases disparaged because of the privacy implications), but few people regarded it as a practical tool. However, in what appears to be the first implementation of StreetView on a third-party site, Trulia has incorporated its imagery and functionality in 40 US metropolitan areas, with more to follow. The new capability is called "Walk the Neighborhood" by Trulia. The Google StreetView images appear on the property listings pages: In this real estate-specific context, StreetView quickly shows its practical side. On most [...]


Real Estate Search Engine Zillow Opens “Mortgage Marketplace”

Zillow doesn't see itself as a real estate "vertical." Instead, it regards itself as a media company that creates advertising opportunities around what is arguably the most significant "life events" purchase: buying a home. In that spirit, the company is developing numerous interesting marketing vehicles aimed at consumers in all phases of home buying (and in the future home remodeling). One critical piece of that equation is getting a home loan or an equity line of credit. Enter the new Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. Basically the site is a lead-gen tool for lenders, but without any fees. Le [...]


New UK-Based Real Estate Search Engine DotHomes Launches In US

Just when you thought there were enough competitors in the real estate vertical, here comes some more. Last week a new real estate search engine, Roost, launched in selected US markets. Today UK-based DotHomes, which has been operating in the UK and South Africa, makes its US debut. DotHomes seeks to become "the Google of property search" and is crawling for listings. By contrast, Yahoo Real Estate, Roost, Trulia, and Zillow, as well as others, get feeds from brokers and MLS services. I spoke last week with DotHomes founder Douglas de Jager and had a chance to use the site over the weekend, [...]


Zillow Comes Out Of Beta, Improves Zestimates

Real estate may be slumping in the real world, but online the opposite is true. Zillow and Trulia in particular have been driving lots of change and innovation in the online real estate segment. Yesterday Trulia released a free publisher platform. And last night Zillow made several announcements. Among them, the Seattle-based site is formally coming out of beta and, together with several competitors (Yahoo Real Estate, Oodle, Trulia, among others), is supporting a common data format that will standardize feeds from brokers and multiple listings services (MLS). This should accelerate the transi [...]


Real Estate Marketers And Their Dollars Shifting To The Internet

Realtors are an interesting segment of the small business market. Of quintessential small businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurs, in some respects, realtors are atypical. One of them is marketing; realtors tend to be more aggressive and creative than other categories of SMBs. Accordingly, this LA Times article talks about how the mood has shifted and local realtors are now embracing the Internet with enthusiasm (but also out of necessity). Real estate ad spending is worth approximately $12 billion in the U.S. annually, according to the National Association of Realtors. And a host of websites ar [...]


Zillow Grabs Another Big Round Of Cash

As the Wall Street Journal reported this morning, real estate and local search site Zillow announced another round of investment -- this time a whopping $30 million. That means the company has raised roughly $90 million since launching in early 2006. Among other intended uses of the money, the site will be growing its sales force, which currently stands at 20. Zillow is one of a number of "Web 2.0" real estate sites that have shaken up the landscape in the past 12 - 18 months. Zillow's Vanessa Fox (formerly of Google) will be speaking at SMX Local & Mobile. [...]


Yahoo Creates Home Values Meta Search

Zestimates from Zillow have proven to be a tremendous hit with the public, although they've been criticized for being too high or too low in some cases. Now Yahoo has taken Zillow's home valuation data (they've had a partnership for several months) and combined it with similar data from other providers, eppraisal.com and reply.com, in a new and improved Home Values section of Yahoo Real Estate. Here's a provided example in Seattle, with valuations in the upper right. And here's the Yahoo Local & Maps blog post that explains the new functionality in further detail. [...]


Real Estate Search Engine Trulia Redesigns, Adds Community

Real estate search site Trulia has redesigned, creating a new presentation on search results pages with more advanced property filters. But beyond this it has added "Trulia Voices," a new community area for people to ask open-ended questions and discuss neighborhoods, schools, etc. Competitor Zillow recently also added community (Zillow Q&A), which is tied to particular properties rather than neighborhoods (Trulia's approach). Trulia also offers tools like "real estate guides," which have huge amounts of data and trends information. The company began by crawling realtor sites for listings but [...]


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