House Buying Blog

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Real Estate and Web 2.0 go together like Windows and Ubuntu

March 15th, 2007

If there ever was a marriage made in heaven it would be the implementation of Web 2.0 principles into real estate websites… so where are they?

I’m waiting to see an AJAX site with individual real estate properties that can be tagged by area or specification and drag and dropped into a personal account review area. I want to see 360 degree virtual tours – if we can implement this on travel websites, why not on real estate sites where the sales (and margins) are far higher. Publishing newly marketed properties via RSS feeds seems like a no-brainer, but I don’t currently see this happening in the industry.

Typically when individuals want to purchase a new property, they will narrow down the search to a specific location and search within those defined parameters. This sounds like a cue for a real estate comparison engine don’t you think? It seems that we have comparison engines for virtually every aspect of consumer life at the moment, but not for potentially the largest purchase we will ever make in our lives, a new home. Why is this?

There are a small number of sites that are working towards a Web 2.0 ideals (although non outside the US that I am aware of), sites that come to mind are:

Zillow

Trulia

PropertyShark 

The real estate industry is huge worldwide ($11 billion spent in 2006 on marketing in the US alone), so I am baffled by the lack of online technical sophistication shown at the moment. If any developers have nice Ruby widgets they want to show off to the community, please enlighten us all.

 

 
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