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Real estate site sheds new light on listings

StreetEasy.com targets consumer audience

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Real estate in New York is a bit like the weather – it's a common topic for chitchat, says Michael Smith, CEO and founder of StreetEasy.com, a New York City-focused real estate Web site. "It is a strange day when New Yorkers don't have a real estate conversation," he said. StreetEasy.com, which is still in beta testing and hasn't formally launched, aims to provide real estate consumers with detailed information on property listings in a market area where brokers historically have been protective of this information. Also, the site seeks to build a sense of community by allowing site visitors to offer comments about individual properties and participate in other online discussion boards. There are many condo and co-op boards in New York City, and there is a need for more information about these agencies, the purchase process and the history of residential buildings, Smith said. "That's a process we think we can streamline and make it easier – provide a lot more transparenc...