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Innovators face some industry resistance

Part 3: Next generation real estate innovators eye transparency

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Editor's note: A new wave of online real estate innovators is gathering force, offering consumers more interactive and comprehensive online home searches and more transparency in property data and transactions. In this three-part report, we explore how newcomers like Zillow, Trulia, HomeThinking, PropertyShark, Redfin and others are bringing a new focus to the online consumer. (See Part 1 and Part 2.) When new online home-valuation site Zillow.com launched its beta version in February, reactions popped up in real estate offices, e-mail lists and blogs throughout the country. "Any time you come out with something new and different, I think human nature has a tendency to resist or look at that with apprehension," said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Zillow, of the wide spectrum of reactions. Zillow offers home-value estimates and data on more than 60 million houses in the United States. A new wave of online real estate innovators has arrived, offering consumers more inform...