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Real estate ads to move beyond local paid search

Part 3: New era of real estate search

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Editor's note: Real estate search has entered a new phase with the emergence of applications that narrow the hunt for consumers, pool from multiple sources, and enable consumers to search without having to register at a broker site to gain access. In this four-part series, we examine the latest tools and how they're impacting where brokers market properties and how consumers find them. (See Part 1 and Part 2.) Though real estate agents currently account for almost half of the local advertising on search engines, a local search expert predicts agents' ads will eventually move to sites with detailed real estate information such as HomeGain or Trulia. Paid search ads for individual local real estate agents account for 49.6 percent of listings on keyword searches for local business segments across 10 different cities, up from 17.5 percent of local search ads 18 months ago, according to Borrell Associates' "2006 Local Search Advertising" report. But Greg Sterling, an analyst with the ...