Industry NewsTechnology

Real estate looks more transparent in crystal ball

Future may bring more listings content, multimedia mashups

SAN FRANCISCO -- Craig Donato, CEO for classified listings search site Oodle.com, has glimpsed the future of Internet searching – and it looks a lot like his 5-year-old daughter, who already has an aptitude for finding information online. "When I think about search and real estate, all the data we've seen is that consumers are absolutely using the Internet. It's certainly happening with the new generation," he said. His daughter recently looked up song lyrics for "The Cheetah Girls" using the Web, he said, and that says something about the Internet's evolution as an everyday tool. "She can search better than her mom. It's a natural, inert thing. The train has left the station in regards to search being a valuable tool in how people search for real estate listings." The World Wide Web has spawned a growing "Web 2.0 world," Donato said, featuring rich, integrated content such as blogs and Internet video. "We're in the process of turning ourselves inside out. It's not about getting...