Homethinking, a Web site that allows consumers to view information and reviews of real estate agents in a given area, re-launched today, now covering more than 1.5 million agents and more than 1.5 million transactions from this year.
As part of the re-launch, Homethinking unveiled a new site that allows consumers to search and navigate via dynamic maps. Real estate agents and other professionals can take Homethinking’s transaction data and a place a free map of recent home sales on their Web sites or blogs via an open standard called GeoRSS — an extension of the commonly used RSS.
More information on how to implement the real estate maps is at http://www.homethinking.com/recenthomesalesmap.jsp
Homethinking.com, which launched in December 2005, was started by Niki Scevak, a former analyst at research firm Jupitermedia.
The site aims to help consumers choose from among the nation’s nearly 1.3 million Realtors, while also serving as a lead-generation system for agents. Agents can bid to appear in a special area of Homethinking where paid results show up, much like Google or Yahoo’s paid search advertising.
“Homeowners are increasingly being bombarded with solicitations from agents they’ve never heard of, and the reputation of great agents is being drowned out in noise,” said Scevak, who is also CEO of the New York City-based company.
Sites focusing on consumer reviews and feedback have been growing in the real estate space. RealtyRators.com, Realty Baron and AngiesList are three such sites that offer ratings from consumers. Real estate brokerage company ZipRealty also announced recently that it has enabled consumers to post feedback on specific properties displayed on its Web site.