Widgets — a funky name for technology applications that are easily integrated into a Web site to perform specific tasks — are making a splash in online real estate.
San Francisco-based vFlyer this week released a couple of widgets for real estate sites that put agents’ property listings in a small display box for site visitors to see. The display is a scrolling gallery of homes for sale that agents can embed on their Web sites, their blogs, and any social networking sites they use like MySpace, Xanga or the real estate-specific ActiveRain.
In addition to widgets released this week, vFlyer has a series of business widgets in the works that it will reveal next week, said Oliver Muoto, co-founder and vice president of business development for vFlyer.
“Up until now, most widgets were about bringing fun stuff to your site,” Muoto said. “We consider ours a set of business widgets.”
A number of large real estate brokers have approached vFlyer to create customized widgets for their Web sites, and they have some projects in the works, Muoto said.
VFlyer sees the new widgets as just one part of the company’s overall distribution and syndication service for listings, Muoto said. The company offers online classified ad and content creation, management and syndication services in verticals including real estate and automotive. In real estate, agents use the service to create online fliers for properties, which the company then syndicates or distributes to online destinations such as Google Base, Trulia and Edgeio.
An example of what vFlyer’s widgets look like for real estate can be found at this ActiveRain site.
Widgets themselves aren’t new, but they are fairly new to real estate businesses. Zillow and Trulia were among the first real estate dot-coms to offer widgets for agent and broker Web sites. Trulia’s TruliaMap enables agents to add a customized Trulia map of their listings onto their Web site. Zillow’s search widget adds a Zillow search box to a Web site.
Coldwell Banker is another early developer of real estate-specific widgets. The company created a customized widget for consumers that delivers property-search results directly to a consumer’s desktop.
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