Cyberhomes.com, an automated home-valuation site operated by Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions, is now open to for-sale property listings information, Fidelity officials announced Thursday.
The field of property-search Web sites has grown rapidly in the past few years, with newcomer sites such as Cyberhomes, Google Base, HomePages.com, Point2NLS.com, PropertyShark.com, Propsmart.com, Trulia.com and Zillow, posting for-sale property information. Many of the sites allow companies to advertise listings at no cost.
Cyberhomes is following in the path of Zillow.com, a similar valuation site that began accepting for-sale property listings information supplied by agents, homeowners and other users in December.
Also on Thursday, Zillow’s Jeff Somers announced at a Realtor conference in Washington, D.C., that Zillow is “moving forward with discussions about accepting broker feeds” of for-sale property information at the site, though he did not name any companies or disclose whether there are any formal agreements.
According to a Thursday count at Zillow’s Web site, that site has about 123,300 for-sale property listings, and an additional 46,100 properties at the site carry a “Make Me Move” price set by owners. Value estimates, dubbed “Zestimates,” are available for about 70 million properties.
Cyberhomes will post information for properties listed for sale by Keller Williams Realty’s affiliated agents, according to the Fidelity announcement, and Fidelity officials said the company has other deals with brokers that will bring about 500,000 searchable property listings to the site.
Also, Fidelity officials are pursuing data-sharing agreements with MLSs. The site’s valuations are based on a database of about 100 million property records.
Keller Williams, among the largest real estate franchise companies, has about 600 affiliated offices and 74,000 real estate agents in North America. David Therrien, chief technology officer for Keller Williams Realty Inc., said in a statement, “We believe that our associates should control how and where their listing data appears online, and directly receive the resulting leads and, with Cyberhomes, they’ll be able to do just that. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Fidelity will keep property listings content fresh at the Cyberhomes site by updating brokers’ data directly from MLSs, said Marty Frame, senior vice president and chief information office for Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions, a division of Fidelity National Financial Inc.
The effort will not be a massive undertaking because Fidelity already manages millions of property listings data for the real estate industry, he said. Fidelity is not currently seeking for-sale data-sharing agreements with individual agents for the Cyberhomes site.
In addition to past sales and for-sale home information, Cyberhomes also offers “heat maps” that allow consumers to visualize data on a map that is color-coded for home values, changes in value and property density at the neighborhood level. Zillow, Trulia and PropertyShark are among the other real estate sites that offer a variety of heat maps.
Frame said a not-yet-released tool that is in the works will Cyberhomes users to get a copy of property documents for their own homes online, and that will hopefully drive more traffic to the site.
While Fidelity hadn’t initially planned to seek agreements with MLSs to post property information at the Cyberhomes site, Frame said, “We’re having more interest at that level than we thought.” But Fidelity has not announced any formal agreements with MLSs.