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Social networking meets referral management

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Zolve, a real estate social network that launches today, allows real estate professionals to network, blog, assign ratings, and create and accept digital contracts for a range of real estate transaction services. The site was created by Brian Wilson, a Colorado Springs, Colo., real estate broker since 2001. Zolve joins a lengthy list of active and soon-to-be-launched real estate networking Web sites, which includes ActiveRain, BeatYouThere, Listolia, RealtorClix, Trulia Voices and Zillow Home Q&A, among others. Wilson said his idea for Zolve took shape during his 17-month military deployment in Iraq that began in January 2006. "While I was over there somebody invited me to join LinkedIn," Wilson said. LinkedIn is an online business networking site that is not industry-specific. He said the landscape in those days was still fairly barren for real estate-focused networking sites. "I was thinking it would be really neat to build a transaction-based platform for real estate professionals,"...