Terabitz, a real estate technology company that launched a real estate search platform in July 2007, is building tools that allow brokerage companies to integrate content from several multiple listing services and also incorporate other neighborhood information for display on their own Web sites.
The company earlier this month announced a series of deals to power the MLS search tools and other aspects of brokerage company Web sites, and founder and CEO Ashfaq Munshi said the company is targeting small to mid-sized brokers with up to a few thousand agents.
Many markets have several MLSs that serve them, Munshi said, adding, “We can eliminate all of that headache” of working with MLS data while complying with data exchange rules.
“The entire process of getting the lead in, holding onto the customer, and being able to then convert that lead into real business is what we’re all about. That is what we are funded on — not creating another search portal for consumers,” said Munshi. In addition to building search tools for brokers, the company offers other tools for search-engine optimization and lead qualification, for example.
Munshi said the partnerships are not a departure from the original goals of the company. When Terabitz launched in July, company officials said in an announcement, “To date, no company has been able to bring all of the information, all of the resources, and all of the tools under a single umbrella.” Also, the company announced that its Web site provided “a central location for all real estate explorations” and is “the first real estate Web site designed to help consumers before, during and after their home purchase.”
The company’s own site, at Terabitz.com, “is in many ways just a teaser to be able to demonstrate our technology,” Munshi said this week.
Shortly after its launch, Terabitz drew fire from some other industry participants who said their data was showing up on the Terabitz.com Web site. Employees at real estate search and marketing site Trulia.com, for example, noticed that data was being taken from that site and demanded that the company remove the data, and Real Living Inc. CEO Harley Rouda Jr. said company representatives noticed that his company’s property listings information appeared on Terabitz, with Google Base and Trulia credited as the data sources.
Terabitz officials responded to those early data-scraping worries by removing certain data and data feeds.
Other online real estate companies have also taken a decentralized approach to marketing properties — Trulia has launched the Trulia Publishing Platform, which allows publishers to create free, customized versions of the Trulia site at their own sites and with their own branding. And Vast, a vertical search company, also offers a real estate search capability for other Web sites rather than focusing on creating a consumer brand for its Vast.com site.
Munshi said that Terabitz charges a monthly fee for the Web site tools and services that the company offers, and the company’s partners have the opportunity to sell advertising placement in a services directory at their sites for professionals working in the real estate industry — such as landscapers, appraisers and others — as a way to recoup costs for the monthly fees.
Brokers can keep tabs on online traffic statistics for the Terabitz-supplied search tools, Munshi said.
On Jan. 9, Terabitz announced a deal with Century 21 Abrams, Hutchinson and Associates in Plainsboro, N.J., that provides the brokerage company with a single online source for all of the MLS listings in the state and also supplies searchable neighborhood information and other information and financial tools. The company simultaneously announced similar deals with Lang McLaughry Spera, a real estate firm that operates n Northern New Hampshire and Vermont; and with Metro Brokers of Englewood, Colo.
Terabitz worked with Metro Brokers to deliver a search tool with properties from seven MLS listing feeds in the state, and the brokerage company “is also working toward having all 22 MLS systems in the state on the map,” according to the announcement.
“We will be launching a similar program for agents to be able to take advantage of our search platform,” Munshi said, though the company’s primary focus is now on brokerage companies.
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