Real estate and Gen Y
USA Today reports that real estate professionals are using YouTube and Facebook in an effort to drum up business among Generation Y buyers. "This younger generation is so technology-savvy," Jacky Teplitzky of Prudential Douglas Elliman tells USA Today. And "they are changing the way real estate is being marketed and how brokers must use technology to successfully get to this group."

The article cites a March report by the National Association of Home Builders that encourages builders to rethink marketing strategies to reach Gen Y buyers.

RateItAll — ratings for all things
RateItAll, a site that allows users to submit ratings and reviews on any topic, has closed an $800,000 round of funding, TechCrunch.com reports. The site includes ratings and reviews of real estate companies, such as Century 21 and GMAC Real Estate, among a long list, and also includes topics such as "Recreational Drugs," "Comedy Movies," "Turn-Ons" and "Religions."

TechCrunch reports that the site launched in 1999 and re-launched in 2007, generating $190,000 in revenue last year.

RealtyTrac partners with Bid4Homes auction site
Forclosure data company RealtyTrac and online auction site Bid4Homes have partnered to allow RealtyTrac users to research and bid on online real estate auctions, according to an announcement today. Bid4Homes specializes in auctions of distressed property sold by banks, government agencies and private parties. The site also offers forfeited properties from the U.S. Marshals Service, seized properties from the U.S. Treasury Department and tax-foreclosed properties from 50 U.S. counties, according to the announcement.

Online auction properties will be paired with RealtyTrac’s research tools, including comparable sales, loan and sales history, extensive neighborhood information and nearby MLS listings for comparison, according to the announcement — and RealtyTrac users can submit online bids from the RealtyTrac.com Web site.

Locale announces distribution partners
Locale.com, a site focused on communities known for "attractive lifestyle amenities and a strong real estate market" that offers searchable property listings, maps, videos and blogs, announced that it is partnering to share its property information with real estate sites Vast.com and HotPads.com.

The Locale site was born in 2006 out of HomeReview, a print guide that has been discontinued.

SharperAgent partners with Omaha-based CBSHome Real Estate
SharperAgent, a Denver-based real estate marketing company, this week announced it has partnered with CBSHome Real Estate, an affiliate of HomeServices of America, to provide the company access to its customer relationship management tools. CBSHome’s 600 sales agents throughout Nebraska will have access to SharperAgent’s EZ Marketing Suite, which includes contact management, newsletter and flier designs, direct-mail marketing options, automated e-mail campaigns and reminders, and Flash-based home tours, among other features.

SharperAgent has worked with other HomeServices of America affiliates — in July 2003 affiliate Prudential California Realty announced an alliance with SharperAgent.

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