The finalists for this year’s Inman News Innovator Awards include household names and new arrivals, and run the gamut from Animoto to Zillow.

Winners of the 12th annual awards — which honor companies that use technology and innovation to enhance the real estate transaction process and improve the overall experience for consumers and real estate professionals — will be announced during the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 5-7.

The finalists are listed below in five categories: brokerage or franchise; new technology; Web service; blog; and media site. Additionally, an annual "Innovator of the Year Award" announced at the conference will recognize an individual who embodies the spirit of innovation in the real estate industry (finalists are not displayed for that category).

Last year (see 2008 winners), Bob Hale, CEO for the Houston Association of Realtors, received the Innovator of the Year Award; Sawbuck Realty received the brokerage category award; was named the most innovative Web service; Roost won the most innovative technology award; Agent Genius was honored with the blog award; and received the Most Innovative Media Site award (see full list of last year’s finalists).

The 2009 Inman Innovator Awards finalists (in alphabetical order):

Most innovative brokerage or franchise
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Coldwell Banker
John L. Scott
Nest Realty Group

Most innovative new technology
Walk Score
Zillow iPhone app

Most innovative Web service

Most innovative blog
Clean Slate Blog — Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate video blog blog
The Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog
Trust Me I’m a Realtor blog — Frankly Realty

Most innovative media site
Breaking News Network — Domus Consulting Group
Coldwell Banker On Location

The selection process

Each year, Inman News announces the launch of the Inman News Innovator Awards process with a call for nominations at least three months before the Real Estate Connect conference.

Nominations are open to all and are submitted online. An Inman News review team considers the nominations and selects a list of finalists, and the finalists are drawn from the nominees and a list of other prospects suggested by the Inman News editorial team. The review team selects the winners from the list of finalists.

Witness the Inman News Innovator Awards ceremony at the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco. The conference runs from Aug. 5-7, 2009.


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