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Start-Up Alley companies: Information is power

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By LESLIE MLADINICH SAN FRANCISCO -- Analytic data that rates everything from residential safety to how a Realtor's expertise extends in a particular neighborhood was a common ingredient in many entrepreneurial Web businesses participating in Start-Up Alley at Real Estate Connect San Francisco. About 20 young companies got a chance to share their sites and spark interest among agents and industry insiders in a one-on-one setting at Wednesday's conference. "Data rules, analytics and application. It's Web 3.0," said Jonathan Cardella, founder and CEO of Neighborcity, a site that takes MLS and privately obtained data and enables agents to compete for sellers in a few different ways. Sellers can view the agents' statistics on sales in the key neighborhood, and Neighborcity rates how responsive the agent is to the potential customer. "We make agents compete for listings," said Cardella. One of the more sophisticated real estate ratings site is SmartZip, which...