SAN FRANCISCO — Frank Borges LLosa, founder of and, has received the 2009 Inman News Innovator of the Year Award, an individual honor that he won today during a ceremony at the Real Estate Connect conference.

Separate awards, also announced today, recognize innovative companies in five categories.

LLosa’s site enables real estate professionals to share photos and text descriptions as a supplement to multiple listing service-provided information. also enables keyword searches of MLS content. Before launching, LLosa (pronounced YO-sa) traveled the world as a photographer, capturing vivid imagery in the Amazon, Israel and Tibet, among other faraway lands.

In describing the effort to Inman News last year (see article), LLosa said, "It’s the world of ‘coopetition.’ While you are competing with these other people, we all work together."

The Innovator of the Year Award recognizes an individual who embodies the spirit of innovation in the real estate industry.

Bob Hale, who for 20 years has served as president and CEO for the Houston Association of Realtors, received the 2008 Innovator of the Year award. And other past winners include the entire Craigslist online community (2007); Mark Lesswing, chief technology officer and senior vice president of the National Association of Realtors (2006); Prudential Real Estate Affiliates’ then-President Earl Lee (2005); and HouseValues CEO Ian Morris (2004).

Also today, Nest Realty Group received the Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise Award. Based in Charlottesville, Va., Nest Realty is a full-service, boutique real estate firm. The company’s Web site offers a straightforward home-search tool and detailed reports for specific communities. Nest Realty is the brainchild of Jonathan Kauffman, the company’s principal broker, who got his start in the industry as a real estate investor.

Other category finalists included: @properties, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, John L. Scott and Redfin. took the award for Most Innovative New Technology. Owned and operated by ClosingCorpInc., a real estate information services company based in La Jolla, Calif., is all about transparency in the pricing of closing services. The site allows users to comparison-shop online for a range of closing services.

Other finalists in the "Most Innovative New Technology" category included: Dwellicious, SmarterAgent, Walk Score and the Zillow iPhone app. …CONTINUED

Ubertor, which simplifies the process of Web site design for real estate professionals with a powerful and easy-to-use online platform, won the Most Innovative Web Service award.

Category finalists also included: Animoto,, Proxio and SmartZip.

Jay Thompson, a self-confessed "chronic blogger" whose writing voice rings loud and clear throughout the real estate blogosphere, won the Most Innovative Blog award for The Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog. Thompson has sparked many lively discussions with his witty insights on all things real estate.

Other blog category finalists included: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s Clean Slate Blog, the video blog, the blog, and Frankly Realty’s Trust Me I’m a Realtor blog.

Domus Consulting Group’s Breaking News Network was honored with the Most Innovative Media Site Award. Domus has built up a range of locally focused sites with constantly updated content fed by news sources and individuals. Categories at the sites range from events to food to sports to real estate, and the individual sites invite users to contribute items using a selection of hashtags on Twitter.

Other media site category finalists included:, Coldwell Banker On Location, and

The 12th annual awards 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.

Nominations were open to all and were submitted online. An Inman News review team considered the nominations and selected 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 selected the winners from the list of finalists.

Innovator of the Year: Frank Borges LLosa
Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise: Nest Realty Group
Most Innovative Technology:
Most Innovative Web Service: Ubertor
Most Innovative Blog: The Phoenix Real Estate Guy
Most Innovative Media Site: Breaking News Network (Domus Consulting Group)


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