Your name: Deb Agliano (DebOnTheWeb)

Name of product: RealtyTrac.com 7-day free trial

1. Ease. Is it easy to use for real estate professionals? For real estate consumers? How steep is the learning curve?

–Strengths (250 words or less):

Your name: Deb Agliano (DebOnTheWeb)

Name of product: RealtyTrac.com 7-day free trial

1. Ease. Is it easy to use for real estate professionals? For real estate consumers? How steep is the learning curve?

–Strengths (250 words or less):

The Web site is straightforward. Put in your search criteria and you get a list of properties. There should be no learning curve. RealtyTrac has a large database of properties in all stages of the foreclosure process. The site lets you save your searches and shows you a list of your recently viewed properties. You can also receive daily e-mails of new properties.

–Weaknesses (250 words or less):

As with all foreclosure Web sites, there are inaccuracies. I found one home under the bank-owned tab of my search that showed that no sales price had been set yet for the property; however, I found the same house under the next tab Homes For Sale with its correct list price.

–Numeric rating, from zero to 100 (zero is the worst and 100 is the best):

90

–Explanation for rating (250 words or less):

Judging the site solely on the basis of how easy it is to use, it’s hard to find fault.

2. Value. Is it helpful and useful for real estate professionals? For their clients/customers/consumers? Cost vs. benefits: Is it worth the cost?

–Strengths (250 words or less):

This site does a good job of pulling together information from a variety of sources so that you can have a list of preforeclosures and foreclosures without spending a lot of time. If you are focusing on the short sale or foreclosure market or are looking to purchase these properties, RealtyTrac appears to be on par with other foreclosure sites. They also have a good library of information for people looking to learn more about buying foreclosed properties.

–Weaknesses (250 words or less):

Once again I find the weakness in value to be the quality of the information. I understand this can be difficult when you are dealing with foreclosure information. However, I found this site’s inaccuracies went beyond the foreclosure information. I was initially intrigued to see that the site lets you pull up Comparable Sales for a foreclosure property. When I tried it, I was given a list with properties up to 9 miles away from my target house. There are plenty of comps in the same city, but of the five comps the system showed me, only one was in the same city, making the information virtually worthless.

–Numeric rating, from zero to 100 (zero is the worst and 100 is the best):

70

–Explanation for rating (250 words or less):

I’m basing my value rating on the quality of the information I found while doing my searches. There were more properties than I would prefer to see with no lien or loan history. Also, when I used the site’s Comparable Sales search, the "comparables" were too far away from the subject property to be of any use.

3. Power. Would real estate professionals and consumers be likely to use this often? Can it replace existing tools/methods? How much information and how many features does it put at the user’s fingertips? Does it have the power to change the industry? Can real estate professionals and consumers use this on the go? Is it innovative and cutting-edge? Is it scalable (can be used by individuals and entire offices/companies)? Does it have advanced features for tech-savvy users? Does it integrate with other products?

–Strengths (250 words or less):

The "Trends" tab has some interesting statistical information. The site does have a large database of properties. You can also sign up to be an affiliate. If you are interested in attracting foreclosure buyers, become an affiliate and you can put a searchable RealtyTrac link on your Web site. There is no charge to become an affiliate — you can actually earn money each time someone goes to RealtyTrac from your Web site and then decides to buy the monthly service. As an agent, you can also purchase an exclusive territory so that you receive buyer leads.

–Weaknesses (250 words or less):

Perhaps it was just the times when I was logging on to try the service, but I found the site to be very slow to load searches. Since I only used the site for seven days, I can’t say it always happens, but the search feature was consistently slow each time I tried to use it. I use Firefox and wondered if the site plays better with Internet Explorer, but that didn’t help either.

–Numeric rating, from zero to 100 (zero is the worst and 100 is the best):

80

–Explanation for rating (250 words or less):

I really like the fact that you can become an affiliate and have the foreclosure search on your own Web site to help attract more people to your site. However, I lowered my rating because it’s hard to rate a site high on power if each search is slow.

***

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