Mid-Atlantic real estate brokerage Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. has added custom search tools and better access to local market data to its website, the company announced Tuesday.

Visitors to the site, LongandFoster.com, can now specify the area they would like to search for homes through a "freehand search" tool. The tool allows users to click multiple points to form a a polygon around their preferred search area, or to draw a line around the area freehand.

A "show boundaries" tool traces an outline over the incorporated parts of a city for users who want to customize their search that way. Long & Foster is the latest company to provide its users with custom search. ZipRealty, Trulia, Realtor.com and John L. Scott Real Estate are among the real estate industry participants that provide similar tools.

Other additions to the Long & Foster site include the ability to save searches and sign up to receive updates when listings information has changed. The company has also added the option to include its "Market Minute" neighborhood reports and Market Leader reports in search results.

The Market Leader reports compare Long & Foster’s market share of units sold to that of other local brokerages.

Another new site feature is an interactive map of Long & Foster’s brokerage offices that includes photos of the offices, their locations, contact information, the name of the office manager, and links to office listings, an agent list and driving directions.

More than 80 million property searches are conducted on the site each year, the company said.

Long & Foster was the third largest brokerage in the country by both transaction sides and sales volume in 2010, according to Real Trends.

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