Inman News is pleased to announce that the nominations process for the 2012 Inman News Innovator Awards opens today.

Inman News is pleased to announce that the nomination process for the 2012 Inman News Innovator Awards opens today.

Since 1998, the innovator awards have honored companies, individuals and tools that make the most of new technologies and ideas to increase the productivity, efficiency and transparency of the real estate industry for consumers and real estate professionals alike.

View a complete history of the Innovator Awards winners.

To recognize the changing landscape of technological innovation, the awards categories were retooled last year to include categories for the most innovative: mobile app; real estate startup; social site or social service; and multiple listing service or real estate trade association.

Categories open to nominations include:

  • Most Innovative New Technology
  • Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise
  • Most Innovative Real Estate Website or Web Service
  • Most Innovative MLS or Real Estate Trade Association
  • Most Innovative Real Estate Startup
  • Most Innovative Mobile App
  • Most Innovative Real Estate Social Site or Social Service or blog

Nominations are open to all and are submitted via an online form:

Online Nomination Form

Please take care to select nominees that fit the category. You may nominate your own company, but note that the volume of nominations for a particular company has no bearing on the selection process. Duplicate nominations submitted by the same individual will be discarded.

Inman News will consider the nominations and select a list of finalists from the list of nominees and from a list of other candidates suggested by an Inman News review team. The review team will select the winners from the list of finalists.

One of the annual awards, the Innovator of the Year Award, recognizes an individual who embodies the spirit of real estate innovation. This award is selected by the Inman News review team and is not open to nominations.

The deadline to submit nominations is July 1, 2012. At the close of the nominations process, Inman News will publish the full list of nominees for our readers to choose, by popular vote, the winner of the third annual Inman News People’s Choice Innovator Award.

This year’s winners will be announced in a ceremony during the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 1-3, 2012, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel.

The annual awards have recognized companies including Social Bios, DocuSign, Trulia, Realtor.com, Keller Williams and Redfin, and individuals including Spencer Rascoff of Zillow, Sherry Chris of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, and Joel Singer of the California Association of Realtors.

The following is a list of the winners of the 2011 Inman News Innovator Awards:

1. Most Innovative New Technology: Down Payment Resource

Down Payment Resource is a Web tool from Workforce Resource LLC that connects eligible homebuyers and eligible properties with government-funded programs for down payment assistance, rehab loans and other loan programs.

2. Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise: William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance

The largest family-owned real estate firm in the Northeast, William Raveis calls its Agent Dashboard a "comprehensive CRM, business management and marketing tool" based on CoreLogic’s AgentAchieve product. Raveis also contracted with tech firm Powerserve to build and launch a mobile website.

3. Most Innovative Real Estate Website or Service: Keller Williams Realty’s eEdge

Keller Williams’ eEdge is a lead-to-close agent platform that includes lead management, contact management, a marketing library and a paperless transaction system. Market Leader and DotLoop worked with Keller Williams to build and launch the platform.

4. Most Innovative MLS or Real Estate Trade Association: Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR)

In July 2010, MAAR launched an interactive real estate data tool — "The Thing" — allowing its 7,000 members to analyze housing data using metrics like median sales price and days on market. The tool was developed by 10K Research and Marketing, a MAAR division. Several other associations have contracted to use custom versions of The Thing, and the National Association of Realtors has selected 10K Research and Marketing as the preferred vendor for its Economic and Market Watch reports for about 100 MLS markets across North America.

5. Most Innovative Real Estate Startup: SocialBios

SocialBios — which was acquired by Realtor.com operator Move Inc. in July 2011 — offers tools to help integrate websites with social networking services, showing connections between site visitors and company staff and representatives. The technology enables an "about us" page that consolidates social network profile information.

6. Most Innovative Mobile App: Realtor.com Android app

Realtor.com’s real estate search app for the Android platform includes an Area Highlighter that allows users to draw a defined search area on screen, a Nearby Homes for Sale widget, Area Scout to locate nearby open houses, Google Street View integration, and voice-entered private notes that can be sent to family friends and real estate agents.

7. Most Innovative Real Estate Social Site/Service/Blog: The Corcoran Group Foursquare tips

The Corcoran Group, the largest residential real estate firm in New York City, utilizes Foursquare to set Corcoran’s sales force up as neighborhood experts, keeping the brand top of mind for Foursquare devotees.

8. People’s Choice Innovator Award: Century 21 Real Estate LLC

Century 21 launched a redesigned website, a new version of its iPhone app and a suite of apps for other platforms, including Android, BlackBerry and Palm devices. The company was also the first national real estate franchisor to launch search functionality for Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings in 2011 before the National Association of Realtors reversed a policy change that had allowed the practice.

9. 2011 Innovator of the Year: Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow

Spencer Rascoff was a member of the founding executive team when Zillow launched in 2005, was named COO in 2008, and after taking over as CEO in September 2010, helped take the company public last year. A Harvard University graduate, Rascoff co-founded travel company Hotwire.com and served as vice president of lodging for Expedia. Zillow is not only one of the most popular real estate websites, its real estate apps are chart-toppers for a range of mobile devices.

Questions about the nomination process? Write to innovators@inman.com with "AWARDS" in the subject line.

Online Nomination Form

Complete History of Innovator Awards Winners

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