Creative Commons License photo credit: LWY has long been one of my favorite real estate search experiences on the web (see 10 Kick Ass Real Estate Search Sites). And today it just got much better (well, for me at least, anyway).

This morning they announced that they have expanded in to Oregon by adding over 35,000+ Portland single family homes and condos into their search results. Listings are being pulled from the RMLS™ Regional Multiple Listing Service.

A couple of things really set Estately apart from the competition and certainly any of the local broker sites. First, the neighborhood search tool is fantastic. Say you want to do a search for a home in one of Portland’s hot neighborhoods; Mississippi, Sellwood or the Pearl, for example. Estately plots the neighborhood boundaries on to its map and confines the search to those boundaries – making it really easy to streamline your search.

(One weird bug I found was that when I did a search in my neighborhood it kept telling me I lived in North Bend – Estately founder Galen Ward confirmed this was a known issue and that they were working hard to fix it).

The second new feature in Estately, and one I think Rose City residents are going to love, is a revamped ability to confine your search results their proximity to mass transit routes like the MAX Light Rail Service.

An example search:

I suspect this type of information, along with services like WalkScore (see Measuring Walkability with Walk Score), are increasingly going to be factors that people build in to their home searches (especially as more and more stare down $4+ gas)

Brokers, I’d follow Estately’s lead and start building this type of functionality into your web sites. It’s could be a great point of differentiation in your marketing vis a vis your local competition.

Portland-based Realtors, Estately offers you a way to connect with and offer your services to local home buyers and sellers through its Agent Match program. Estately screens and vets all Realtors in the program to ensure an excellent level of service but if you’re looking to Connect with tech-savvy and tech-sophicasted buyers – this may be an excellent way to do so.

The downside to the new site is that — apparently due to the RMLS rules — Estately is not able to display the addresses of the properties displayed on the map. Apparently, according to Ward, they are able to share those via email – so the site will heavily encourage you to send those listings you’re interested in either to yourself or a partner in order to see the street address. A kludgey workaround but forced on them by the arcane rules of the local MLS.

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