New Real Estate Search Mashups

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With Shackprices.com getting a nice nod from Inman yesterday (now behind subscription paywall, unfortunately), I thought it appropriate to look at a couple of new real estate search mashups that have come across my inbox recently.

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For real estate professionals or brokers looking to add a complete IDX map search to their web site, dsSearchAgent is a new product by Diverse Solutions, that can easily be white-labeled and customized for any existing website.

On first impression, dsSearchAgent has a nice simple design. It uses a tabs and sliders approach to refining search criteria that reminded me a lot of Shackyack and Blueroof.com. For me it feels like a much more intuitive way to search, as opposed to the approach taken by its closest competitor RealBird.com, which still relies on clunky drop down menus.

dsSearchAgent has a couple of nice eye-candy features too, like the slick use of Ajax-like refreshing to switch between the slider and text boxes. Map results are displayed on a generic Google Map.

Clicking on a pin take you to the details page, which incorporates a Flash slide show, an aerial map, mortgage calculator and Zillow Zestimate of the property’s value. Lots of valuable information that’s cleanly presented for a prospective buyer.

Clicking back on the Map tab it wasn’t immediately clear which pin I had clicked on or which property was highlighted. I found this a little confusing and could be solved with a simple color change on the pins. Furthermore, I found the info contained in the mouseover on the map pins a little lacking, I guess I’ve grown accustomed to seeing a small thumbnail image on each (too much time on Trulia I suspect).

While dsSearchAgent lacks the immediate visual impact of the Blueroof site and is missing the brilliant way Shackprices adds complementary information to a home search, I still think it is worthy of a closer look.

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Realty Roundup, on the other hand, is a property management company that serves Sacramento County. They’ve developed a proprietary search tool called HouseHunter2.0 which I really like a lot.

What I found exciting about this site is that it truly puts the individual at the center of the search process. Moving the map marker around the map tells the site where to start the search. Using a radius search highlighted in purple, HouseHunter displays the results closest to you (up to 20 miles away).

It’s a little kludgey to get yourself started (I think I would have preferred a way to punch in your starting address and then start moving the marker around) but it was definitely a fun way to feel like you’re almost physically involved in the search process. I think it’s a function some of the other real estate search sites might be wise to emulate, at least as a secondary or alternative search method.

Check ’em both out. I’d love to hear what you think.

P.S. BloodhoundBlog has a brief summary of the Inman News piece.