OnOneMap Gives You More

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OnOneMap is not a exactly a new site, but one I’ve only come around to reviewing recently. The UK based real estate site competes with others like Zoomf, Extate and Nestoria.

Renthusiast.org has covered it in depth. FT.com had some nice things to say about them too.

I’m onboard. OnOneMap has a truly awesome search interface.

I love how you can narrow a search using the postal codes and as you refine the search geographically it gives you a running total of how many listings fit the criteria you are looking for. A very smart and intuitive way to narrow down your results. It’s also a lot of fun.

Once you’ve arrived at the neighborhood you’re interested in, you can see all the properties currently listed for sale. But here’s where OnOneMap trully shines.

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Now you can start layering in all sorts of additional information; recently sold properties, secondary schools, even the closest supermarket. And only just recently OnOneMap started plotting the locations of the nearest cellular towers on their maps – so you can judge how strong a signal you’ll receive at home. Handy in mobile-mad Europe, I guess. OnOneMap promises to add even more data to its maps over the next few months.

What makes this work is that the information can be quickly added to and removed from the map and is visible at multiple ‘altitudes’. Some brokers like Coldwell Banker and Real Living in the States have tried adding some of this information to their searches (see Big Brokers Going Local) but none as successfully as OnOneMap.

Some of the other cool things they’re doing – they have a number of widgets (OSX version here), as well as Pageflakes, Netvibes, Google homepage modules available so you can search off site.

One thing that strikes me here is, that the UK seems to have a much deeper pool of national search sites than the US. As such, competition is driving a much greater amount of innovation out of these sites.

Here, we have Trulia and, to a lesser degree, Zillow (though their true search aspirations aren’t entirely clear yet). That’s about it. Sure, there’s the Granddaddy of them all, Realtor.com. But innovation and Realtor.com are hardly synonymous lately.

The only companies that are truly pushing any degree of innovation on the search side (Redfin, Shackprices for example) in the States are still very localized in nature. (And none are live in Portland, unfortunately)

I suspect this situation is because the UK sites don’t have to navigate the myriad of byzantine rules and deal with courting the local MLS fiefdoms that their US counterparts are encumbered with. There, they can focus on rolling out new features (see Extate Launches Video Tours).

Hopefully, one of these days we’ll see some of these features spill over this side of the Pond. I, for one, can’t wait.