Redfin Gives Up On Virtual Earth

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In an announcement on the Redfin Corporate Blog, the Seattle-based venture has abandoned Microsoft’s Virtual Earth maps in favor of Google’s offering. The reason? According to Redfin:

In the end, it was speed, speed, speed that convinced us to switch. In our worst case scenario of 500 pushpins on the map in IE6, GMaps is 385% faster.

A quick survey of Hitwise’s top real estate sites reveals VE is still preferred by most of the other destinations however – snagging 4 of the top 10 results.

1. Realtor.com (Virtual Earth)
2. Yahoo! Real Estate (Yahoo Maps)
3. Zillow.com (Virtual Earth)
4. ZipRealty (Virtual Earth)
5. Rent.com (Mapquest)
6. RE/MAX (Google Maps – Beta site also)
7. Homegain (Google Maps – through partnership with Homescape.com)
8. ServiceMagic (n/a)
9. HUD (n/a)
10. RealtyTrac (Virtual Earth)
11. Trulia.com (Google Maps)

What’s less clear is the preferred choice for brokerage web sites.

Does VE have a lock on residential real estate sites or is Google making in roads here? Any insight from RE web site developers would be appreciated… What’s the preferred mapping solution?