Yahoo! Finance Launches Real Estate Portal

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Yahoo! Finance is the online Goliath in the financial news space. Netratings puts its December page views at over 600 million, more than twice its closest competitor, MSN Money. (Source: 24/7 Wall St.: Yahoo! Finance Beats The Competition)

Last week, they retooled the site and added a number of new content options. CNET reported that these included “how-to guides for tax planning, budgeting, real estate planning, and saving for college and retirement.”

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Of course that second-to-last option caught my eye, so I headed over to check it out. All in all, Yahoo! Finance’s real-estate section is pretty comprehensive; it features a number of expert opinions, mortgage rate information and a selection of calculators (none as comprehensive as HouseMath 2.0 ), as well as it pulls questions from Yahoo! Answers.

I wondered how this redesign would impact Yahoo! Real Estate however, so I emailed Michael Yang, General Manager of Yahoo Real Estate with the question. Here is a portion of his response:

We are sister units. Y! Finance is designed for people who want to enjoy, manage and grow their money. They are focused on programming rich editorial experiences around money. Naturally, real estate certainly plays a role. Yahoo! Real Estate is tasked with providing users with the specific tools and products they need when making a home purchase or renting an apartment, etc. The groups work closely together to ensure we’re offering our users the right tools and information, regardless of which site they are visiting.

More specifically, yes, you will see more sharing between the two groups, with Yahoo! Real Estate consuming Yahoo! Finance content and publishing on our side, and Yahoo! Finance consuming Yahoo! Real Estate listings and publishing on their side. If you look right now, Yahoo! Finance has links to “Search for Homes for Saleâ€? and “Check Home Valuesâ€? (which leads users over to Yahoo! Real Estate) as part of the “Things To Doâ€? section in the footer of every page of Personal Finance. We have a roll-out plan with them over the next few months – starting with the incorporation of a Real Estate Search Box in Personal Finance.

Overall, I like the look of the new page, but it does feel kind of static. Kind of soul-less.

One glaring omission is the lack of any real estate blogs. I’d love to see them supplement their ‘expert’ columnists with a smattering of real estate related blog posts. You could allow bloggers to submit their RSS feeds for inclusion, as a way to liven up the page with fresh content, for example. In my opinion, that would make the page far more immediate, and much less cold, than the current incarnation.