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Top 7 Coolest Real Estate Web 2.0 Sites

by Joshua Dorkin on April 23, 2006 · 63 comments

  

Things are changing so fast online, and Web 2.0 is taking over. Mashups are the newest rage for now, and there will certainly be cooler stuff to come in the not so distant future. Hopefully these technologies will continue to make it easier to learn about, buy, sell, or rent properties. What are the coolest real estate web 2.0 sites out there right now?

UPDATED January 6, 2007

1)BiggerPockets.com

BiggerPockets (yup, that’s us!) underwent a fabulous Web 2.0 transformation, and created the Premiere Real Estate Investing Social Networking site out there. With a focus on networking, dealmaking, and education, the site brings a professional approach to the world of real estate for both the consumer and professionals. Join the community and help build your real estate network!

biggerpockets real estate social network

2) Zillow

Zillow came out of nowhere and took the real estate world by storm. It allows anyone to find rough estimates of the valuation of their home by searching comparible properties. While values are not always accurate, the site continues to get it better.

zillow

3) RealEstate ABC

RealEstate ABC just released their Beta property valuation tool to compete directly with Zillow. It uses Google Maps in its technology mashup and allows you to do cool things like adjust values of properties given certain market conditions, web 2.0 style, something Zillow does not have. They seem to have beaten Zillow at their own game.

real estate abc

4) Trulia

Trulia scrapes real estate sites to find listings and brings it all together in a clean, well designed site. Using Google maps and RSS feeds, the site seems to have taken the lead in the future of online property listings. I’m looking forward to see how they begin to compete with Craigslist for FSBO listings.

trulia

5) HotPads.com

Hotpads.com is an apartment, corporate housing, and roomate search site for the next era. With interactive mapping, great graphics and free listings, this is one site to watch! (Note: they don’t have a ton of listings, yet, but this cool site will catch on)

hotpads

6) Propsmart

Propsmart.com no longer appears to be functional as of 4/2013

propsmart

7) Google

Who better than Google to use Google’s technology for real estate? The 800-Ton Gorilla is jumping into the game, bringing fear to the hearts of real estate web entrepreneurs everywhere.

HousingMaps (Honorable Mention)
HousingMaps.com is one of the innovators of the real estate space of Web 2.0. Dreamworks software engineer, Paul Rademacher, created a blend of Craigslist and GoogleMaps to introduce one of the first recognized nextgen real estate websites. While not the most beautiful site, this creation kicked off the revolution. A salute to one of the forefathers is in order, I believe!

housingmaps

These sites are all worth keeping your eyes on as leaders in the web 2.0 real estate space. We will look out for any new ones and will certainly keep you posted!

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Angelina September 12, 2006 at 10:11 pm

Most people don’t call an agent when they first start looking for a home. They start on the Internet and most go to Realtor.com. Then they call the listing agent or seller.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes when it comes to the Internet. Do you think they aren’t going to click on that little box that says show me Virtual Tours first? They will and do.

I see so much money wasted on News Print. What do you think a home seller will want more? Ask them this the next time you go to a potential listing. “How do you want me to market your home? I can put your listing in front of most listings on Realtor.com and in front of millions of potential home buyers by doing a Virtual Tour or I can spend the same money for a 4 line ad in the local paper.” I am not saying News Paper Advertising is bad but that’s all you “aged agents” know how to do outside the MLS.

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Ed Kohler January 9, 2007 at 10:30 am

It’s interesting to see how mashups have evolved over time. For example, here’s a new site built by our company that launched this week in Colorado:

http://www.coloradohomestop.com

Of course, this is only the latest step in the fast evolving market of online mapping.

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GoonDocks May 23, 2007 at 8:32 am

My frusturation with real estate web sites is that most all of them only allow the same simplistic beds/baths/city/price criteria. Our company web site is “attempting” to open up the full MLS criteria.

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Samuel Morhaim June 8, 2007 at 6:27 pm

I personally think they are all great for ‘locating’ properties.. but not great as a directory for real estate or international real estate.

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Neil Simmons June 22, 2007 at 12:01 am

I find that for the Asian Region, a good place to pick up statistics is to look at some of the larger International Real Estate companies in Asia such as CB Richard Ellis or Jones Lang Lasalle. They post their research papers on their respective websites.

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henry June 24, 2007 at 8:10 pm

gootube.net – the youtube of realestate videos?

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Paul July 23, 2007 at 12:51 pm

I didn’t have the best of luck with Zillow when we were buying a house. I was really hoping to get a better outlook of how homes were selling in the neighborhood we were buying in, but there was little data.

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paul July 24, 2007 at 12:37 pm

i had only heard of like 2 of these. wow, this is going to be a huge time saver. i heard of zillow a couple of years ago and loved its interface. i’ll check the rest of this list out. thanks.

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Sapan Bhear July 28, 2007 at 5:12 am

zillow is amazing

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Tim August 6, 2007 at 8:13 pm

It would be good if Google Earth gave clearer images outside of main city areas. As soon as you get to the more rural areas, and smaller villages then the image is too blurred. Google Earth has a lot of potential for real estate websites.

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Columbus Ohio Webdesign and SEO Consulting August 22, 2007 at 9:02 pm

So when does your new RE application come out, and is it going to make the next top 7 list?

Looking forward to it since i’m looking for an apt. right now!

-Brad

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Karl Schabmuller September 24, 2007 at 11:09 am

What a surprise!
I am a real estate agent in Paris, France, and have visited “biggerpockets” a few years ago and it has really changed since then.
By the way, Alan Greenspan gave an interview to the renowned French newspaper “Le Figaro” which was published today and where he predicted a market slow down. Well, we’ll see.
KHS, Paris
http://www.khs.fr/

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Terry Sprouse October 1, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Great information on the new property finder tools!

Another one that I use frequently in Craig’s List. It’s really easy to narrow down your searches by typing in key words.

Keep up the good work.

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The Property Pundit October 3, 2007 at 1:29 am

I know this is an old post, but this is a great collection of the sites that are changing the way real estate is done. Really nice post.

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Realtor SEO October 14, 2007 at 8:55 am

Zillow is amazing, are you kidding me! It has my home $75k below its actual real comps

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clydd November 26, 2007 at 10:07 pm

well this post coming to you from where the actual boom is underway, – Dubai.
Next gen technology is also being created here, with what could possibly be a “first” for real estate listings.
Agents can send their property listing details directly via sms or mms and go live to a widespread audience.

check it here : http://www.realvisionhomes.com/multilistingsservice/

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ray loesch December 17, 2007 at 9:35 pm

I just came upon this post and had to mention how much I love Zillow.com. I use this site on a regular basis to compare home value and properties in the different I am interested in. Web 2.0 and real estate are a perfect match, as I find the real estate industry is usually on the cutting edge of marketing.

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Franco January 11, 2008 at 3:44 pm

This is really the coolest :)

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propertymaps.com January 14, 2008 at 6:13 am

I also just came upon this post (almost two years after it we released) and want to mention our site – http://www.propertymaps.com. You can search authentic MLS data along with community statistics, sex offenders, business proximities, etc. Check it out.

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Matt Harrison February 5, 2008 at 4:33 am

The problem with using maps in Asia is that most owners don’t give sole agency to estate agents, and so by showing the location of the property you are giving away your stock to other agents.

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Alex Bowden February 10, 2008 at 10:29 pm

A useful feature for real estate agents to have on their websites is a measuring tool, so users can measure the distance from the house/apartment to the nearest train station etc.

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Dwayne Charrington February 12, 2008 at 12:07 am

Wow, even the real estate sector is getting involved with Web 2.0 style and design. I never even knew. Those sites look amazing for real estate websites. I’m too use to seeing boring old fashioned 1995 looking real estate websites, good to see a change.

- Dwayne Charrington.
http://www.dwaynecharrington.com

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Noni McVey February 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm

It is always fun to find new and innovative real estate web sites.

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Lyn Smith March 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm

I think that with the world today being so ‘small’ and more people buying property in different countries, it is good for Real Estate related websites to have a currency converter tool.

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streetfolio March 16, 2008 at 5:33 pm

A great collection of sites.

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MoneyMan March 31, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Great article and even the commenters sites are all great resources. The web sure has evolved!!

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jonathan C April 15, 2008 at 11:01 am

I really think HotPads is an exceptional website worth checking out!

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George Farmer April 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Our land sales listings site Land Incorporated. which launched in January 2008 uses Google maps with the seller able to input latitude and longitude to help locate very remote properties.

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derrikd May 14, 2008 at 10:16 am

iswherewelive.com is rather interesting and growing. they have free websites for real estate, i set up a mirror of my own blog, and display each realtors name as featured realtors next to listings for sale.

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Peter Bland May 21, 2008 at 9:29 pm

I wish Google Earth and Google Maps would update their information. The images are all about 3 years old already, and in the world of real estate, 3 years is a long time.

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Scott Maggelet May 30, 2008 at 11:04 am

We just launched realmapz.com, which currently has only properties on California’s central coast, but has some features that we have not seen on other sites. The filters are applied with javascript without a round-trip to the server, and there is a sorting algorithm that changes the color of the marker icons based on the sorting criteria, again without leaving the context of the current page. Also, the detailed view is presented with AJAX, so you do not lose your place on your map (my biggest pet peeve with trulia).

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small business crm June 18, 2008 at 8:59 am

I agree very good selection. Thanks for the effort.

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Olga Ritchie July 8, 2008 at 3:04 am

Thank you very much for the useful info! I digged it.

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Benny July 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Wow man!! what a great tips!! I have tried to use them on Israel and I couldn’t see places in Tel Aviv.

start a reverse search ssn now.
Thanks,
Benny

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Eugene Chuang Garg July 15, 2008 at 11:28 am

Yes very good selection of quality websites.. 2 of them are in my bookmarks already.

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Drew Izzo August 8, 2008 at 9:08 am

This article is interesting – but ran before the launch of Roost.com. Check out Roost [it rocks!] and maybe do another roundup?
Drew

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Susan September 1, 2008 at 9:44 am

I think houseingmaps is interesting. In NJ the gsmls IDX doesn’t have a mapping feature which I have seen in other states and love.

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Susan September 1, 2008 at 2:03 pm

I love the sites with the map features. The New Jersey MLS doesn’t offer it on their IDX as I’ve seen it featured in other areas. I think its extremely helpful to buyers and sellers.

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jacksonville condos for sale September 25, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Trulia may not be the coolest but it’s very useful. For me, it’s the best. I wasn’t aware about biggerpockets, but will surely check it out now!

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ravi October 15, 2009 at 6:50 am

Hi All
I had seen a website a while ago that allowed people to partner with each other to do joint real estate investment. It was sort of like an online community where you can find partners who you would like to do joint investment with. I seem to have forgotten the URL…can anyone post a URL for that web site or something that does the above.

Thx

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Joshua Dorkin October 15, 2009 at 7:39 am
Kevin Alvarez June 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

It’s kind of weird that I am commenting on a blog post that was published more than 4 years ago. However, I think that most real estate agents are still having a difficult time learning how to properly use online marketing, Web 2.0, and social media.

Angelina (3rd comment) was right with regards to how buyers start their process. I am doing marketing work for a company that has developed some very powerful real estate online marketing and virtual tour software . I can say this, most of our users are savvy with online marketing (or at least the software makes them savvy) and are having tremendous success.

My point is this. The technology and tools (social media, online video, blogs, virtual tours, etc.) to help agents market their listings are available. The successful ones are utilizing them and

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Bill Barvitski November 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm

how can I use this in Mexico ?

bill

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Andrew Mooers December 4, 2010 at 8:11 am

Thanks for the rundown. Was searching for more on maps, how to intergrate them in the media mix. You can not get away without a map the early explorers found. Same still applies today to find the “treasure”.

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Roch M. St-Georges December 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm

What would we do without the Google API? Even individual realtors and brokerages now use the Google code to populate maps of the properties they are selling. We should see a lot more sites in 2011 using the Google API and using their Streetview feature.

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Craig Bosse January 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm

The business model of Trulia and Zillow is quite amazing. 100% of their content is generated by real estate agents then they turn around, dress it up a bit, and sell the leads back to them! Amazing that some will pay for that!

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Anonymous May 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

Great information provided. In New Hampshire our listings are automatically linked to these various websites. Through IDX leads are generated and filtered directly to our Realtors.

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Bill Kirkpatrick July 4, 2011 at 6:46 am

Being that this post is a bit dated, do you feel these are still the ‘Top 7′?

I am personally using BiggerPockets, of course, Trulia and sometimes Zillow, more exclusively than any others, but if anyone has found something they feel is better please do tell.

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Rob Smeed July 13, 2011 at 12:03 am

I think that Biggerpockets is still the best.

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Anonymous December 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

BiggerPockets was way ahead of it’s time combining social media and real estate back in 2007. Thanks for vision and making it happen.

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Kurt April 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Even though this post is out dated. I still believe that biggerpockets probably still takes the cake vs. the others..

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Matt Pernice May 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I would say that Zillow and Trulia and are the dominating sites. The serps in Google love them and always rank them in the top 5 in any city. Not really fair for us small timers.

Matt Pernice
Manhattan Beach, CA

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Bossier August 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

Truila will be the most dominate in the next 2 years, craigslist is dying off because of over saturation. I have advertised on Zillow and no luck at all not even 1 lead.

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Vincent Talerico December 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

BiggerPockets.com back in 2006…those were the days :)

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Nick January 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

@Vincent – Yup. Impressive movement since 2006. Kinda fun to look back though.

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Nick Van Assche February 15, 2013 at 7:32 am

We feed directly from our website to Zillow.com and Trulia.com. After spending thousands of dollars to create direct feeds we watched REALOGY companies negotiate their listings onto these sites and others including Homes.com. Additionally we are finding certain markets receive premier benefits including NO ADVERTISERS on their listings. It will be interesting to watch what happens to the online real estate marketplace over the next couple of years.

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