SAN FRANCISCO, January 31, 2011 – Trulia.com, a leading site for real estate professionals, homebuyers and sellers, today announced the results of a comScore report, which show that Trulia has the highest concentration of first-time homebuyers among the top real estate search engines. According to the report, 43 percent of Trulia’s audience consists of first-time homebuyers. Realtor.com’s audience has 31 percent first-time buyers and Zillow’s has 28 percent, making Trulia the #1 site to reach active and engaged first-time buyers.
Just in time for the buying season, we’ve upgraded our home shopping experience to make it easier than ever to find the home of your dreams on Zillow. Starting today, we’re giving our 13+ million monthly visitors on Zillow new tools and features to help them search for homes for sale and for rent.
Heads up: if you’re a fan of the Zillow iPad app (the # 1 real estate app on iPad), some of these changes may look familiar. That’s because we borrowed heavily from the design of the Zillow on iPad app whose design and functionality helps simplify the shopping experience on Zillow.
Here are some of the ways we are making it easier for you to shop for homes:
BIGGER MAP, BETTER INTERACTION
- You’ll notice the map is bigger which means we can show you more homes on one page.
- You can now easily scroll through the list of for-sale homes that match your search criteria with the map always in view.
- It’s all about location, right? Click on a home on the map and it automatically highlights on the search results list, and vice versa.
- Now there’s the ability to search for homes based on the special criteria that matter to you. You’ve always wanted a deck or a porch with a view? A gourmet kitchen or an open-floor plan? Is a fenced yard a must-have for your pooch? The new keyword filter search brings you one step closer to finding your dream home (see below).
UPDATED SEARCH RESULTS VIEWS
- List view: It’s now easier to sort and compare homes by price, Zestimate® home value, beds, baths, year built, etc. For a deeper search, we’ve added filters such as price per square foot, neighborhood, monthly payment, property type, and even property tax.
- Gallery view: Switch from the list view to gallery view to see photos of homes side-by-side. Looking at the pretty pics in the gallery view may help you better determine which homes are of most interest.
- Bonus – when you click through to a Home Details Page, the list or gallery view remain at the bottom of the page. This means you can quickly and easily compare individual homes that match your search criteria with a single click.
Yardi, a software provider for the multi-family industry has launched a rental website for renters to find apartments nationally. The new service is called RentCafe and says renters can “search apartment listings, compare and apply to your favorite apartment communities, and pay your rent online, all from RENTCafé. We’re saving you time while making apartment renting easier.”
For apartment advertisers, the service seems to be a freemium model where apartments can post for free and then pay on a per lease basis but it is rather unclear from the website.
At first glance it looks like a majority of the listings are populated by ForRent.com. The user interface is very clean and it has a mynewplace like map on the left hand side.
Traffic to the site seems to be very low according to compete.com. Compete has unique visitors for October at around 1,000 and then goes to nothing for Dec.
Trulia did not waste any time with its recent acquisition of the mapping startup Motivity. Go to http://trulia.movity.com/ to check out "Rent" vs. "Sale" costs, mapped by major U.S. cities, pulling from sources, "Trulia.com, Census.gov, RealtyTrac.com, BLS.gov and Moody's Economy.com." I am guessing that Trulia will be using the new data mapping capabilities on a variety of interactive reports in the future.
"Trulia's Q1 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index provides guidance to help you make a smart decision on whether it is better to rent or buy in each of America's 50 largest cities by population."
Other metrics availble are:
I just was invited to Qwiki Alpha, the interactive, "information experience' platform that creates multimedia-rich wikis algorithmically out of data sets, instead of by user input and peer review!
Despite simply being fascinating and amazingly cool, Qwiki has profound implications upon the future of search and data organization.
Please note that according to Qwiki:
1. This experience was not generated by humans. It was generated by machines.
2. This experience is completely curated.
3. The experience is completely interactive
I had written about how exited I was about the possibilities of Qwiki a few weeks ago, but apparently they have now launched the Alpha version to select users. Also on Friday, Qwiki also announced a round of funding from tech-celebs Eduardo Saverin (Facebook co-founder) and Jawed-Karim (YouTube co-founder).
I cannot wait to test this out more, but see below for an entirely computer generated entry about the word "Wiki."
This is a great slide show about the future of real estate tech that I had the privilege to see Brian Boyero and Joel Burlem of 1000Watt Consulting present at Classified AdVentures’ Property Portal Watch Workshop last week.
They are insistent up on UX and design becoming more integral to the future of the web, and I agree that search will (and needs to) become more intuitive, taking "the search out of search" as they say.
I might be a bit of a techno-utopian marketer to expect to eventually be served everything that I want immediately from the web, rather than to slog through pages of bundled media and ads, but I don't see the days of the vertical content provider (like AOL or Yahoo) being reincarnated as a cultural norm. Everything is trending in the opposite direction.
Ads are now targeted upon ever-more granular (albeit sometimes invasive) criteria. Social and hyperlocal filtering provide additional credibility to information. And industries will need to build smarter platforms that deliver relevant results to consumers, relieving us from the clutter and confusion that typifies a web search, from an MSN homepage to an apartment-search on Craigslist.
We have moved from the age of uniformity to the moment of the meta-niche and it's about finding yours, individuating your content, and doing it for the customer.