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Realtor.com redesign emphasizes data, finding Realtors

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Today, Move, Inc. launched a redesign of Realtor.com, bringing together once discombobulated information into one location, making site searching more streamlined with an emphasis on data and connecting with Realtors.

Changes to the site include the ability to search active listings, new construction, rentals and off market (recently sold) properties from the landing page. One of the most interesting updates to the site is the access to sales and tax history from sold listings making Realtor.com a more viable competitor to Zillow.com who has long dominated the demographic of users looking for data research.

The mapping function will advance to modern standards like including nearby attractions, school ratings, estimated values of neighborhood properties, and driving directions.

How individual listings render will appear differently with emphasis on key details like price, and school ratings as well as (interestingly) days on the site (which may not exactly be days on market but is a highly sought after piece of information consumers demand). Individual listings will also showcase the agent’s other listings however we haven’t seen screenshots yet, so we can’t say how much page real estate this takes or whether it’s picture based or a simple link. We look forward to knowing how this feature appears.

The redesign features a “spotlight module” which is a widget that is “content-driven” to update site visitors of market info, market conditions and other data that point back to the Realtor population as the ultimate resource.

Realtors now have the option to add information to a profile (headshot, links, social networking sites, expertise and more) for free, to be featured in the new “Find Realtors” section of the site.

“The integration of Move’s proprietary technology with these new design changes creates an exciting opportunity for today’s buyers to expand their expectations of how to search for a home on Realtor.com, what to expect as they explore neighborhoods and local market trends, and how to find the right real estate professional,” said Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com. “In addition, Move’s commitment to keep real estate professionals central to the transaction is reaffirmed on the new ‘Find Realtors’ landing page. By combining features from ‘See My Listings” into this new experience, and making it easily discoverable from the Realtor.com homepage, we believe real estate professionals will receive greater exposure of their brands and client listings that will serve to better connect them with buyers and sellers more effectively.”

We anticipate which features will be more dominant than others and if these updates truly bring it up to date and meet Realtor and user expectations. Do you think the redesign answers to some of the objections some in the real estate community have?

Full press release:

REALTOR.COM® REDESIGNED FOR FASTER AND EASIER PROPERTY SEARCH

Redesign, New Platform and Rich Database Positions Site As New Online Real Estate Marketplace

CAMPBELL, CA — (September 29, 2010) – Today, Move, Inc., (NASDAQ: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, launched a redesigned Realtor.com web site backed by new technology that combines multiple search capabilities into an integrated and seamless search experience to help consumers find their next property faster while connecting with greater ease to local real estate experts matching their needs.

Powered by a new platform built with proprietary technology and a new property database, the #1 homes for sale web site is now easier to navigate, and property listings and information important to the home buying process are easier to find while remaining fresh, accurate and reliable.

“A primary objective for the redesign was to create a search experience that places more information in the hands of both Realtors and consumers, supported by technology that enables Move to make fluid platform innovations that keep pace with today’s rapidly changing market place,” said Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move, Inc. “Today’s launch of the redesigned site solidifies our position as the trusted source for easy to find accurate information consumers need to meet their real estate goals. The new site also empowers real estate professionals to be clearly positioned as local experts in a manner that keeps them central to real estate transactions.”

Berkowitz continued by describing significant updates to the redesigned site including visibility and access to active listings, new construction, rentals and off market (recently sold) properties, now integrated and easily discoverable from one location: the search box on the Realtor.com home page. This enhancement enables buyers and real estate professionals to search for active listings, while providing access to sales and tax history from sold listings along with other relevant property data consumers and real estate experts can use to monitor local market trends as they navigate real estate together.

“Streamlining the search experience as we’ve done on the redesigned site brings these once disparate search items together and vastly improves the speed at which data is surfaced in a more organized fashion,” Berkowitz said. “Thus, the search experience becomes more rewarding for buyers and sellers, as well as the local real estate experts they work with to interpret and use the information as part of the buying and selling process.”

Another new feature showcased on the Realtor.com homepage is the new Spotlight module, a content-driven widget continuously updated so visitors remain current on new site features, interesting market insights and information, and real estate technologies developed by Move that will enhance the search experience. Through the Spotlight module, buyers and sellers can also quickly access Realtor.com’s free home valuation service for information about local market conditions and, in the process, recognize the value of working with a Realtor®.

Property listings on the new Realtor.com now presents information so prospective buyers can better evaluate, compare and locate properties of interest. As part of the redesign, the listing detail pages now provide a categorized, at-a-glance summary of each property listing that better displays price and lot size, the number and types of rooms, the interior and exterior features and more. The new listing detail pages also provide the most recent property details updated directly from Move’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) partners, as well as the number of days each property has been displayed on the site. When available, the property’s sales and tax history is provided along with standard information such as school ratings, property information, virtual tours, and the agent’s other listings.

A new map experience is also being unveiled and includes the same unified and integrated experience found throughout the redesigned site displaying for sale, off-market or sold properties with each category shown with a distinctive icon. The interactive maps, generated by Microsoft’s Bing Maps, provides driving directions, estimated values of neighboring properties, median income, and nearby listings. The new Realtor.com mapping experience also includes nearby points of interest such as hospitals, police and fire stations, places of worship, libraries, restaurants, post offices and more. A new Nearby Schools section displays public and private schools, and school ratings.

“The integration of Move’s proprietary technology with these new design changes creates an exciting opportunity for today’s buyers to expand their expectations of how to search for a home on Realtor.com, what to expect as they explore neighborhoods and local market trends, and how to find the right real estate professional,” said Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com. “In addition, Move’s commitment to keep real estate professionals central to the transaction is reaffirmed on the new ‘Find Realtors’ landing page. By combining features from ‘See My Listings” into this new experience, and making it easily discoverable from the Realtor.com homepage, we believe real estate professionals will receive greater exposure of their brands and client listings that will serve to better connect them with buyers and sellers more effectively.”

Consumers interested in connecting with a local real estate expert can now use the newly enhanced Find A Realtor feature showcased prominently on the new ‘Find Realtors’ landing page. This new and easy-to-use sorting feature specifies desired certifications and specialties, sales areas or neighborhoods served, as well as the agent’s or company’s name so consumers can be quickly connected to a list of agents matching their needs. It also features links to each agent’s Realtor.com ‘Find Realtors’ Profile page.

The new ‘Find Realtors’ Profile pages are free to agents and brokers and empower them to share their professional information, details on their company, information on the areas they serve, specializations, current listings, links to their company web site, open houses, contact information, headshot photo, and more with prospective clients. A new field allows users and offices to include links to Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter and other social networking sites with the added benefit of sharing their profiles with a friend, or printing the agent’s profile for later access.

ABOUT MOVE, INC.

Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE) is the leader in online real estate with 12.7 million[1] monthly visitors to its online network of web sites. Move, Inc. operates: Move.com, a leading destination for information on new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden and home finance; Realtor.com®, the official web site of the National Association of Realtors®; Moving.com; SeniorHousingNet; Top Producer Systems, and ListHub. Move, Inc., is based in Campbell, California.

ABOUT REALTOR.COM®
Realtor.com®, where the world shops for real estate online, is operated by Move, Inc., (NASDAQ:MOVE) and is the official web site of the National Association of Realtors®. Ranked as the #1 homes-for-sale site, Realtor.com® currently offers potential home buyers access to over four million property listings, as well as the most brokers and agents. It also provides Realtors® and the home sellers they represent with the Internet’s largest real estate marketplace, reaching more than 10.2[2] million consumers in August 2010. Agents and companies have the power to customize Realtor.com® resources to maximize their brand and productivity.

REALTOR® and REALTOR.com® are registered trademarks of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark, which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. All other trademarks appearing above are the property of Move, Inc., or of their other respective owners.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of Move’s future expectations, plans and prospects, within the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the results of Move, its subsidiaries, divisions and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. These risk factors and others are included from time to time in documents Move files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, its Form 10-Ks, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on Move’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Move cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, Move expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
Move, Inc. is an advertiser on AgentGenius.com.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Missy Caulk

    September 29, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Well if we can add a profile picture, and our social media sites FOR FREE. I “might” just go check it out.

  2. Cheryl Johnson

    September 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

    >>Do you think the redesign answers to some of the objections some in the real estate community have?

    I think the biggest objection for most agents is … the HUGE COST charged by Realtor.com for showcase/featured placement!

  3. Missy Caulk

    September 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I can’t find it where to change the profile information, it keeps sending me to the search profile. It also has me listed at Remax where I haven’t been for 3 years.
    If you know where to find the profile information let me know…

  4. Fred Romano

    September 29, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I like it! Great new color theme and easier on the eyes.

  5. Jill Wente

    September 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Missy,
    You can add your social networking information and change your brokerage after you log in. Down the left hand navigation there is a tab for Realtors. Click it then click the link “Control Panel Login. You will then need to find your local MLS and login with the same login. Then click on the My Account tab located at the top right hand corner. You will then be able to edit all your information.

  6. Jim Gatos

    September 30, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Missy, can you figure out where to put your social networking info? I can’t and of course I am NOT a paying upgrader..

  7. Missy Caulk

    September 30, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Thanks Jill, I found it. I hadn’t logged in to the back-end in a L O N G time. I have only used the public side to see if my listings were posting right.

  8. Missy Caulk

    September 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Jim, I had to call but here is where you go.

    Realtor Resources> bottom of page, left column > Control Panel LogIn> Choose your MLS, and log in with the MLS Id number and PW>

    Then once logged in go to Account Information>Personal Information.

    Scroll down to Social Netwworking. Add your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles there.

    I know, hard to find…bunch of steps….

  9. Elaine Reese

    September 30, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Well, I’m a paying member and have been for years. (sucker). I go into the Resources section weekly to get the traffic on my listings. Today I happened to notice the changes you mentioned.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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