While many startups aspire to become "The Property of Google," UK-based DotHomes wants to be "the Google of property."
Just when you thought the days of aspiring Googles had ended, vertical search took on a life of its own. In real estate, Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, Redfin and other sites have become classic disruptors in the marketplace.
In the UK, the disruptor was DotHomes.co.uk. After conquering South Africa, DotHomes (free for consumers and realtors) has crossed the pond to the U.S.
Greg Sterling of Screenwerk is all gloomy about survival prospects for 10-12 real estate search engines. He likes the Bob Tedeschi POV in his NY Times E-Commerce Report today, Despite Housing Slide, Real Estate Sites Sell . Tedeschi quotes Nielsen Online that the number of ads displayed on real estate sites are down, though the number of visitors is up.
The DotHomes press release notes in big caps that it "DOES NOT" host realtor listings on its site, only result summaries. Users are directed to the agents' original listings, from the more than 1 million broker listings aggregated.
Other Googly features: one-box search, customized for natural language queries, and the potentially dangerous “I'm Feeling Wealthy” button to view the most expensive U.S. homes on the market.
I may have found an error in the pricing of a home. See if you can find the sky-high property in a town not known for $40 million properties in the "I'm Feeling Wealthy" New York, NY listings and let me know if I'm way off base.
A couple great Web 2.0 benefits of the DotHomes site for real estate brokers:
Heat maps of local prices per square foot may not be as popular with brokers as "On-the-fly video uploads" designed to make updating DotHomes easier.
Now DotHomes and the Flip video camera may give a whole new meaning to "flipping properties."