RISMedia recently published an interesting article about How the Internet is Reshaping Real Estate. The article quotes a February 2007 survey by Netcraft Web Server Survey as saying that there are 108 million web site on the web, and that academics estimate that 6% of these are about real estate. That would mean that there are 6.5 million web sites about real estate out there.
One of the interesting points that article makes is that real estate is an information focused industry, and that the realtors used to be the keepers of that information. But now, that focus is shifting to the web. The big thing now is sharing information and collaboration with other consumers. There are lots of players jumping into the real estate space, including Zillow, Trulia, PropSmart, LiveDeal, Point2, and Oodle.
Consumer demand for this type of information is only going to grow. The modern web consumer expects answers and service, they want it for free, and they want it now. Oh, and don't make them spend more than 10 seconds trying to find it either, or they will be gone. And there are few consumer decisions that are more important, or bigger, than buying a house.