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Roost Enters Real Estate Search

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This doesn’t seem like the ideal time for a real estate search engine to launch; individuals are probably afraid to get into the home-buying market, and lenders are probably afraid to let them.  Still, a new contender has arrived, and Roost is pretty impressive.

We’ll start out with the negatives; they need to be mentioned, but since there are so few, this’ll be quick.  First, Roost only serves 14 markets.  It’s officially labeled a beta version, however, and plans to expand, so this is forgivable.

The second issue is that it seems impossible to sort houses according to lot size.  For people with dogs (or, okay, families with kids), this can be a critical factor.

Otherwise, we like what we’re seeing.  Roost’s engine works quickly, is easy to use, and tends to turn up a lot of relevant results.  The business side of things is looking solid, as well.

Roost is able to turn up so many results because it works with complete MLS listings, and it is able to work with complete MLS listings thanks to partnerships with Multiple Listing Services.  Roost is also ad-free because, as Chris Morrison writes, "[I]t will get referral fees for sending surfers to realtor sites, and will also provide white-label versions of its engine to agencies."

Now we’ll just need to determine whether there’s a demand for another real estate search engine.

Roost Enters Real Estate Search
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  • http://www.localizedweb.com Guest

    When looking closer at each listing Roost serves up it doesn’t look like they’ve partnered up with local Multiple Listing Services it looks like they’ve partnered up with local area real estate brokers. When searching all the listings in San Diego Willis Allen Real Estate is the Featured Broker. Follow the link View Details on Featured Broker’s Site and Willis Allen is the featured broker. So it looks like brokers make arrangementa with Roots to have the only link to more info for the listing. However, too bad for Willis Allen at the moment it only brings the visitor to their website but not to the listng! 

    • Doug Caverly

      Since my experience with real estate doesn’t go too far beyond “ooh, I want to live there,” I’ll try to address those points with quotes from Joel Burslem. He writes, “Roost has cultivated partnerships with local MLS’ and brokers’ IDX feeds to provide complete coverage in each market it enters.”

      Also, “Every market . . . can have an unlimited number of sponsors and the sponsors rotate in based on the amount of traffic they have bought. This is perfect for some of the smaller brokerages that may not have many listings to market themselves (and therefore can’t participate in Z or T’s listings feeds) but are still looking to court buyers online.”

      Looks like you caught a definite problem with the Willis Allen links, however.

  • http://www.keykingstonhomes.ca KeyCanada

    I recently came across Roost and I am very impressed with their site. I think they have the best search engine and have realized that quality is more important then quanitity.

  • http://www.carletonsheets.com Real Estate Investing Guy

    Yeah, I completely agree.  Why would they enter the market at this time.  That seems really strange.  Maybe, the motive is to prepare for the great next "boom".  Who knows?  Either way, I can’t imagine that the real estate searches are booming right now… maybe foreclosures.  But, that’s another story.

  • http://carletonsheets.truthaboutgurus.com Carleton Sheets

    While it may be a difficult time to be in the market, it is also a great time to invest in the market.  I see what they are doing as investing in the future of the market.  Look you are not going to build a site or reputation over night.  So, I see sites like this and others as a great opportunity to get in and build something.

    Then, when the market comes back, they are in a great position to take advantage.

  • http://www.uslandco.com Real Estate Investor

    I’m sure they started developing this well before the crap hit the fan but I agree that it will be hard to break into a saturated market in this economy. Looks cool but good luck!

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