Roost Enters Real Estate Search

    January 23, 2008

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.