5 new real estate search tools

Tag technology gives house hunters info on demand

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Dec. 22, 2010

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Tag technology gives house hunters info on demand

Mary Umberger
Inman News™

Pretty soon, you'll need an app to keep track of just-introduced real estate apps and websites: Here are five new ones.

1. Who doesn't think about -- someday, somewhere -- owning a "house in the sun"? A new real estate marketing website is capitalizing on the universal appeal of the notion by specializing in just such properties.

HouseintheSun.com is a Swedish-based firm launched a few months ago that claims its listings of for-sale properties in warm climates around the world grew from 17,500 at its launch in September to 30,000 at the end of October.

The site links would-be buyers to the property owners or their representatives; each listing will convert the property's asking price to any of five currencies.

2. A site that began as a mashup to help its creator find an apartment in Boston has grown considerably: MyApartmentMap.com recently launched a nationwide database of 400,000 apartments at 70,000 locations in all 50 states.

The site features interactive maps to pinpoint apartment locations' relative to area grocery stories, schools, restaurants, etc.; it tracks financial incentives and deals offered by the landlords; in addition to searching geographically, apartment-hunters also can focus their search on such criteria as military housing, pet-friendly apartments or proximity to college campuses.

3. Another introduction for apartment-hunters comes from Rent.com, which recently unveiled an app for iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms.

The apartment-rental site says the free app lets users use their mobile phones to search millions of nationwide listings, and it includes photos, floor plans and maps. The app syncs automatically with the user's Rent.com account and allows the apartment-hunter to make notes and download photos of individual apartments.

4. Realty Executives International has introduced Microsoft Tag technology for many of its marketing materials, allowing smart-phone users to take a quick scan in order to reach information about specific listings.

The technology incorporates unique graphic codes, similar to bar codes, that are placed on the company's property signs, print advertising and brochures. Consumers scan the tags with their smart phones, which takes them to a unique landing page to view Realty Executives' virtual tours, websites, etc.

The technology is downloadable from Gettag.mobi.

5. The mobile app features of the Realtor.com property-search site are now available for Android phone users.

The free Android app expands on the already available Realtor.com property-search features for iPhone. Android users now also can use voice-entry capabilities for taking notes on a given property; Google Street View capabilities give users a pictorial view of the immediate area around a home.

Mary Umberger is a freelance writer in Chicago.

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