Comments on: Does Yahoo’s BOSS present a Challenge to Real Estate Sites? Wed, 21 Aug 2013 10:45:36 -0500 hourly 1 By: frankschulteladbeck Wed, 30 Jul 2008 20:42:18 +0000 Thanks for bringing it up.

By: Shell Smith Wed, 30 Jul 2008 17:20:06 +0000 I’m glad you liked it.

By: frankschulteladbeck Mon, 21 Jul 2008 22:54:21 +0000 The Property Maps site is good. I would like to see more agents or even brokerages give thought to their websites, and suggest the tools that I list as a way to help them do it. It may be a way for a real estate professional to create a community that would come back to his site, which could lead to better business. Your suggestion,Shell, is one way for us to start in building an “ideal” site.

The promise that Yahoo holds out is tempting to one who wants to do more, and I like the thought of being able to provide a better site for th consumer.

By: Shell Smith Mon, 21 Jul 2008 22:17:21 +0000 You just explained what I have been wondering for years now. I would love to have an interactive site that I could actually rely on. My worry would be to get a million e-mails or calls once you go to that site, but that would be avoided. I actually have been using a site called PropertyMaps that is the closest “ideal” for me. It has a great google maps/mls mashup that has been a great time saver. Good insights, thanks for sharing!

By: Ivailo Mon, 21 Jul 2008 14:44:49 +0000 Hi, Ivailo from and also one of the original co-founders of zoomf here.

Good post and a fair question, hope I can address it. One of the main reasons vertical search companies (trulia, zoomf etc) exist and are useful is because the horizontal search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc) do not extract information from the “deep web”. Property listings are most of the time hidden behind forms and are more often then not inaccessible to general crawlers, therefore considered to live in the deep web. Google is experimenting with crawling through forms (, but I have not yet seen significant improvement in the real estate space.

Horizontal search engines work by searching for keywords, while vertical search engines understand the content they are indexing. A good example would be a property listings stating that “the house is located 2 hour train ride from London” – a vertical search engine will not display that result for a search for “London property”, while a horizontal engine will go for the keyword match on London and the listing is likely to be shown. Along the same lines Yahoo’s index will be unable to answer a query for: a 3-5 bedroom house priced between $x and $y as it has no domain specific understanding of the listings it stores.

Last but not least, because vertical engines crawl a small subset of content they are able to re-index content on a regular basis, thus making sure that the index is fresh, while the bigger search engines are not able to re-crawl the entire internet daily. Google is getting better with re-indexing highly dynamic sites, but in my experience Yahoo is very far behind.

So in my opinion the launch of BOSS doesn’t present a challenge to real estate search sites at this point.

By: frankschulteladbeck Mon, 21 Jul 2008 10:00:26 +0000 Ivailo, I appreciate the analysis. Being a lowly inspector, I am not that up to date on the functioning of the different search engines. I had assumed incorrectly that one could target Yahoo’s BOSS to behave like vertical search engine. I understand how your site would be able to provide more accurate searches, and therefore a better fit with the consumer’s needs. I thought that a platform like BOSS might give an agent an effective tool for their site.

By: frankschulteladbeck Mon, 21 Jul 2008 09:51:19 +0000 To be honest Mike, when you look at a site like Active Rain, you can quickly see that there are agents here in the U.S. who have mastered the blog, but you quickly find that many are trying to understand it. Then you look at the market as a whole, you find that the majority of the agents here have not developed a strong (or any) presence on the web. We do know from surveys and studies conducted that more potential buyers are going online to find information, like what may be a good neighborhood, mortgage, insurance, or what to look for in a home.

I appreciate your stopping by to give your perspective.

By: Mike Carter Mon, 21 Jul 2008 09:21:22 +0000 Mike from Zoomf here,
Great post and just to give you the UK point of view. The biggest issue for the UK market is two-fold;

1. lack of MLS
2. agent internet adoption

The UK market doesn’t have centralized lists of property on the market. All 10,000+ of the agent brands in the UK compete with each other. This means fragmentation to a huge degree. When you couple that with the fact that the agent market is far less internet saavy than the US agent, then you’ve got the rub.

It is few and far between that you will run into an agent that will understand what a blog is, let alone know what to do with ‘software as service’ from Yahoo.

By: frankschulteladbeck Mon, 21 Jul 2008 00:33:47 +0000 Yahoo’s BOSS presents away for professionals like myself to create a niche site with ease, and it led me on this thought process; hence the title.

You are probably correct in the kind of consumer which is attracted to Redfin, but I did not write that Redfin will be in the forefront. I think that if changes will be made in how a transaction occurs (paricularly I am thinking of the compensation to the agent from commission to fee), that Redfin and others like them could force that switch in the market.

Redfin’s victory over NAR in being allowed access to the MLS presents one change in which they have already effected. Your analysis of the finances and what those sites need to prepare for is something I could get behind.
Thank you for your thoughts. I have to consider if many sites take up creating home search that it would effect Zillow, Trulia, and others. I guess that is why Zillow for one is looking to create partnerships.

By: Karen Mon, 21 Jul 2008 00:07:18 +0000 I’m getting reaquainted with the internet and I’m amazed at what’s out there. It’s a great way to view a home without the pressure of a Real Estate agent or a homeowner there looking over your shoulder.