RISMEDIA, Nov. 12, 2008-Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS) announced that it has released a new version of its real estate search portal, HomesDatabase.com, in beta. The site, known as “HomesDatabase.com 2.0,” can be viewed at http://beta.homesdatabase.com and displays property listings from the company’s nearly 60,000 subscribers in the Mid-Atlantic region – effectively every listing from every REALTOR(R) in the area. The site is a free service to both consumers and real estate professionals and displays no advertising.
According to the association, HomesDatabase.com 2.0 signals an important shift in the online real estate category, which has been defined largely by media companies and venture-funded startups. These entities, for all their innovation, often offer consumers an incomplete, sometimes biased, and less-than-current selection of listings, a critical shortcoming given the gravity of the real estate transaction. As an MLS, MRIS can offer all the listings in pristine condition with up-to-the-minute updates. With the release of HomesDatabase.com 2.0, this competitive advantage is combined with features and a user experience that meets or beats those offered by popular online real estate destinations.
Early next year, MRIS will make the HomesDatabase.com 2.0 platform available to other MLS organizations interested in launching a public portal.
“Everyone benefits from HomesDatabase.com 2.0,” said MRIS chairman Adam Cockey, broker and partner at Chase Fitzgerald and Company in Baltimore, MD. “Consumers get easy access to all the listings without advertising. And real estate brokers and agents in our market get free exposure and traffic from a site that’s run by their own MLS. The days of hop scotching from site to site to get a complete picture of housing inventory are over.”
Key features of the HomesDatabase.com 2.0 site include:
— Natural language search technology that allows users to search as they speak and find properties quickly
— A comparison engine that allows users to evaluate properties at a glance
— Amazon.com-like suggestion technology that presents users with properties other users with similar preferences have viewed
— Property and open house e-mail listings alerts
— List, map and “gallery” search results display
— Property-to-property driving directions
— An anonymous account function that allows users to save, share and make notes on properties they like
“We deliver on our promise of ‘Home Search Simplified’ because we listened closely to the consumer,” said MRIS CEO David Charron. “Every feature on the site, every pixel of the design, reflects a major investment in research and testing to understand exactly what the user wants and does not want. HomesDatabase.com 2.0 was guided by a belief that if you listen to the consumer, everybody wins.”
MRIS will launch a major advertising and marketing campaign once HomesDatabase.com 2.0 exits beta. A search engine marketing effort to drive consumers to the site will compliment radio, newspaper and online ad buys.
Concludes Adam Cockey of MRIS, “Real estate brokers and agents – and the MLS organizations that serve them – are waking up to the fact that they can define the future of online real estate. We have the listings, we have the technology, and soon, we will have the attention of consumers hungry for a better home search experience.”
For more information, visit http://www.mris.com.