Web Reviews: Instant Information

Get the answers: Use this reference search site when you want answers fast on more than 1 million topics.

July 1, 2005


Say you want to learn more about a topic like reverse mortgages or eminent domain. Most search engine Web sites will display dozens of links; some may be helpful, but many won’t take you to the answers you’re searching for. Answers.com, on the other hand, delivers the useful information you need in just one click. Search results consist of one page filled with relevant data, which typically includes a definition of the term, historical information, encyclopedia excerpts, and even word origin. The data is gleaned from various authoritative reference sources, which are always cited. It’s great for looking up terms when you’re in a rush, and fun to browse by topic when you have more time to spare. Here are some of the site’s highlights:

  • Answers Directory. If you’re more interested in learning about a general topic than searching by a specific term, you can visit this section of the Web site. Among the 19 general topics listed here are Business, Legal, Places, and Leisure. When you click on a heading, you’re led to a page devoted to that topic, where you can get even more specific by clicking on one of many sub-categories.
  • Today’s Highlights. This page changes every day to spotlight a different person, provide a famous quote, the definition of a word, top news stories, and information about who was born and what happened on this day in history. Read the Today’s Highlights Archive for what appeared on dates significant to your or your clients, perhaps a closing date or an anniversary.
  • Currency. Want to find out how much that Mexican oceanfront villa costs in American dollars? Go to this section of the site and type in the name of the coinage you want to convert, in this case, the Peso. Then scroll down to use the currency converter, which uses up-to-date conversion rates for every country’s currency.
  • Words. There’s no shortage of new acronyms, jargon, and phrases that are used in the real estate profession. When you’re stumped, head to this section of the site to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. Access an online Dictionary or the Misspeller’s Dictionary, which lists the most frequently misspelled words. You can also find Translations in 14 languages, and look up the origins of common Phrases.
  • 1-Click Answers. Download and install this software for free and you’ll be able to Alt-Click on any word that appears on your computer screen and get instant facts. Downloads are available for Windows or Mac programs. For more information, check out the Using 1-Click Answers page, which provides answers to more than 20 frequently asked questions about installing and using the software.
Kelly Quigley

Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.

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