REALTOR® Magazine's Best of the Web 2013

Solutions that work: Web sites today are social and mobile to help you take your local market expertise to the next level.

September 18, 2013

Today’s Web sites provide flexible tools and platform playgrounds for business ingenuity. These “best of” recommendations were selected by our editors—with input from readers—for being either superb examples of the online real estate space or tools that promise real efficiency gains. But note: Selection for the article is not an endorsement by NAR.

Best Niche Zine From repurposed buildings to neighborhood news to celebrity deals, Curbed is a fun real estate niche online magazine covering 13 U.S. cities. Keep track of developments in those markets down to the street level.

Best Eye Candy Apartment Therapy isn’t just for apartment dwellers. This site is bubbling with improvement projects sure to catch a buyer’s eye. Tour real life homes for style ideas from updating a dining room to organizing a storage shed. Get 
lost among post after post of design and DIY ideas.

Best Mobile Tool It’s a double win—a tool for your clients and a way to generate leads. Homesnap is a Web site and smartphone app that gives users the public information available on a home simply by taking a picture of it. Founder Guy Wolcott calls it the “Shazam for homes.” Homesnap is also a launching pad for agents to connect with the prospects. Agents don’t pay to be on Homesnap. There’s an application process with minimum requirements of at least five years in the business and 25 completed transactions. “If you’re a new buyer, talking with an agent can be intimidating,” says Pam Carmichael with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Park Ridge, Ill. ”[Homesnap] makes the introduction, and it feels right to the buyers.” Homesnap does charge a 30 percent referral fee for successful transactions, but Carmichael says it’s worth it. She’s closed 28 deals with an average sales price of $230K over the past two years with Homesnap.

Editor's note: Homesnap's featured real estate agent and referral program is changing. The company plans to launch a new agent profile model in January 2014.

Best All-Around Home Improvement Resource Stay in touch with clients by e-mailing them secrets from HouseLogic for maintaining their home and protecting its value. The site is filled with sharable articles, slide shows, and videos on everything home-related—from growing better garden veggies to finding the right home insurance. Plus, HouseLogic’s REALTOR® Content Resource makes it easy to share the site’s mountains of content on your blog or Web site.