05 March 2007

A property search engine that works?

When you first look at Extate it is not very different from any other search engine. Clean-cut design and a large search box. You almost instantly realise that there is more to this than meets the eye.

Firstly the video functionality, where house owners and property agents can load videos of the property, giving you a much better feel of what the space feels like.
The second and most important aspect is the natural language search capability. Extate makes it so easy to search for properties by just typing a few search words and the results are impressive, to say the least, most of the times. A simple search for a house in Liverpool reveals a range of relevant properties on the fly. You can then refine your search by sales or lettings and choose different price options, number of bedrooms, bathrooms etc.
Not all searches return results, sometimes when drilling down to a specific sub-location in London for example, however this might be improved once there are more properties in the database. Extate works great

The del.icio.us style of tags in combination with 'locations' and 'features' also help to pinpoint certain features that you want for your house or flat in the area of your choice.
Another great incorporation is Google Maps functionality that gives easy access to the property map for evaluation underneath the listing, saving you from navigating a different page.

In the video addition functionality it seems that there is no 'back button' if you don't have a video to add. I might be wrong but I couldn't find something to get out of this screen.

Finally there is a convenient 'save' function that will enable you to store and compare properties that take your fancy.

Overall this is a fantastic property search engine without the clutter of real estate sites, delivering relevant results fast. It might completely change the way you look for property.


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