The folks at the Webby Awards -- given to the best of the best on the Internet every year -- have announced their 2011 picks of what they consider excellent sites in the real estate market. Three of the seven honorees in this category cater to a fairly wide audience while the rest focus on niche markets, such as New York City apartment seekers.
More than 10,000 entries were considered this year for categories, including news, government and health. Fewer than 10 percent were named honorees, according to the site, and the judges included celebrities such as Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Martha Stewart.
Here are the picks in real estate. Give them a spin and let us know what you think:
About: It was the sole nationwide corporate company to be named an "honoree" in the real estate category. Coldwell Banker, which serves both the residential and commercial sectors, relaunched its site in May with more tools "because the consumer is demanding it," said David Siroty, the company's vice president of communications. Those new features included BlueScapes, which allow users to give a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" of landscapes to help them visualize what they want in a home and community. Images include snowmobiles and taxicabs. After giving their assessments, users can enter a query and the technology will find homes that may be a match.
The site: www.coldwellbanker.com
About: The web app that lets you see apartments on a Google map. In the left-hand box, you can filter and get rid of listings, which are from Craigslist and other sources such as Apartments.com. After searching, PadMapper.com gives users information about the picks. From the website's "About" section: "When I was hunting for an apartment, I found myself reading through lots of ads that each had some fatal flaw (usually related to location) which was really time-consuming to find for each one."
The site: www.padmapper.com
About: The site looks through numerous websites to filter out only rentals in the places you care about. The site helps would-be renters and managers.
The site: www.rentjungle.com
About: This honoree caters to New York apartment hunters. What sets it apart is its ability to let consumers search by specific details including sustainability and big windows.
The site: snapdigs.com
About: This is another site for New Yorkers looking to buy or rent. An interesting feature: Users can search recorded sales data that comes straight from New York City's Department of Finance in an easy-to-understand format, according to the company's website.
The site: streeteasy.com
About: This honoree is a marketing site for Savoye, urban living spaces in Addison, Texas. The site gives people an idea of the floor plans and the neighborhood around it, including nearby coffeeshops.
The site: www.savoyeaddison.com
Aboutd: It's a property site for would-be renters and homebuyers in the U.K. One of the site's hallmark's is AskMe!, which lets users enter questions, which are answered by real estate pros and locals.
The site: www.zoopla.co.uk
Want to see the other Webby honorees, http://www.webbyawards.com/webbys/current_honorees.php?season=15.
Lily Leung: (619)293-1719; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @LilyShumLeung