Estately Kicks RE Search Up a Notch

Locally-based real estate search site Estately kicked their technology up another notch yesterday, with the addition of past home sales information to every listing, as well as the expansion into Chicago and Long Island, New York.

I’ve been consistently impressed with how much Estately founder Galen Ward has been able to do on a shoestring budget with a minimal staff. Especially with the new addition of past sales, Estately’s search technology has been keeping toe to toe with the larger, better-funded Redfin.

Since Redfin and Estately are (IMO) the top two real estate search websites in terms of technological feature sets, here’s a comparison chart of some of the features of each site, to visualize how they compare:

  Redfin Estately
Search by City, Neighborhood, Zip X X
Search raw land X  
Keyword Search   X
Aerial View, Street View X X
Bird’s Eye view X  
Past Sales X X
Days on Market X X
Cumulative DOM X  
Mapped Schools, Parks, Transit   X
Similar Homes Nearby X X
Neighborhood Stats X X
Shareable Saved Properties List   X
Share Notes on Properties   X

One of the coolest features offered by Estately is probably the shareable saved properties list. Just like Redfin, you can save a list of favorites. But unlike Refin, Estately allows you to share your favorites list with friends, or make the entire list public. For example, here’s mine.

Even more nifty is the ability to share your notes on listings with anyone on your Estately “friends list.” If anyone is interested in sharing notes and favorites with me and other Seattle Bubble readers, you can add Seattle Bubble as a friend here. Once we build up a few friends, you can click on “Other’s Properties” an “Other’s Notes” to see what everyone else is saving and sharing.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    I’d be interested in what you and your readers think about the other big news in local real estate search – the redesign of

    I find it interesting that this hasn’t been mentioned here when it seems to be the talk of the rest of the real estate world.

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    Personally, the Windermere redesign feels like a giant step backward to me. The biggest annoyance is that when I type a city, neighborhood, or zip code into their big friendly search box, all it does is center the map on that area and zoom way in.

    It doesn’t draw an outline of that [city/neighborhood/zip], it doesn’t show me all the homes in that [city/neighborhood/zip], it just plops the map down and leaves me to fend for myself.

    It’s Fisher-Price RE Search. Bleh.

  3. 3

    Redfin does have the option of mapping schools and our mapping provider, Microsoft Virtual Earth, shows parks and major transit stops (BART, etc.). Unfortunately they don’t have bus stops and we do not provide a search by transit feature like Estately.

    I agree that Estately’s share feature is pretty cool. I’m also a fan of their keyword search and use that to subscribe to a RSS feed for lofts. Their neighborhood overview on their details page is also pretty nice.

    Where I think we edge out Estately, for now, is our neighborhood pages with stats & trends, Bird’s Eye view on the details page and our comprehensive property history so you can track re-listings.

    I think the other good MLS powered search site out there is ZipRealty but their registration policy may turn some away.

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    Good points, Matt. I’ll add a few more lines to the comparison chart.

  5. 5
    brettro says:

    i really value redfin’s Cum. DOM. Those properties that are taken off and relisted like clockwork annoyed the hell out of me.
    also, not sure if estately does this but redfin allows searching by price changes in the last x days.

  6. 6
    Galen says:

    Redfin does show transit stops if you zoom in on the map, but Estately also has transit search, so you can search for listings along the light rail alignment in Seattle for instance (research shows that homes nearby, but not next to transit stops go up in value when lines are completed).

    I agree with Matt – our neighborhood / city stats and trends suck right now. We are addressing that issue.

    I’m glad you picked up on the publicly viewable saved property pages – we’ve done a really bad job of promoting those.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Nice job on the site, Galen. That’s a realy valuable resource for us real estate watchers and/or future buyers.

  9. 9
    WaileaKid says:

    Ok Estately is nice too but they use google maps for mapping which sometimes sucks at looking up addresses. There have been a number of cases where I couldn’t locate the property so I gave using it up and went to redfin instead.

    Case in point: 9912 187th Ct NE redmond

    Even windermere can look it up for me!!!

  10. 10
    Galen says:

    WaileaKid – We’ll look into making our geocoding more robust. The vast majority of properties on our site are geocoded correctly, but you found one we couldn’t do. Good feedback!

  11. 11
    mukoh says:

    Too bad Redfin is biting its last dollars to even survive through next few months or even a year.

  12. 12
    jon says:

    oops, cancel this

  13. 13
    dh says:

    I hadn’t heard of Estately, so I just did a quick test drive…

    Some things not mentioned in your list, that are of most value to me and that I’m quite happy Redfin has

    1) Sorting by $/sf (not new)
    2) Filter search by “Price Drops” in last X days (recently added)

    [Redfin folks reading]: if you could make #1 above a filter in addition to “sort” that would be an additional benefit

    These are the two most valuable functionality features IMHO

  14. 14
    Galen says:

    dh – we’ve considered search by price drops in last X days, but is it really that useful? People are accepting offers for significantly less than asking price all over – if you wait until the price hits your target, you’ll be too late.

  15. 15
    See Eliamienti says:

    i am in LOVE with estately’s keyword search. last time i tried to find a house with moorage (“moorage” “mooring buoy” etc) estately was the only animal in the forest that could climb that tree.

  16. 16
    David Losh says:

    This is great, I’m very glad you found Estately, or they found you.

    The biggest difference to me is the community reputation of Estately. They are an agent friendly web site with some roots in lead generation, but that’s not the focus. The technology is unsurpassed.

  17. 17
    ElPolloLoco says:

    Gorgeous web design work, guys… like an Apple-produced answer to Redfin.

  18. 18
    Matthew says:

    Wow, looks nice. A query for my zip code (98121) produces 189 unfiltered results on Estately and 207 on Redfin. What is causing the difference?

  19. 19
    The Tim says:

    Matthew @ 18,

    I’m guessing the difference might be Redfin’s inclusion of Multi-Family, Land, FSBO, and Bank-listed foreclosures, many of which they do not actually provide service for. Estately lists just SFH and Condos from the MLS.

    But Galen (Estately) and/or Matt (Redfin) could speak to that better than I could.

  20. 20
    biliruben says:

    I’ve really wanted to like/use Estately, but it’s just been too inconsistent and not timely enough for my needs.

    Great gizmos, but ya got to get the basics right.

  21. 21

    […] time to remind you of the nifty features sported by Estately’s real estate search technology. Head over to this post for a good roundup of the features of the top two real estate search sites Redfin and Estately. The […]

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