Kayak for Real Estate? – Roost Launches Real Estate Metasearch, an anti-social network


More innovation in the online real estate business.  A team from TotalMove and VacationSpot (acquired by Expedia) have partnered with the General Catalyst’s Joel Cutler, the venture capitalist behind Kayak.com, to create a new twist on real estate search.  Roost.com which publicly announced today is enabling consumers to get all the listings in a market from the MLS and use Kayak-like refinement and tool bars to search and sort the listings.  They get paid by real estate agents and real estate brokers when a consumer clicks on the link to get more information on a listing.  Great UI and smart business model that should be very scalable with relatively low incremental cost.  CEO Alex Chang is really smart about the real estate industry and how they are approaching partnerships with the MLS and brokers.

What’s Roost’s competitive advantage: NO BS!  Roost provides consumers with all the listings and is all about getting consumers to the listings they want as fast as possible.  Incredible!  Rather than using community and content like Zillow and Trulia to get people to browse to increase pagviews, the Roost model is the opposite – give homebuyers and sellers what they want as fast as possible and try to monetize that relationship.  Brilliant!

Roost launched today in a number of markets – Seattle, San Francisco and New York were not among the launch markets.  They will be challenged from a public perception basis of not being “nationwide”, but that is manageable.  Website is a bit slow today, but that could be due to traffic or the fact that they are still working out some of the kinks. 

Two thumbs up on the whole!