We're t-minus 14 days and counting until Craigslist begins charging NYC brokers $10 a pop for rental listings. The death knell for the CL? Nahhh, of course not. Still, with GoogleBase and Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Live Expo (né Fremont), everyone wants to become the new centralized home for listings on the web.
But what if the future of listings isn't centralized at all? That's the premise behind an intriguing new startup called Edgeio that's set to launch later this month. Here's the idea:
The way Edgeio works is that bloggers would post items they want to sell right on their blogs, tagging them with the word "listing" (and eventually other descriptive tags). Then, Edgeio will pluck them as it constantly crawls millions of blogs looking for the "listing" tag and index them on Edgeio.com. Also, Edgeio sends a trackback to the blog, providing a way for the blogger to go to Edgeio and modify the listing, adding other tags such as "autos" and other data that will further help the listing appeal to potential buyers. Buyers get some interesting tools on Edgeio, too. You can search by geography, naturally. In fact, there's a cool slider that lets you zero in on a particular city. If there aren't enough listings, you can move the slider to a wider geographic area... Ultimately, buyers--if they choose to register as Edgeio members--can contact the seller directly by email.
If Edgeio is going to have legs in the real estate space beyond For Sale By Owner listings, it'll have to find a way to gather listings from brokers. Perhaps in that case, agencies currently having "all our agents... tirelessly posting to take advantage of the free ads" on Craigslist can post the ads instead on their spiffy new blogs. Time will tell, but Edgeio is one to watch closely.
· Edgeio [edgeio.com]
· Edgeio Edges Towards Launch [Business Week's Tech Beat]
· A Very Early Look at Edgeio [TechCrunch]
· Craigslist to Charge Brokers $10 Per Ad [HH Realty Group Blog]