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2007-06-07 17:41:00

Consumers Have Birds' Eye View of Foreclosure Properties

RealtyTrac® has  announced a powerful new online feature called RealtyTrac Rooftop Views™, which features flyover photos of foreclosure properties nationwide —  allowing users to conveniently see what a property looks like before they approach homeowners in default, bid at public auction or negotiate with foreclosing lenders.

The new RealtyTrac Rooftop View technology matches street addresses from RealtyTrac’s foreclosure database with Microsoft Virtual Earth images to provide up to four photos of each property, zoomed in and cropped to show the property in clear detail — and from multiple angles. In areas where overhead aerial photos are not available, RealtyTrac displays satellite photos.

“With RealtyTrac Rooftop Views, we become the only national foreclosure data service to consistently append photos to properties in all stages of foreclosure, and the only real estate web site to include overhead photos that focus in so closely on specific properties,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “We now have nearly 2 million photos matched with about half a million foreclosure properties nationwide, and we’re adding thousands of new photos every day. That means buyers and investors who use our service now have a significant advantage over other buyers and investors in the market for foreclosures. These photos will give our users a good sense of a property’s layout, condition and neighborhood — key factors in determining value and investment potential — all from the comfort and convenience of their computer.”

Longtime RealtyTrac member Michelle Mangione finds the new RealtyTrac Rooftop Views “very helpful” as she searches properties each day. Mangione buys foreclosure properties, rehabs them and then resells them or holds them as rental properties. The new rooftop view photos and mapping interface have helped her streamline the process of identifying prime investment opportunities. “I love the mapping feature,” she said. “There is really no reason to go to other sites like Google Earth or Zillow now.”

The RealtyTrac Rooftop View photos are the most recent in a series of innovations that RealtyTrac has introduced as part of its online foreclosure marketplace in recent months. Earlier this year it unveiled an integrated map-based search application, allowing users to search for and view foreclosures in a dynamic drag-and-drop mapping interface. The mapping interface includes neighborhood-wide overhead photos, but the new rooftop views center in on a specific property and are conveniently displayed on search results and property detail pages, giving users the ability to view them while also looking at other relevant property information.

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