Monday, October 16, 2006

New York Daily News article/StreetEasy

Bruni PR scores a major placement for in today's New York Daily News. Here's an excerpt.

Homework on the Web

Real estate information is just a mouse click away


Vincent Ngai did his homework.

For Vincent Ngai, hiring a real estate broker wasn't enough.

Ngai, a 34-year-old product manager for a financial services company, was recently searching for a studio apartment to buy on the upper East Side of Manhattan. He stumbled on a New York real estate web site,, and started doing some research.

Once Ngai honed in on an apartment he liked, he checked the site to see the listing prices for other units in the same building. He was then able to base his offer on "reliable information," as opposed to strictly using a broker.

"The question is, is a broker working in my best interest?," Ngai said. "This gave me a sense of security. I wasn't in the dark." Want to know about public schools in the neighborhood? Curious about what your neighbor sold his apartment for? How about getting an on-the-spot estimate of what your house is worth?

You could call a broker, but these days more and more people are heading to the Web.

Some 77% of all home buyers first search on the Internet, according to the National Association of Realtors.

New Yorkers are leading the way. Started nine months ago, StreetEasy draws 20,000 visitors a month and is growing 20% a month, though it has yet to score advertisers. Another prominent real estate site with roots here,, gets about 8,000 searches a day, up 44% from last year.

"Everyone in New York lives in an expensive box," said StreetEasy CEO Michael Smith. "They are tracking their real estate just like they track their stocks. Am I in the right apartment? Could I sell my place and move? Can I move from Tribeca to Chelsea?"

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