Roost’s Bullish on Real Estate Search

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A San Francisco startup today has jumped into the online real estate advertising and marketing fray, joining Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo Real Estate, ZipRealty, RealtyTrac, Cyberhomes, HouseFront, and others.

“What are you drinking?” ClickZ asked Roost CEO Alex Chang. “Lots of coffee,” Chang replied, laughing.

With the housing market in turmoil, why another real estate site now? Turning serious, Chang says Roost’s a search engine for homes, similar to a meta search engine for a vertical such as travel. No coincidence, then, travel site Kayak.com directors Greg Slyngstad and Joel Cutler sit on Roost’s board.

Under its business model, Roost charges on a cost per click (CPC) basis for traffic sent to brokers’ and agents’ sites. He declines to disclose the company’s rates, but says rates will vary by market based on demand.

“Roost is totally focused on search. The actual search experience is cleaner and faster [than other sites]. We’re not trying to create content. We’re great at search and delivering high quality traffic to our partners on a CPC basis,” he says.

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