Google is obviously very focused on local broadly but also some key verticals within the segment. One of those is real estate.
There were a number of sources recently that asserted Google was interested in buying Trulia. (Maybe it still will.)
However at the Inman Real Estate Connect show in New York, Google’s Sam Sebastian reportedly said the following: “We’re actively looking to acquire one to two small real estate companies a month.”
Here are the top US real estate sites according to Hitwise:
On this list are many sites that Google can’t buy because they’re not independent. For example, Rent.com is eBay, ServiceMagic is IAC and so on.
My guess is that Google will buy sites that offer rich functionality, have established relationships with MLS services, are already established marketing platforms for brokers/agents and/or have relatively comprehensive hooks into rental listings. Roost.com, Redfin and HotPads (not on the list above) could well be candidates. I’m gonna bet money that Roost is one that’s acquired fairly soon.
There might also be an acquisition or two specifically in the mobile space around real estate.