Top 10 Real Estate Developments of the ’00s: #8

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Our review of the top real estate developments in this decade rolls on with a look at the eighth-ranked entry:


Recall, for a minute, what the Internet was like at the beginning of the ‘00s. Many of today’s most popular sites, including Amazon, Craigslist, and Google, were still trying to establish themselves online. Several others hadn’t even been launched yet. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no LinkedIn, no YouTube, no Wikipedia, no Flickr … you get the picture.

Throughout this decade, though, the Internet got social. New tools were developed that allowed people to find each other, have conversations, and share ideas online. They could form groups based on their line of work, lifestyle, location, and hobbies, or just connect virtually with their existing network of family, friends, and colleagues.

Not surprisingly, many real estate professionals realized these Web platforms offered an incredible array of opportunities for marketing and prospecting, personal development, and transaction assistance. They also realized that others like themselves were flocking to the Internet to try out these new tools, and they started talking to each other via online social networks.

The result of all this is, a term that encompasses the various nodes of real estate-focused networks spread across the Web. It includes practitioner blogs, individual profiles and groups on large social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and real estate-specific social networks like RealTown and Active Rain.

One of the best things about is its diversity. There’s something for everyone here. You can find real estate news and commentary that’s fresh, irreverent, tip-filled, humorous, cutting-edge, interesting, tech-oriented, design-focused, local, national, and idiosyncratic.

It appears to be a long-term trend as well. Many of the developments in real estate on this list may not be major issues in the coming decade, but will probably continue to be very important for the real estate industry in general. We may not be using the same platforms and technologies that we are now, but my sense is that the online networks that comprise will only grow in significance over the next 10 years.

Other Major Real Estate Developments of the Decade

1. Housing Goes Boom and Bust

2. The Fall of Fannie and Freddie

3. Government-Led Recovery

4. The Practitioner Explosion

5. Commercial Crash


7. Record Lows in Mortgage Rates

9. Real Estate on TV

10. Going Green

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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  1. This is so true! Even when I got started in early 2006 the Internet was not as popular as today! I remember posting ads in the local newspaper 🙂 But fortunately soon after that it all “shifted”. It took a while though until sellers realized that. I’m very thankful for this development, it makes information easily accessible for everyone and buyers can virtually be standing in the living room of a home figuring out if their furniture will fit in. Newspapers are finally adjusting too and are publishing through online real estate portals. Another benefit is the fact that this is a big step into “green real estate”, at least on the marketing and advertising side.