New Experimental Property Search Engine

House hunters searching online for property can now benefit from a new search engine which uses text entries to find the most suitable match rather than traditional drop-down filter menus. Gartoo, which launches today, is based on ‘semantic search’ – advanced technology which disseminates search according to words entered by the user to find the most accurate fit.

Visitors to can surf data sourced from most leading UK property portals and drawn from the extensive database belonging to its sister company, Europe-wide property search site Nestoria.

For example, people looking to buy or rent a property can explore using key word searches on Gartoo, such as “easy access Heathrow and Gatwick” or “in need of renovation Kent”. Semantic search creates a tailored property search experience. The extremely simple interface of the search engine and the size and quality of its database make Gartoo unique, Lokku Ltd, the company behind the engine, argues.

“Gartoo is solely about property search, so visitors only see what they’re actually interested in,” said Lokku’s marketing director, Rubén Martínez. “Full text search capabilities are not new in property search, but our specially-developed search technology will take users deeper into available data than previously possible. We hope to learn exactly what our users expect from the engine and how best adapt to the semantic complexities of their queries.”

According to comScore, real estate sites received 7.4 million unique visitors out of a total UK online audience of 36.9 million in May 2009.

Clive Longbottom of analyst group Quocirca said that in an increasingly sophisticated online market, a property search engine based on intelligent semantic search on large databases could be an attractive proposition for house hunters.

“As the presence of houses for sale and rent online improves in quality, the need to be able to more efficiently search for properties that meet a person’s needs becomes more important,” he said. “Rather than filling in reams of tick-boxes across many sites, the capability to input natural language searches in a single site that will then aggregate possible matches will be of interest to many.”

About Gartoo
Gartoo UK is a property search engine launched in 2009. It is backed by Lokku Labs, the experimenting platform of London-based Internet search specialist, Lokku Ltd, which also owns property search brand Nestoria across Europe.

The search engine aggregates hundreds of thousands of properties on offer in the UK. The aim of the new engine is to allow precise searches to online home hunters, covering virtually every street, borough and town in the UK.

The mission of Gartoo consists in experimenting with all available Internet technologies, including natural language processing and usability, to try to understand how users can find their homes for sale or to rent efficiently and quickly.

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