Location, location, location. A Seattle real-estate-listing service Officespace.com kicked off this week a new map-based search capability...

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Location, location, location. A Seattle real-estate-listing service Officespace.com kicked off this week a new map-based search capability as part of a redesigned Web site.


The new search engine lets Internet visitors zoom in on a city or a neighborhood where they might want to locate a business and see what sort of space is available.


Using the map, they can do a virtual walk around a block, pulling up information about each building.


“This is the tip of the iceberg,” said Officespace.com President John Suryan. “The next version will offer satellite imagery.”


Maps have become de rigueur on the Web as a way to market real estate. Many residential real-estate brokerages have recently added sophisticated mapping technology into their sites. The large number of Web users with fast Internet connections is making possible ever more elaborate efforts.


One of the slickest out there is Redfin.com, which lets people search King County home listings by zooming in and out from a satellite picture so detailed it shows cars in driveways (though not in real time — the images date several years).


Officespace.com, started nearly 10 years ago by Suryan and Kip Spencer, two former commercial real-estate brokers, works with all area brokerages to compile listings of commercial, retail and industrial space.


The company, which operates in seven cities, makes money by charging for featured property listings and also sells enhanced statistical data about the commercial real-estate market.


The site lets buyers and sellers compare rents and listings by landlord, location or type of building. Officespace also explains how leasing works and recently added a moving guide for small business.


The idea, Suryan said, is to help renters gain more sophistication about the market before they start negotiating their lease.


“Our objective long term is to increase the velocity of real-estate transactions because you’ll have more educated users,” Suryan said.


Tom Boyer: 206-464-2923 or tboyer@seattletimes.com