1000watt Blog

Writings about real estate, branding, marketing, media and technology from the principals of 1000watt.

Friday Flash: Realtor.com goes “Hypersocial,” real estate television and the plight of the earpiece

Realtor.com released its new suite of “Hypersocial” tools nationwide this week, bringing to fruition its acquisition of SocialBios last summer.

Agents can now collect and promote testimonials gathered on Facebook through both their social connections and on their Realtor.com profile page. The core of the original SocialBios application – mashing up the social graphs of a consumer and an agent to surface commonalities – is also active.

One of Realtor.com’s frequently overlooked assets is its accurate list of every Realtor in America (ok, I know, you can just buy one yourself). Now that list has been enlivened with a bit of social interaction.

Smart move.

Online brokerage Estately went after a “terrestrial” broker in Canada for ripping off its front-end code and interface. Looks like they had a legit claim.

But this dust up reminded me just how much combustible material surrounds companies like Estately that have brokerage licenses in multiple states, significant traffic and access to IDX, but refer the vast majority of their leads off to agents hanging their license with other brokers for a fee.

They exist largely under the radar, given cover by looming DOJ demons, while companies like Redfin, Realtor.com and Zillow take darts from many in the industry.

Don’t strike a match!

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Google filled in some details on its magic glasses project.

In the mid-nineties, a friend told me how we’d soon wear cell phones on our ears. It sounded preposterous.

Today, the Bluetooth earpiece, having moved from cutting edge to gauche, is clung to only by men of a certain age and those with mullets.

So I’m taking this glasses thing seriously. And expect it will come, go, and be replaced by something still more magical.

Check out this new dating app. Once video messaging becomes widespread over 3G/4G, I’m betting we’ll see a video listing presentation app where consumers push the process of selecting an agent out of the living room.

Redfin updated its iPhone and iPad apps to make something like “real estate search TV” possible.

They’ve hooked the apps into Apple’s Airplay API, which makes it possible for those with Apple TVs to throw the search experience on a TV screen wirelessly while controlling it from the iPhone or iPad.

Right now, this benefits a small, geeky crowd. But given all the talk about what’s next for TV, it seems like a wise move.

I believe Redfin’s are the only real estate iOS apps that have this capability, but please let me know in the comments if I have that wrong.

Enjoy the weekend.

[Disclosure: Move, Inc., which operates Realtor.com, is a 1000watt client]

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6 Responses to “Friday Flash: Realtor.com goes “Hypersocial,” real estate television and the plight of the earpiece”

  1. Mike patel says:

    Thanks fornthe info on hyper local tools.. Can realtor.com pull reviews from zillow etc or even from yelp, or they only posy one on Realttor.com.


  2. Galen says:

    Brian, I’m sure there is combustible material around us, but the characterization of sites like Estately as being bizarrely different from other brokerages is totally bogus.

    We help consumers buy homes. We don’t have a perfect cookie cutter business model match with some brokerages, but we are very, very similar. Like every other brokerage under the sun, we work with agents and we earn a commission when consumers buy homes. In some markets we partner with great agents and their brokers in order to handle some of our business. We provide training to our agents and our agents dramatically outperform the norm.

    We’ll probably hire more agents in-house than we do now someday – we’ll make that decision when if we decide it’s the best next step for us provide even better service.

    Perhaps the craziest thing we’re doing is putting money and scale behind making the home buying experience better (and building a brand around it).

  3. Jason Allen-Rouman says:

    Thanks for the post Brian. Interesting stuff.

    Since you consult for Move.com, please tell them to fix SocialBios. It doesn’t allow for hyphenated last names. It’s 2012 for-crissakes.

    • Amit Kulkarni says:

      Jason: Amit from Move/Realtor.com here – I have forwarded your comment along to our customer care team, and they should be reaching out to assist.

  4. Terkel says:

    Nice piece. Although anything on an iPad can be mirrors to the TV, I do it all the time, just mirror the iPad and you’ll see.
    So any asp can do this feat, redfin is not ahead of anyone here…. But they may be the first to market that the combustion engine runs on, well, gas…

  5. Crayton says:

    Informative article. Aside from the app mentioned what are the other alternatives that deliver “real estate search TV” feature?

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