A few weeks back, we asked is there room for social in search?
The jury is probably still out on that question.
However, it is clear that that the increasingly social nature of the web will soon impact real estate search activity by aiding collaboration among what I call micro networks. A micro network could be made up of a husband and wife. It may include trusted friends, or one’s Realtor. It’s probably a half-dozen people, tops.
We are seeing more tools emerge that allow small groups of people to work through an online real estate experience togetherwithout a blizzard of emails with subject lines like “Check this one out.”
Dwellicious, built by the team at W&R Studios, kicked things off a couple years ago. The Dwellicious browser bookmarklet helps multiple parties share and comment on properties. It’s a snap to use and just scratched the surface of the possibility here.
ListingBook goes deeper with a system for agent/consumer collaboration in a VOW environment. It mainlines MLS data, which is good, but plays in a walled garden with a nasty UI.
The latest entry into the field is Buyfolio. The app, which launched this week, works with brokers and homebuyers to facilitate the sharing and sorting of properties. Using a drag-and-drop interface, users can easily share what they like, what they don’t like, and the reasons why.
Out of the box Buyfolio comes with most of the active listings in the market – and because it’s focused on the New York City market it doesn’t need MLS or IDX access to do this.
Buyfolio was built by developer Matt Daimler, who previously built SeatGuru.com, a site he sold to TripAdvisor in 2007.
The app is very well executed and perfectly illustrates how you can facilitate sharing within micro networks in the real estate process.
As users become more and more comfortable sharing content online, properties and property searches seem to be a natural follow-on. Our current tools, which are largely email based, feel increasingly limited.
A controlled, collaborative environment that serves micro networks is what’s needed.
I think there’s big opportunity there.