Technology, Industry

Friday Flash: More listings theater, Realtor.com's iPad app and social overload

Author
Brian Boero
No.
585
Date
04/29/11

The debate around online listings kept going this week. Reasonable opinions have been put forth, yet the whole thing – the syndication angst, the franchise indexing backlash, the IDX hand wringing – feels anachronistic to me. Like a curiously delayed echo.

Wasn’t the franchise indexing rule discussed for nearly two years? Haven’t many of the franchisor sites had competing brokers’ listings on their sites for even longer? Does the grayed-out attribution to the listing brokerage that is no longer there really matter?

I dunno.

Brokers that practiced unsafe syndication for years are just now thinking through the risks?

Yikes.

And I’d like to meet the five people that want real estate listings on Facebook. Or the hungry masses waiting to gobble up IDX feeds via RSS.

What are we doing here, exactly?

Well, mostly, we’re being distracted. And I think those reacting strongly to recent developments are missing some interesting plays.

When we talk through issues with clients – some of whom are brokers, some of whom are franchisors – we always stress that what everyone else is talking about at the moment isn’t necessarily what’s important.

Because, well, everyone else isn’t you.

In the midst of this, Realtor.com released a pretty phenomenal iPad app.

I am particularly enamored with the touch-driven “draw” feature. This was released in the realtor.com iPhone app last year and is even more powerful here. It “takes the search out of search” nicely.

Funny how something this elegant can appear at the same time we’re fighting over duct-tape indexing and sclerotic IDX solutions. The growing gap between the few excellent home search apps and the mass of pre-millennial online real estate experiences is going to create some interesting dynamics in the coming years.

This piece from Steve Rubel heralding the “Validation Era” got at something I’ve been feeling for some time now: while social platforms (most importantly, Facebook) are indisputably worthy of any marketer’s attention, we may have rushed too far down a path of diminishing returns.

Here’s the money quote:

In the Validation Era, intimacy is in and publicness may be out – or at least on the decline. Quality is the new black. What this means that both individuals and businesses will need to increasingly work harder to earn their way in and remain in our stakeholders’ circle of trust.

A couple interesting developments around location data this week…

PlaceIQ launched with a “location intelligence” product that mixes up tons of data, media and anonymous user location information within 100 million local “tiles” in real time to deliver targeted mobile ads. This is interesting, but what is relevant for us is the possibility – indeed likelihood – that this could be reversed. By that I mean, for example, that a person conducting a local search could gauge what the vibe of a place and its people are at a sub-neighborhood level without hopping around a bunch of sites.

SimpleGeo released its database of 20 million places into the public domain. That’s data that not too long ago would have cost a pretty penny or required years of legwork. I’d like to see a real estate company build an app for buyers using this data called “what I need.”

That’s it for now – enjoy the weekend!

[Disclosure: Move, Inc. is a 1000watt Consulting client]