Friday Flash: The Pru deal, aggressive ads and looking under the hood of the neighborhood

As you know by now, Brookfield acquired Prudential Real Estate and Relocation.

It will be interesting to see what Brookfield does here from a digital perspective.

From 1995 to about 2005, Pru made some interesting moves. They bought controversial VOW-based brokerage eRealty, cut an exclusive deal with Yahoo! Real Estate, and had, during the late ‘90’s, a CEO (Steve Ozonian) known for embracing technology.

The last five years have been quieter. The company released Online Seller Advantage a while back, an application that provides detailed listing activity reports. Agents seem to like it. But the brand’s web presence is scattered.

With the long-term naming of Prudential affiliates in question, it will be challenging for Brookfield to remedy this. But I expect they will try.

Check this screen cap from Trulia:

Trulia map advertising

Pretty aggressive. But smart. Big brokers with significant traffic should take note. There’s lots of ways to monetize an audience.

It’s gonna be cool when we can smell online property listings, but first we need to nail the visuals. I’m kinda-sorta looking for a new place and have been reminded just how far we are from covering this fundamental aspect of property marketing.

Check out Gojee, a new recipe site. Click around a bit. It would be nice to browse properties this way, wouldn’t it?

But photos are not just about listings…

Instalook launched this week. It’s an Instagram mashup that displays people and photos around you at any time. Thought about in a home search context, this app lets you “look under the hood” of a neighborhood in a way you can’t quite achieve with data.

Yes, the photos are not real estate related, and that’s exactly the point. Buyers look for a home of course, but, more importantly, they are looking for a place to live. This app delivers a slice of life.

Here’s a slice near me right now:

Instalook screen capture

If you have a developer, check out Instagram’s API. It’s fun thinking about the possibilities.

Have a great weekend!