Friday Flash: Thoughts from a quiet big week

A short Flash this week. Yes, Facebook went public, and the NAR Mid-Year meetings happened in DC, but where I sat things were pretty quiet.

So I’ll offer up just a few things that got me thinking as they streamed by…

The updated Bing is worth a close look. Make sure to login with your Facebook account.

Whereas the “Google plus your world” mess feels like all my loose acquaintances have invited themselves over for dinner on a weeknight, Bing’s “search with friends” feature allows me to interact with them only when I want to. They’re there in a little drawer I can pull out if I want to go beyond the blue links.

This would be an interesting angle for social integrations with home search. Zillow’s play here, Neighborhood Advice, is pretty amazing, but I’m not sure I need to see that my sister’s insurance agent checked-in to my neighborhood sushi place by default on a search results page.

I want to hide my connections while searching homes until I decide I really need them.

I hate to quote our own blog posts, but the comments from Buyfolio’s Susan Daimler in her interview with Joel are really worth thinking about.

This, for example:

“If you looked at airline tickets on, would you want a United rep calling you 5 minutes later – to ask you again, where and when you wanted to go? Yet, that’s the first instinct of a real estate agent who gets an online lead: I’ve got to call him/her. The industry needs to embrace that great customer service can be delivered in the online domain and that is actually what many homebuyers want. And no, we’re not talking about emails.”

There’s a big opportunity – and, really, an imperative – here. Buyfolio is chasing it from a buyer/agent collaboration angle; DreamPro (which launched just last week) is doing it with a focus on mobile; Cartavi is on it with a document management focus.

I think there’s room for plenty more.

I spent time digging deeply into analytics with a couple big brokers this week. This reminded me of something that is frequently missed when discussing listings, distribution and lead-gen:

Leads don’t just lead to business for a broker, but in many cases they are a business for a broker.

If you think broker angst about syndication is irrational or retrograde, you’re missing this reality.

I’m thinking there’s a listing feedback app in here somewhere. Seriously.

Enjoy the weekend.