Move, Inc. acquires SocialBios, expands the scope of online lead generation

Move, Inc. has acquired SocialBios, a company that helps Realtors get referrals and leads by connecting their social graphs with those of consumers.
SocialBios launched last summer as Peep.ly and it really wowed us. This app had managed to do something truly remarkable: it made the tentacular curls of the average agent’s online activity worth something to their business.
Moreover, the app built off of a fact of offline life well known to anyone in real estate: commonality aids conversion.
In other words, it made sense.

It works something like this:
I go to a brokerage website. I click on “agents.” I am presented with the usual list of headshots and phone numbers, but if I log into the page with my Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Foursqaure account, I see a lot more. Connections. Friends in common. Shared interests. An affinity for the same sorts of restaurants.
Like barbs on a hook, one of these social signals just might catch me.
Agent Larry knows my cousin Mark; Agent Lisa went to the University of Oregon when I was there; Agent Tim likes snowboarding, just like me.
This stuff may not be the deciding factor in my Realtor choice, but within a process that seems to resist purely rational calculations, it certainly plays a part.
People, not just properties, generate leads online
This is a smart play by Move. It immediately adds value to the “find a Realtor” section of Realtor.com and gives the company a compelling social platform to push out to agents and brokers for use on their own sites.
More broadly, it expands the online lead generating sweet spot beyond properties to encompass agents themselves.
I know that sounds funny, but think about it: right now, the vast majority of online leads are routed through a property detail page – either to the listing agent, or, on many big online real estate sites, to an array of other agents who have bought placement on someone else’s listing.
They get the lead because they are bolted onto the property.
SocialBios makes the agent listing, separate an apart from a property listing, a more potent point of engagement and conversion on a real estate website.
I look forward to seeing how that plays out.
[Disclosure: Move, Inc. is a 1000watt Consulting client]