Finding the best Location Based Service App for you

Now that I’ve been at Reachwerks interning, I’ve had to learn the ropes and terminology. For my first assignment I was to find out about Location Based Services (LBS) and how they can be used in the real estate world. Now this isn’t a brand new tool, in fact it’s been around nearly three years or so but the idea is now starting to take shape. Some real estate agencies are using various popular LBS sites and apps, others are creating their own app. Here is a quick over view of the most well known ways of getting your listings out there.

1. Foursquare

Foursquare is possibly the most well known of all the LBS sites out there, and with a user base boasting in the millions, it’s easy to see why real estate agencies have jumped at the chance to join the community!  Foursquare allows you to create a page, where users can follow your posts of your listings; add them to their “To-Do” lists. You can also write up brief descriptions, and give some tips of what to check out whilst in the area of this specific site. Most of all creating a page is free of charge, plus you can reward your followers with a “badge” (a memento after completing a certain list of places).

2. Gowalla

This site is definitely one of the cooler sites to use. Although not as large of a user base as Foursquare, it definitely is a contender. You can create your place of business on the site, become an interactive user. You can also create listings, as “Trips” and users can earn “Pins” as they collect stamps of all the places you’ve listed. You can create custom pins for user to earn, but unfortunately they don’t come cheap. Although in my opinion, this site does seem to be geared more towards backpackers or people travelling.

3. SCVNGR

Certainly one of the lesser known sites, but one of the more interesting ones. As a user, just like any other site you can check in. However with this site, once you check in, a list of tips and things to do display as a check list. These are things that previous users have added to do whilst checked in. Some as simple as taking a picture and uploading it, others can be as obscure as finding something that a previous user had left there, making it truly an interactive SCVNGR hunt. Now for someone in the real estate world, this check in tips can work to your advantage in a way as you can list some of the nicer parts of the listing to make sure a potential buyer sees all the place has to offer. This can go as far as taking a picture of the view or going down to the nearest grocery store.

4. Personalised

These personalised apps allow the user to see properties that are available around them or scroll around the map to see what other areas have available listings. A lot also have filter options, so you can specify buy or rent, price range and other criteria’s. However how great these are, they can prove to be very costly and do take a lot of maintenance to keep your listings up to date.

For the real estate world these location based social networks should be a no-brainer.  Setup your profile(s), claim your business, and find ways to interact with potential clients and users around you.  What a great opportunity to showcase your neck of the woods, what you know about it and what makes it a great place to live!

The Top Four Blogging Platforms for Property Managers

Why should you be blogging?  First, it’s a great way to keep fresh content on your website (search engines love fresh content). Second, it’s the quickest and cheapest way to communicate your news or advice to a broad group of people. Third, what other work task lets you be a hard-hitting investigative journalist for a few hours?  OK, maybe soft-hitting.

If you haven’t started blogging yet, here are the top platforms that we recommend for property managers:

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1. Tumblr
This is the easiest and most fun blogging platform out there.  Instead of being geared towards long articles of text, Tumblr gives equal weight to different types of short posts: photos, links, quotes, chat conversations, audio, video AND text.  It makes it super easy to post more interesting, user friendly content that people will want to read or look through.

How Properties Can Use It:   Attract renters with a fun Tumblr blog showcasing your property. Put photos of your vacant units, a video walk-through or virtual tour, then an article about a featured neighborhood hot spot.

2. WordPress
Wordpress offers more than just blogs.  It’s a full content management system, and savvy developers can build an entire website off its platform.  There are gobs of tools and plugins out there that make it easy for you to manage anything you need in your website straight from WordPress.

How Properties Can Use It:   Have your web development team build a quick WordPress website for your property. You can have a photo gallery, your Twitter feed, contact us page, maintenance submission form and more.  Now it’s easy peasy to make updates to your site.

3. Blogger
Blogger was a popular platform in the early days of blogging, and in 2003 Google snapped it up into its pile of ever-growing products.  If you already have a Google account, you can start your own blog in less than a minute for free.

How Properties Can Use It:   Since it’s so easy to set up and use, create a few Blogger blogs with different focuses – say, one for current tenants about updates or news from the property, and one for potential tenants about why someone should live at your property.

4. Posterous
If you can email, you can Posterous.  All you need to do to create a new blog post is to send an email to post@posterous.com from the email account you signed up from. You can also have a private Posterous group so that you can share photos, text, videos and links with a select few people.

How Properties Can Use It:   Set up a private Posterous Group for your property staff.  You can then brainstorm on ideas, share links and more without your competition knowing what you’re up to.

 

Need help deciding?  Or need help with your social media campaign in general?  Give us a call at (206) 284-2441 or email interact@reachwerks.com!