Oodle’s Craig Donato on the emerging Social Marketplaces category

Oodle has had its sight set of leveraging the power of social networks to facilitate classified marketplace transactions for some time now. Here’s a short video clip from June 2010 positioning Oodle as a Social Classifieds provider for rental properties:

As the video explains, Oodle also powers Facebook Marketplace. Recently, Oodle announced that they had extended their reach on Facebook Marketplace by providing new features that further leverage the power of Facebook’s social graph, as explained in this TechCrunch article.

In addition, Oodle has recently acquired a social networking service through acquisition of Grouply with an eye towards moving the Social Graph beyond (just) friends. Facebook in turn has acquired Yardsellr – a social buying and selling platform – which TechCrunch describes as “an eBay for Facebook, except without the auctions”.

TechCrunch also had a blog post from November 2010 titled Will the Real “eBay of Social” Please Stand Up?, where they interviewed Oodle CEO Craig Donato about the emerging Social Marketplaces category. This video can be viewed below:

The Social Marketplaces space is really just a segment of the broader Social Commerce space. Look for a lot of innovation – and the consequent winners and losers – in these areas in 2011.

First Week Crucial for Listings

If you’re having trouble settling on a realistic price with sellers before their listing goes online, ask them to consider this: two popular real estate websites have now found that a property’s first week online can make or break the sale.

Online brokerage redfin.com, currently 15th on the Hitwise list of US real estate websites, was the first to come out with this finding, noting that more than half of all listings activated in 2009 failed to sell by August 2010.

“The week that a listing goes on the market, we estimate that it gets nearly four times more visits on real estate websites than it does a month later, which is the earliest that most sellers will consider a price reduction,” redfin.com writes.

redfin.com’s statistics on listing views show a steady decline after the first week, with small spikes in traffic seen after 30 and 60 days, when bargain hunters start scouring the website.

New Zealand market leader realestate.co.nz has a similar story to tell. Its statistics show that a quarter of listing views during a property’s first two months online take place in the first seven days. realestate.co.nz argues that this should prompt agents to include a strong lead photo, plenty of good back-up photos, great listing copy, and a realistic price in the first version of their listing.

“Get these four essentials right and you are ensuring that your property has the greatest chance of grabbing that viewing audience. Get it wrong or decide to change some details after a week and you could already have missed the boat,” realestate.co.nz says.

trulia.com Teams with ListGlobally



US real estate search engine trulia.com is moving into international real estate search through a new partnership with ListGlobally.
ListGlobally was created by propertyportalwatch.com publisher Classified Ad Ventures to allow agents and developers to market their listings to buyers around the world through a network of leading property portals. It involves no contracts or set-up fees, charging a flat fee for for each listing which is active for 90 days.

At the moment, the ListGlobally network includes rightmove.co.uk (UK), the iProperty.com network of portals (Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong), propertyfinder.ae (UAE), 99acres.com (India), immobilienscout24.de (Germany), privateproperty.co.za (South Africa), spiti24.gr (Greece), and domavin.com (Russia) amongst others.

trulia.com says it will be ListGlobally’s exclusive partner in the US and plans to launch the international search feature in the first half of 2011 to address increased consumer interest in the global property market.

“We live in a global marketplace and more and more Americans are expanding their home search beyond US borders,” says Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of trulia.com. “Our users are moving overseas for jobs or they may be interested in second homes and places to retire. We are excited to launch global search capabilities because it is important for us to establish trulia.com as the one-stop shop for the real estate needs of all of our users.”

Portals soon to be added to the ListGlobally network include seloger.com (France), idealista.com (Spain), immobiliare.it (Italy), oferty.net (Poland) and homein.com (Global). The company says it plans to rapidly expand its listings throughout the year.

If any property portal, MLS or software provider is interested in partnering with ListGlobally, please send an email to info@listglobally.com.


January 14, 2011 by Alice Allan

Will Listing Syndicators Adopt Google’s New Original-Source and Syndication-Source Tags? How About IDX Vendors? « FBS Blog

Read/Write Web today reports on an effort by Google to encourage web publishers to specify whether their content is original or syndicated. The problem focused on by Read/Write Web is that of Google News and how Google attributes the author of a story when it crawls the many syndicated copies out there:

The two new tags that Google introduced today are syndication-source and original-source. The syndication-source tag can be used to indicate the location of the original story. The original-source tag should be used to highlight the URL of “the first article to report a story.” A story that uses material from a variety of original sources can include more than one original-source tags to point to these. Both of these tags can also point to the current page URL, so publishers can call attention to their own original reporting. You can find more details for how to implement these tags on your site here.

For now, Google still calls this an experiment is only using the syndication-source tag in its rankings to distinguish among groups of duplicate articles. The original-source is “only being studied” and doesn’t factor into Google’s rankings yet.

Of course, duplicate listing content is a problem in the real estate space as well.  Here are several questions:

  • Should listing syndicators like ThreeWide (now owned Move, Inc.) and Point2 specify the original-source?
  • What should be the original source?
  • Does this also apply to IDX offerings?
  • If IDX listings contain the original-source tag and point it back to the listing broker, should this reduce the need to disclose the broker name on summary reports as apparently is the case now for franchise sites using IDX listings?
  • What other implications or uses do you see for these tags?


RentJunge is Apartment Search Engine with Facebook App


RentJungle is new real estate rental search site.

According to their press release:

Rentjungle.com works much like Google in that it scours the Internet and pulls together apartment listings from a variety of sites. It one ups Google by focusing solely on apartment searches and displaying results either on a simple, interactive map or as a listing with links to Google street views. So you can get an idea of what awaits outside your front window without having to physically visit the place—especially useful if you’re moving to a new city or want to apartment hunt at 2am. (emphasis added)

Here's how easy it is to search on the website. Enter address, city or zip.  Interestingly, you can search for rentals near colleges.  It searches many websites, including Craigslist, Sublet.com,  and Apartments.com.
rent jungle search

Or, you can search it out on Facebook and share it with a friend:

rent jungle

Besides being able to search for apartments in a city, including neighborhoods, it has a Facebook application you can add to your Facebook page.   It lets you search on Facebook for apartments and share the results with your friends.

Rent Jungle has launched an apartment search and sharing application that is first of its kind in the apartment industry. You can  search for apartments using our Facebook Apartment App without even leaving the Facebook site. You can share apartments and invite your friends to comment. Best of all, it is free! Try it! (emphasis added)

It also has a rent comparison tool to see if you are paying too much for rent.  Interesing.

rent comparison

Who's the guy in the Jungle?

Behind the site is Rick Ferris, a real estate broker with over 30 years experience in residential and commercial realty.  He’s sold or leased over $400 million in commercial property and has earned the CoStar Power Broker Award every year since 2002.

I'm going to have to pass Rent Jungle to my son, who's looking for an apartment in Manhattan.

The Art of Social Listing Exposure

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By NikNik · December 13, 2010


If you’re looking for the article that tells you how to blast your listings out to everyone on the Web, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for the article that gives you a list of all the Facebook apps that auto-post listings to your business page or wall…this still isn’t it. But if you want to know how to share your listings in a socially engaging manner on Facebook or even Twitter…then you indeed came to just the right place!

Nearly every time I teach a Facebook class to real estate professionals there is usually one agent who asks (right from the beginning), “How do I post my listings to my wall or tab?” And my reply is most often not the answer, but a question, “If you’re a consumer do you start your search for a home inside Facebook?” (Usual reply: “uh no”) Yep…that’s what I thought. 

So then, why do we continue to see the Facebook Newsfeed and Walls of real estate professionals cluttered with sales pitches for their current listings? And don’t tell me it’s just the Facebook newbies? There are plenty of seasoned super tech-agents still posting “Beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 bath home in a quiet neighborhood, XYZ…call me today for more details or visit 123listing.com” on their personal profiles. Yes, on their Facebook profiles.

First, let’s remind our “salesfriends” of the basics. If you’re not already familiar with Facebook’s Terms of Service then you should know that it’s against their policy to use your Facebook Profile for commercial gain. If you want to post your listings, then do it from a Facebook Business Page. Which brings me to my next point. If you only post listings on your Facebook Page, do you REALLY think that’s going to be enough to keep folks interested or engaged (or “liking” your page)? Moreover, do you REALLY think the consumer is going to say to herself, “Today is the day, I’m ready to look for my dream home so of course I better start at Jenny Smith’s Pleasantville Real Estate page on Facebook!”

I know there’s a chance that someone in your network who’s looking to buy may be online at the moment you post that listing to your Facebook Page Wall, and may even see it in the Newsfeed. And it could be a match made in heaven (or Facebook)…it’s possible. But if that’s your strategy…go ahead, throw that dart and see where it lands.

Now let’s examine what happens when you only post listings on Twitter:


Yep, that sure gives me a reason to respond, follow you and converse.  When real twitter users encounter real estate listings like the example above, one word comes to mind…starts with an “s”…spammer! So you may as well sew a big “s” on your sweater because you’ll be permanently marked that way until you change your ways.

Enough is Enough

It’s time to raise the bar and use the tools the way they’re meant to be utilized.  So if you’re investing your time and effort in Facebook, Twitter and other online communication channels, remember to obey the “nature of the network”.  I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t post your listings altogether.  In fact, go for it. But don’t expect real “engagement” to take place unless you put in some real “effort” to make what you share actually “of interest”. So here are a few strategies you may want to try:

(1) Facebook – Listing Feature Post: Share your listing on your Facebook Page but instead of just regurgitating listing details (like 3 BED, 3 BATH, PRICED REDUCED), why not focus on what makes this home special. Highlight a feature of the home (unique yard, new kitchen, awesome view) or better yet the surrounding neighborhood or community. Give us a peek into the lifestyle…give us a reason to want to learn more, a reason to actually comment.

When you broadcast listing details the only engagement you’ll most likely yield are a couple of “likes”…and that’s usually someone who likes you, not your “NEW LISTING”. Those “likes” are not going to give you enough “FB Edge” to rank well in the Newsfeed…which means you’re counting on your targets visiting your Facebook Page on a regular basis to see if you’ve posted their dream home (that they may or may not be planning to buy right now).  So instead think about creating conversation around an interesting element of your listing with text, a photo, or video…and then link to a landing page where people can choose to get more details. Thank you Nashville & Beyond for this ROCKIN’ example:


And another stellar example from @FloridaSunSales of how to accomplish sharing a “listing feature”, but on Twitter:


(2) Facebook – Social Listing Post: Rather than posting listing features, post HOW you’re getting down to business on any given day. Working with clients, prepping for a showing, waiting at an inspection, or better yet….share the interesting work related occurrences that pop up in your day! Just think about answering “What are you up to?” as if a friend were asking. Thank you Mizzle for this ROCKIN’ example:


(3)  Facebook – Proactive Listing Post: You see a house on Broker’s Tour and immediately think of a certain client, or a client who’s always looking for that “perfect forever home”. Ever considered taking a photo and posting it to the wall or sending it via message to that client. Well, that’s exactly what Shannon King and Heather Elias do for their clients. Not only is this proactive strategy helpful to the potential buyer….but think about all the other people that will notice your initiative! Clearly these ladies have the expertise to match their clients with the home and lifestyle they are looking for! That’s talent…that’s a local market expert! Thank you LocoMusings for this ROCKIN’ example:


(4) Facebook  - Custom Tabs: If you focus your Facebook Business Page on your local market area and aim to deliver relevant info that local consumers care about…well, BRAVO! I’ve seen many agents migrate from personally branded pages to geographic or niche focused pages…which is great! But don’t forget to highlight who’s delivering this helpful content…YOU! So consider adding a custom tab that showcases your expertise and any tools you may want to offer. Your tab can also welcome locals to your page and provide important calls to action: like my page, sign up for my newsletter, search for homes (on your site), etc. This way you can still provide all the relevant local content that keeps targets coming back for more, but also have a place where your LIKERS know to go for YOUR real estate expertise.


At the end of the day, you need a plan of action for gaining listing exposure online. Which most likely starts by (1) optimizing your MLS listing details, (2) creating a landing page to feature the listing on your own online hub (Website/blog), and (3) syndicating your listing to places where consumers actually go to look for real estate (Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com). When it comes to Facebook, Twitter and the like….you need to remember why you are there (i.e. cultivate relationships). And don’t forget the nature of the SOCIAL network you’re using! 


The Likelihood That an Agent Will Sell a Listing? Less Than 50% | Redfin Corporate Blog

August 15, 2010

The Likelihood That an Agent Will Sell a Listing? Less Than 50%

A couple of weeks ago, Redfin engineers got together for a hackathon to prototype features we’d like to see on the site. One team, featuring Jane Nemenman, Jamie DeMichele, Dane Brandon and Llewellyn Botelho, built a Redfin.com widget for each listing that showed the listing agent’s track record: how many listings he had on the market, what his average discount to list price was, how long it had been since he closed a deal.

It was a great idea. But it didn’t all come from the engineers. The original insight started with our San Francisco agents, who like to size up a seller’s agent before deciding how to represent a buyer in a negotiation, on the theory that negotiating strategy is often influenced as much by the listing agent’s state of mind as by her client’s. Some agents are chronic over-pricers, expecting to give part of that away at the negotiation table. Others stand firm. And still others just need to get a deal done.n1058812379 2718 The Likelihood That an Agent Will Sell a Listing? Less Than 50%

Jane, Jamie, Dane and Llewellyn wanted to give everyone this information, so that anyone using Redfin’s site could know what she was up against going into a negotiation. Then we dug into the rules that govern how we use listing data, and decided that using the broker’s database of listings to embarrass brokers publicly wasn’t a fair use of the data.

We’ll still build this into the tools our agents use, so we can help all of our customers know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. We’ll also share with everyone the listing stats for our own agents. In the meantime, what I haven’t been able to stop thinking about was how the engineering team reacted as Jane demonstrated the widget, showing the dismal stats for one seller’s agent after another.

Folks were flabbergasted. At first, people thought it was just one agent having a tough year. But after a few minutes of  clicking from one listing agent to the next, everyone began to recognize the truth: that in 2009 it was very hard for any agent to sell a home.

So when we got back to our day jobs, Jamie DeMichele — the man who also created bracket-tracking software for March Madness — looked up the numbers for all the listings put on the market in 2009, to see how many had sold by August 11, 2010. The answer? About half. He emailed me the table below, which summarizes the success rate for broker-listed properties for sale in seven major markets:

County Name Listings Activated in 2009 # 2009 Listings Sold % 2009 Listings Sold # Still Active % Still Active
Cook County, IL 134,710 44,789 33.3% 7,893 5.9%
Fulton County, GA 27,089 9,941 35.8% 1,329 4.8%
King County, WA 51,252 21,500 42.0% 1,729 3.4%
Los Angeles County, CA 130,326 68,564 52.6% 3,079 2.4%
San Francisco County, CA 9,289 5,259 56.6% 112 1.2%
Maricopa County, AZ 137,647 81,204 59.0% 5,008 3.6%
Suffolk County, MA 15,763 5,682 36.1% 393 2.5%
7-County Average 506,796 236,939 46.8% 19,545 3.9%

We shared the data over the weekend with the Wall Street Journal, which just published its own analysis. As we’ve argued in the past, the basic problem is a stand-off between buyers who expect the world, and sellers who have already taken more losses than they can bear. When no one will compromise, and the banks have been slow to foreclose on overdue mortgages, listings don’t sell.

What does this mean for you if you’re trying to sell a house? Primarily: don’t hire the agent promising the highest price, no matter how flattering that may sound. Hire the agent with the best track record. If 2010 is anything like 2009, odds are that the property won’t sell at all, or at least  not  at the originally promised price.

(Picture of Jamie used with his permission, at his insistence that I use one where he’s wearing cowboy boots)

Posted on Sunday, August 15th, 2010 at 10:20 pm by Glenn Kelman under Redfin in the News, The Science of Real Estate, Uncategorized.

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