This post argues that an online real estate search leader has not emerged since 2005, given that the recent Inman Connect attendees “still talked about them last week as if they were launched yesterday.” Interesting argument. But consider the Inman audience: real estate centric folks like sales associates, consultants, media, pundits, etc. Where were the consumers at Inman Connect? On Trulia it seems; they’re now one of the top 10 most visited real estate websites according to ComScore. Data and results tell a story better than anything spun at a conference. Consumer-focused product development processes combined with talented leadership combined with strategic decisions regarding raising equity combined with a positive entrepreneurial environment equates to proven success (pages nine and 28 of this paper delineates a correlation between optimism and success). Can any one entity knock off the big dog REALTOR.com? If I were betting, I’d double up on Trulia.
Many posts have been written on this paper, Using Prediction Markets to Track Information Flows: Evidence from Google. What’s interesting is the influence of proximity on predictive markets. According to the paper, sharing an office had the highest influence (as opposed, for instance, communicating exclusively via email) and part of cultivating an innovative culture is to optimize physical locations to promote idea sharing, collaboration, etc. Microsoft also experimented with predictive markets to anticipate product deliverables. Innovative real estate firms could employ similar tactics amongst their real estate agent base to predict market changes, buyer behavior respective to such, and use these insights to better manage operations.
When bloggers attack, has some great tips on how to respond to blogger swarm attacks. Many real estate firms are leery of bloggers and allowing their agents to blog; this post has some thought-provoking ideas on how to respond.
Interview with Jordan Behan explains how Web2.0 consumers are more informed in real estate search.
Another great post by MineThatData describes the difference basic differences between web analytics and multichannel analysis. The latter analysis lends itself to looking at the life time value of real estate consumers under the multi-generational marketing rubric rather than as one-off buyers that are forgotten as soon as a deal closes.
Here is a great post on how to build / support brands using Web 2.0 tools.
Engagement is the heart of any website. Occam’s Razor has an excellent post on the issues pertaining to creating a viable engagement metric or index.
(repost of 10/07/2007 entry)