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‘Social Networking’ Trend Coming To Real Estate


‘Social Networking’ Major Trend Coming To Real Estate

14 September 2007

Hugely popular ‘social networking’ websites like ‘Myspace.com’ and ‘Youtube.com’ are only the beginning of the global trend on how people worldwide are increasingly connecting with each other in both ‘work and play’, according to Harcourts Chief Technology Office, Jason Wills.

Freshly returned from attending the recent three-day ‘Real Estate Connect’ international technology conference in San Francisco, Mr Wills noted that “all the major world technology players: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and major real estate groups such as NAR, Coldwell Banker, Prudential, and Harcourts, were there to both showcase and absorb the latest cutting edge technology trends.”

“The whole Conference ‘buzz’ was about ‘Web 2.0’ as the evolution of how we now use the internet in both our personal and professional lives, with some strong implications for real estate. Web 2.0 is about using technology for social networking with huge sites like Myspace.com and Youtube.com examples of people connecting and also supplying website content themselves. ‘Blogging’ is enabling people to share ideas across the globe in real time, not just the up and coming ‘Generation Y’ and ‘Generation C’ (the ‘C’ often referring to ‘Connect’) but as a norm across all generations.”

One trend that re-surfaced again from previous Real Estate Connect conferences was ‘transparency’ which Mr Wills said meant real estate websites making as much information as possible available on property such as full location, extensive photos, etc in order to meet what consumers demand today.

“Harcourts (www.harcourts.co.nz) has for some years had the most visited real estate company website in New Zealand, and we have worked to maintain leading edge tools for our clients by launching initiatives which then become common place in the industry.” This includes ‘Personal Notifier’ for those who register to automatically receive an email with any new listing that matches their given criteria. Other firsts include ‘Google Maps’ and being the first real estate group to open an office in the online virtual phenomena of Second Life (www.secondlife.com) which now has nearly 9.5 million residents from around the world.

Mr Wills concluded, “Our websites already have a high level of interactivity, however this Conference reinforced how much ‘social networking’ is influencing the way people interact. We have a number of exciting new ideas to launch in the near future which I look forward to sharing with the public.”
ENDS

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