Using Facebook Applications to Sell Homes

By: Carol Freyer

At over 70 million users and with more joining every day, Facebook is one of the most formidable social networking sites on the Net. It started as social networking for Harvard University students, but gradually opened its doors to more and more people until anyone over the age of 13 can have a profile. With its streamlined interface, it is easy to join, create your profile and add contacts.

One of Facebook's unique features are the applications that anyone can create and publish on the site. Applications can range from using vampires and werewolves to "attack" your friends, to the more useful ones like Photos, Groups and Events.

"Neighborhoods" is an application that allows you to pick your city and your neighborhood, find other Facebook users who have added the application and post information and pictures about your local area. It's amusing and fun to check out what people have to say about their neighborhood and get tips on where to shop and eat. Initially, that's why most people add it.

However, Neighborhoods is more than just another social networking application on a social networking site. It is a calculated tool to disseminate information about real estate. Point2 National Listing Service has made a brilliant move by combining entertainment and information about the homes it sells, using people's natural interest in their neighborhoods to motivate them to add this application and thus expose themselves to the little box in the right-hand corner, titled "Real Estate Listings".

Point2 has gone a step farther. You can't add your own listing to Facebook Neighborhoods. In order to get your listing on this application, you must obtain a Point2 NLS website. Point2 has a free sign up for agents, brokers, builders, and property managers. However - and here's where it can be lucrative outside of actually selling property - they charge a monthly fee after the first 6 months. It's only 9.95 at the time of this article, but that's enough to make some money when enough people join for the service. And how did I find all of this out? Through Facebook Neighborhoods, an application I added for fun.

One thing that Neighborhoods succeeds with is the combination of a real estate-related application with real estate listings. Since people who are interested in their neighborhoods may be more likely to be interested in any properties associated with those neighborhoods, Point2 is in an excellent position to market their real estate to an interested buyer.

For the real estate agent with a bit of Web savvy or who knows someone who creates applications for fun, this could be an opportunity to pull in potential clients or the people who know them. Or check out Point2 NLS and see what they have to offer you as a real estate professional. Neighborhoods is a growing application that certainly drew my attention to real estate in my neighborhood that I would have otherwise not seen. Exploring Facebook applications may be a key to real estate marketing on this social network giant.

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