Crowdsourcing Brings New Marketing Opportunities for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
Technology makes it increasingly easy for you to reach potential real estate clients. But there’s a difference between reaching out to prospective home buyers and sellers and getting their attention. You can tweet and post all day long, but it’s pointless if no one is reading your insightful comments.
Wouldn’t it be nice to start a conversation in a forum where you know everyone came to listen to you?
That’s the idea behind WikiRealty, set to start on a trial basis in May or June.
WikiRealty intends to be the Wikipedia of the real estate world, a place in which real estate professionals can provide the type of local insider information that buyers and sellers crave but have little easy access to online.
WikiRealty, founded by a Florida real estate developer, aims to change that. The idea is to create value for readers — and marketing opportunities for all professionals connected to the real estate industry.
“Getting access to granular location-based information is almost impossible,” Sanjay Kuttemperoor said, according to a March 28 article in Inman News. “I want [WikiRealty] to be the repository for that kind of information.”
If WikiRealty catches on in the way that Wikipedia did, it will give real estate professionals unprecedented opportunity to speak directly to their target audience.
Wikipedia, founded 12 years ago amid much skepticism and scorn, now has more than 488 million unique visitors each month, according to a March 27 article in The New York Times. Only four other sites — Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook — garner more traffic, according to the Times article.
It’s Kuttemperoor’s hope that WikiRealty will become the place for home buyers and sellers who want to really understand their local market. On WikiRealty, you could answer questions such as, “Is that new condo project a good investment or is the developer known for shoddy work?” or “How do I find out if a contractor has the necessary permits to build a house?” or “I’m interested in a house, but it needs a complete redesign — do you know someone reputable?”
Answer questions such as that on WikiRealty and you assert your authority, helping to make you the go-to professional buyers and sellers want. The site could also become a place for home builders and designers to showcase their work.
Early Bird Opportunity
The initial trial for WikiRealty will be limited to Florida, but has the potential to become a national or international crowdsourcing site. If you want to increase your social media network and gain an edge on your competitors, now’s the time to start writing articles or connecting with Kuttemperoor about the possibility of launching a state or local network of WikiRealty.
Success of WikiRealty depends on the quality of the information on the site. Prove yourself a helpful and reliable contributor and your efforts will reap dividends in growing your client base and improving your sales record.
Don’t want to wait for the launch of WikiRealty? Two established real estate sites — Trulia and RealtyTrac — are starting to focus more on delivering local color to their visitors.
In late February, Trulia launched a Real Estate Lab to help personalize its popular listing services. Not all markets are created equally. In San Francisco, for example, home buyers care about a home’s proximity to Whole Foods, Trulia discovered. And the lab welcomes realtors to contribute similar types of local detail about other markets.
RealtyTrac is also experimenting with crowdsourcing, but doesn’t welcome all contributors. It is partnering with a single brokerage or lender in any given local market. The RealtyTrac network is new — it launched in February, taking on Prudential California Realty as a partner in Orange and Riverside counties and Chase International in Reno and Lake Taho, NV. Opportunity remains to become a network partner in other markets across the country.