AveryHess, Realtors® Blog

Social Media Geo-Location Services. For Real Estate?

Foursquare. Gowalla. And as of this week, Facebook Places (To learn how to manage Facebook Places on your Facbook account, read this post by Kristin Maynard).

Applications that allow a user to check into a location, blaring their whereabouts to anyone who cares. The fact that there are huge personal security issues involved notwithstanding, the nagging question I can’t seem to shake is: As a Real Estate consumer, do I care?

Do I care if my agent checked into Chipotle? Or the car wash? Movie Theater? Starbucks? Anywhere?

I know my answer, and it’s a resounding NO.

It seems to me that every time something new is unleashed in the Social Media space, a wave of hype and sensationalism hits the Real Estate industry. A tidal wave. Of epic proportions. And Real Estate dives in headfirst, without understanding the practical uses, if any, of the application(s) whose virtues they espouse. It’s almost as if the introduction of a shiny new widget heralds the start of an unofficial Real Estate social media joust. “Facebook! Foursquare! Twitter! I am the best!” “No, I am the best!” the refrain is heard over, and over, and over, and over…

The reality is that most of this stuff has marginal (if any) value to helping Real Estate Professionals do their jobs better or more efficiently.

This post is a bit of a rant, I know.

But let’s not forget, that at its core, Real Estate is not a whimsical game tailor made for social media. Or an outlet for geo-tagging, commenting or expanding one’s reach into the social universe. At its core, Real Estate, and more specifically, an individual purchase or sale is at many times, a seismic, life-changing event involving hundreds of thousands of dollars for the parties involved.

Because of this, I am of the opinion that it is far more important for a Real Estate professional to have a deep well of local real estate knowledge. Down to the neighborhood and street level of markets serviced.

That it is critical for a Real Estate professional to know how to accurately price a property in order to get it sold, something that is far more complicated than the +/- 20%-25% accuracy provided to consumers by on-line valuation models (and as an aside, +/- 25% is not very accurate; one of the most popular on-line valuation models utilized by consumers has my home valued at more than $100,000 over what it could actually sell for).

That it is imperative for a Real Estate professional to have a thorough understanding of contracts, laws and procedures so that they can help navigate the often time complicated journey from contract to settlement.

I think these things are far more important than knowing if my agent is at Dunkin’ Donuts grabbing a cup of coffee, or if they have finally achieved the rank of fictitious mayor of a chain restaurant or retail shop.

You can have all of that nonsense. I will take a solid Real Estate professional and leave the four-squaring to children on the playground with a red bouncy ball and a bit of chalk on the pavement.


Find your Home. Plan Your Life: www.averyhess.com

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