At the Street Fight Summit, speakers regularly mentioned that many local businesses are far behind the curve not just on hyperlocal marketing, but also in terms of a basic Web presence. No industry is better positioned to lead the way than real estate, said WellcomeMat founder Phil Thomas Di Giulio during a panel on Wednesday afternoon.
The panel, “Real Estate: The Original Hyperlocal?” brought together a voices in real estate and real estate-related Internet businesses who are leveraging content to gain a competitive advantage in a competitive landscape: NabeWise CEO Ann Montgomery; Doug Heddings, president of Heddings Property Group; and Jonathan Butler, publisher of Brownstoner.
As real estate listings become increasingly commoditized, real estate agencies can differentiate their listings by providing context through content about surrounding areas, said Montgomery. NabeWise, for example, provides a platform through which users can layer qualitative content over geographic data. Montgomery found that 51 percent of movers cite lack of neighborhood or town information as the hardest part about finding a place to live.
On Brownstoner, the Brooklyn real estate and renovation blog, less than half of the posts are actually about real estate, Butler noted. The site “contextualizes neighborhoods” by providing information you need to know about a community that is relevant to real estate (e.g. is a bike lane closing? Is a new restaurant opening?).
Heddings said he created his blog True Gotham to drive leads to his real estate firm, by offering objective insight into Manhattan’s cutthroat real estate industry. In the place of direct marketing, Headings believes that the blog allows his company to influence the market without bombarding prospects with mail. He credits his honest, “no b.s.” tone about the real estate industry for bringing in some of his best clients. “It gives me instant credibility with my readers,” said Heddings.
Photo Credit: Shana Wittenwyler