Generally speaking, most builders, salespeople, and real estate brokers I speak with agree that the last thing the Internet needs is another home search directory. Each time a new directory is introduced, it creates a new burden for the builder (focus, monitoring, plus a new SEO competitor).
Ask a consumer if the Internet needs another directory. I’d wager some coin that most of them say they don’t care – because they all have the same data anyway. You may think that your website does the best job of showing the photos, square footage, bedrooms, baths, and all the other typical data points. It doesn’t really matter. Its all the same data.
Why not go farther than the data? Why not try to answer the obvious question a homebuyer is asking themselves when they look at a listing – “What’s it like to live here?”
What if an new home salesperson or an agent chose to create a “social listing” – A day in the life of 123 Main Street to answer the question on the mind of the shopper. What kind of things would this social listing include?
A Photo Gallery (with more than photos of rooms):
– What’s the sunrise look like from the front porch
– What’s the sunrise look like from the Owners’ suite
– What’s the local grocery store look like
– Pool (community or private)
– Photo of the smoking grille cooking up lunch
A Video Gallery:
– Video the walk to the mailbox
– Walkable environment? Video the walk to the coffee shop
– Local nightlife
– Video the activity outside from the front porch
– What’s it like after dark? Video the evening air to show peace and quiet
YOUR (not just others’) Yelp.com reviews:
– Your honest review of a local restaurant or two
– Your honest review of a local nightlife spot
– Your honest review of a local grocery store
– Your honest review of the closest coffee shop
– Link to any local businesses (or businesses’ specials) of Foursquare.
Google Street View:
– Embed the Google Street view of the home
While I think the data is important (bedrooms, baths, square footage, etc) its not a differentiator to your listing or to your website. Everyone has those details. If you want to be different, be different in a helpful way.