OK I know there is already something like this for real estate boxes using IR technology, but check this out:
You can read more on their blog post, but they aren’t giving away any big secrets. They don’t really need to. Anyone with a soldering iron, a bit of Python programming and a cell phone could make this happen in an afternoon. Be sure to follow @istrategylabs on Twitter (I do).
So what is this exactly? How do I check-in with my cell phone? What is that. It’s Foursquare.
If you haven’t heard of FourSquare it”s a location based game that you play using your mobile phone (iPhone, Android, or other smartphone). Businesses and locations have check-ins, and users can only check in when they are actually, physcially at the location. There is also the ability to add tips to each location – stuff like “this restaurant has the best Cobb salad”, or “mention the secret word for a 10% discount”. Plus there are a few game-like aspects to Foursquare. The person who has the most check-ins at a particular location becomes the Mayor, and some places offer special deals to the Mayor (like free ice-cream). Users can also collect badges. Stuff like – visit 3 Apple stores and get the Steve Jobs badge.
Imagine the possibilities of integrating Foursquare with Real Estate. Let’s start from the perspective of an agent. Imagine if every property was a check-in:
- Use foursquare to unlock the front door (or open the lockbox)
- track which agents showed your property
- see nearby similar properties, or cool places to eat, or get gas, or …?
- get tips on special locations (Realtors and visitors can add tips to properties when they check in)
- Mayorship of a neighborhood – discover who truly is an expert on a certain neighborhood, they will have the most check-ins.
- Track open house attendance
And from the buyer’s perspective
- See all the listings in the area
- Find open houses nearby
- Earn badges for visiting open houses
- Earn badges by visiting X listings by a certain agency
- Find nearby services like gas stations, and supermarkets
- learn who the Mayor of a neighborhood is (great person to talk to about the area)
- Get Tips on special features on specific properties (Check out the garden in the back, or this house has a built in instant hot water heater).
Foursquare has been huge among lots of businesses, like Starbucks, and even niche groups like Food Trucks. I predict that in 2012, Foursquare will hit Real Estate, and only help our industry.