Now that you know a little bit more about FourSquare and other location based apps, the big question is what does that have to do with real estate?

There are lots of articles on the internet suggesting real estate agents add their listings or open houses to FourSquare or other location based applications.  My two cents? Not necessarily a good idea.  Remember, most times your listings are still someone’s home and adding it to a location based application could be considered an invasion of privacy.  You could also receive some unwanted comments (or tips/reviews as they are called) or disparaging remarks about the property in this platform.  Also, not necessarily a good thing.  What if the property is vacant you might ask? Even the more reason not to broadcast that information on the internet.

Soon, even Twitter will be offering geo-tagging (identifying your real time location) to tweets.  Now, tweeting about hosting an open house or about helping out a client is one thing.  Letting them know exactly where you or your client is at that exact moment, is another.  So be careful when it comes to letting people know exactly where you are.

Your safety.  I don’t necessarily agree with promoting your Open Houses on these types of location based applications either.  Most of the time you are hosting these open houses solo.  Your safety is the number one concern and broadcasting your ‘real time’ open house info on this platform is not, in my opinion, the best idea.  Yes, they can see your open house info on all other types of real estate sites, but this is a bit different environment.  However, that being said, keep your safety in mind first!

Well, I’ve expressed my two cents on how I don’t see these applications fitting into real estate.

So, how do I think you CAN you use these apps for real estate?

Hyperlocal information is becoming a more integral part of real estate. Consumers are looking to work with area experts.  So, instead of just checking into FourSquare or TriOutNC, add tips for other users and photos of businesses.  FourSquare often feeds out user added tips to other FourSquare users when they check into nearby locations.  For example, last week I checked into FourSquare at the North Hills Movie Theatre.  As I was checking in, FourSquare let me know that Lisa Coleman (CBHPW Associate and Midtown Realtor) suggested I check out the nearby Mura restaurant and order a certain sushi roll that she thought was fantastic.  Just by adding a tip, I was ‘introduced’ to Lisa Coleman and really did begin to see how she just very well might be a ‘local expert.’

One last thought.  Remember, perception is everything.  You don’t want to broadcast your ‘check-ins’ all throughout the day if they are personal in nature.  Even though it may have only taken you five minutes to stop by the mall today, if one of your clients sees that post, they may be agitated and wonder why you aren’t busy trying to sell their home instead of stopping by the mall.

Agree? Disagree? What’s your two cents?