Are Check-In Apps Beneficial to the Real Estate Industry?

In the past, we have explained the benefits of creating a social media campaign for your company and even detailed how to tailor your social media initiatives toward the real estate industry. Hopefully you are, or planning on, taking full advantage of these new media to support your company’s marketing efforts. However, if you find yourself looking for the “next level” of social media, you may want to try location-based or check-in websites, such as Foursquare.

Location-based websites entice users to explore the world around them by “checking-in” to venues either through a free app which is available for a variety of smartphones or by sending text messages to a registered account. The user is then awarded points, badges or in some cases discounts/gifts based on frequency of visits, time or any other specified criteria.

Interactive maps help users stay current with others within their network and, much like Twitter, users can leave short messages or suggestions about venues, which can be fed into their other social applications. The appropriately named Scvngr, provides a pre-populated list of items which users must complete when checking into venues; essentially making it an actual scavenger hunt.

This may sound like a big game and you wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking so, after all, location-based services like Foursquare are designed to combine the real-world and the digital lifestyles of today’s consumer. However, there is a serious side to such applications.

Business owners who want to manage their business on Foursquare are given all the tools they need by visiting Foursquare for Business. This section of the website allows business owners to claim their business and register it with the website as well as set up offers and promotions. The site even provides “Check-In Here” window clings which are automatically sent to business owners who register with the site. Most importantly, owners can view real-time statistics about the number of check-ins, frequent visitors and more.

This unique ability to not only drive traffic but also obtain detailed reports of visits can be of great importance to the Real Estate industry. Utilizing check-in applications such as Foursquare in addition to services like Twitter can help market vacant spaces to a larger demographic of potential clients than traditional marketing ever could. Check out the RDM YouTube Channel as RDM President Peter Bortiz outlines unique ways to use Foursquare for Real Estate in his latest video blog.

Foursquare currently has 2.6 million users and is expected to hit 3 million by early September. In addition to high profile business users such as Starbucks and Pizza Hut, the website has partnered with a number of publications such as Zagat, the New York Times and HBO. While the impact of social media on the real estate industry is still unknown, location-based applications such as Foursquare are certainly becoming too large to ignore.