There are new ways to search the real estate market in Houston for homes or professionals. From sidebar widgets to Twitter, and I am exploring the possibilities.
I was reading an article about a couple who were searching for a new home which related how they used the internet to make their move easier. Most home buyers and sellers head to the web before they take any step in the real estate market. Their first stop may not be Google; it may be Twitter or Facebook. In the case of this couple, they never once used a major search engine in their quest. They did use sites like LinkedIn to help them find what they needed for a successful real estate transaction, and you may do the same for a Houston home or anywhere else.
This blog now has a widget in the sidebar to help you find a home. If you have followed this blog over time, you know that I play with different apps and features to see what works. You may also know that I write for the Opening Doors blog on the Homefinder site. This prompted me to contact them to ask if they had such a widget, and they graciously complied. This lets a user of this site search for a possible home in Houston or anywhere else in the United States. It takes you to their search engine, so you would be leaving my site, but you will find some good information there. Check out the real estate snap shot at the top of the results page. (Alright, I know that I have promoted that feature before recently, but my clients have told me that they really like this info). Real estate professionals do look into ways of making their sites more useful, and I am glad to do this through my relationship with a site that I like.
I recently joined Twitter (@frankschultelad), and I realized what a great way it creates to meet people in my own area. I love exploring this city. When on a home inspection, I drive around a neighborhood to see what is going on in that area. I found that I can explore my community through the web as well. With Twitter, I can follow (or I guess stalk) several different people or firms. Many have their own blogs or sites. If you go to a blog search engine, you do not always find all of the blogs that exist for our area. Now I can start peering into neighborhoods through the eyes of others far quicker than I could have through some other form of search. Thinking of that article and how I was making connections through Twitter, I saw that through a network or through the search function on that site, you can find a real estate professional. You can get to know them through their tweets or follow them through to their web site. I imagine that this may happen more on social networking sites. I found the Realtor Julie Fuelling in Katy through Twitter. I decide to follow her, not because she was a Realtor, but because she tweeted about a moment with her son, which reminded me of moments that I have with my own son.
Idid want to mention that search is always evolving, and how we connect is as well. I have been posting topics to my forum on a more consistent basis, and I have been experimenting with PPC marketing. I have particularly liked the fact that I have built up some connections through PPC on content networks. However, this may not be the way the most searchers will find a professional. I like Plaxo myself, but LinkedIn is the norm. Along the lines of home search, I did want to mention a website that is entering the fray. Seek4Home is working everyday to improve its search experience for the consumer. I have begun to watch this site due to a follow on Twitter. I want to see how this site rises to meet the needs of the consumer and the seller. Seeing them reminds me that there is always another site at the heels of an established one. I should be looking around to see what home inspectors are doing to improve their sites (well, I have been in that process already).
That is what I have been up to, and I hope that it gives you some ideas; moreover, I hope to continue to find ways to assist the readers of this site when it comes to a real estate transaction or living in their home.