By Katherine Tarbox, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
While attending Inman’s Real Estate Connect in New York two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear from the young, somewhat geeky, somewhat hip founder of Foursquare, Dennis Crowley. I’ve become of a fan of Inman conferences, but the truth is, sometimes it takes me some time to digest how the presentations relate to real estate.
Foursquare is a social media application that you load on your smartphone, which allows you to check into the locations you’re at. If you’re at Panera Bread, you’d hit a few buttons on your phone to “check-in” and you could see the profiles of other people that are also there. If you want to see which bar your friends are hanging out at, just look at your Foursquare app.
There are also other features, such as when you check-in to a certain number of locations you earn “badges” of honor. If you check in the most to a particular location you become the “mayor.” Right now, I am currently the mayor of the REALTORS® Building in Chicago, a title I took away from another co-worker.
Foursquare is being touted by Time magazine and others to be the Twitter of 2010. Really? Do we need another social media site to broadcast our every move? I even learned about the site Blippy that allows users to upload all of their credit card transactions to their Twitter feed. I have nothing to hide, and I’ll start by saying each morning I get a $2.94 (would be higher but I have a Starbucks gold card) tall, non-fat, 180 degree chai latte, but does that need to go on my Twitter feed? I doubt it. I sometimes worry that we’re overexposing ourselves through social media.
When I showed my parents Foursquare and told them that I knew where my friends Ward and John were at that very moment, they seemed concerned with the idea that my generation is sharing too much through the Web. Quite honestly, I’m hooked to the application. It’s not that I’m a stalker (though perhaps nosey), but if a friend was at the same concert I was at, I’d love to be able to say hi. I love that I’m building essentially a report of the places I go to in a year. I love that if I’m sitting home on a Friday night I can look to see if my friends are out.
The bottom line is that you might not sell more houses if you use Foursquare. But social media isn’t just about advertising. Foursquare will help you stay more connected to your network, and it’s just a lot of fun. So give it a try. Just don’t try to become the mayor of the REALTORS® Building–that’s my title.
For more about foursquare and social media, go here. What do you make of it?