Online classified ad service Oodle has launched a self-service platform for real estate agents that automatically uploads their for-sale listings, distributes them to more than 200 Web sites, and helps them generate viral exposure on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
Oodle Pro distributes listings to classified marketplaces that Oodle powers for Facebook and MySpace, where they are visible to the entire community -- not just agents' friends. Agents' profiles are tied to the listings, helping them promote their brand.
Listings are also shared automatically with members of agents' Facebook and Twitter networks, providing them with added visibility as consumers discuss them with friends, said Oodle Chief Executive Officer Craig Donato.
Wherever they appear on the Internet, Oodle Pro listings link back to agents' profiles on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Agents can create a tab on their Facebook page and MySpace profile, creating a "mini Web site" to showcase listings.
Although real estate agents, like consumers, have had the ability to place free classified ads on Oodle.com for about 18 months, Oodle Pro was designed with professional users in mind, Donato said.
"To real estate agents in particular, their business is driven by word-of-mouth referrals," Donato said. "When done correctly, social media can be explosive."
The challenge for sales professionals like real estate agents, Donato said, is figuring out exactly what steps to take in order to harness the power of social media.
Donato said that while Oodle may be second to craigslist.org in terms of traffic -- the site claims 10 million unique users a month -- where it has tried to distinguish itself is through the concept of "social classifieds," he said.
By helping simplify the process of getting listings onto social networking sites -- and track how often listings are viewed and commented on -- Oodle Pro can take away some of the guesswork. ...CONTINUED