A new application for the popular Facebook online social networking site allows users to enlist the help of their group of contacts in buying or selling a home.
The LivePads application, available at http://apps.facebook.com/livepads, allows Facebook users who are searching for a home to enter their desired criteria for a home, to view a list of possible matches pulled from the Google Base site, and to save houses they like to their Facebook profiles. They can also choose to share these sample homes with a real estate agent or their personal network.
Home sellers and real estate professionals, meanwhile, can use the application to add information and photos about the properties that they are selling to their Facebook profiles and to share those homes with their networks.
“I’m a Facebook user. When I looked into other applications, there was nothing out there with real estate agents,” said Dennis McGuire, LivePads creator.
“I know some real estate agents are struggling to get their houses sold.” He said the application is intended to help call attention to homes and may lead to quicker sales. “I think it’s going to be a strong application for Realtors. They can go in and list their inventories there and share those with other Realtors as well.”
Prospective buyers fill out a form that includes a price range, location information, and property details that they desire such as number of bathrooms, bedrooms and square footage. A search engine built into the application scans Google Base and provides a list of matching homes, and the user chooses whether to add any of these homes to their profile.
Real estate agents and home sellers fill out a similar form to enter information about for-sale properties and upload up to three property photos. They can also add contact information and a Web site address.
The application offers the potential to quickly multiply the audience for the for-sale properties. When a user receives a notice that someone in their network is selling a home, they have the option to display information about the home in their profile, and also to share the information with their own extended network. “This adds more marketing and sales opportunities for the home seller by having their home being displayed on multiple Facebook profiles,” according to a site description.
Facebook users can click on a for-sale property to view more information about the property at the broker’s Web site.
Facebook has an estimated 47 million active users and ranks sixth among the most trafficked U.S. Web sites, according to company statistics. More than 5,000 applications have been built for the Facebook network, at a rate of about 100 new applications per day.
McGuire said he hopes to expand the LivePads application to cover Canada “and then possibly open up worldwide.”