Recently, I received an email referencing this article on one of the hottest new topics in mobile technology in regards to real estate: geofencing.

What is geofencing?

I received an e-mail referencing a blog post by Chris Thorman of Software Advice for Property Managers on one of the hottest new topics in mobile technology in regards to real estate: geo-fencing.

What is geo-fencing?

"A geo-fence is a virtual perimeter on a geographic area using a location-based service, so that when the geo-fencing device enters or exits the area a notification is generated. The notification can contain information about the location of the device and might be sent to a mobile telephone or an email account," according to Wikipedia.

As it stands right now, geo-fencing is used to notify someone when someone else (like a child) leaves a geographic boundary. Some employers use it as a tracking device for sales territory. The auto industry has also used it to keep track of cars in a fleet.

So how does this relate to real estate? Here’s an excerpt from Thorman’s blog post, at

"It’s Saturday morning. Joel and Rebecca are walking their dog through a neighborhood in Austin, Texas. As they walk, they chat about the movie they saw last night, what they’re going to make for dinner and the big trip they have planned for next weekend. You wouldn’t know it by listening to their conversation, but the couple is also house hunting.

"They cross Brodie Lane when Joel’s cell phone buzzes in his pocket. It’s a text message. Joel says to Rebecca, ‘We’ve got a match from our real estate company. It’s only four blocks away. Let’s go see what the house looks like.’

"Within minutes, the couple is outside the 714 Longview Road home. It happens to be exactly the type of home they want, in the exact neighborhood they want to live in. They call their real estate agent to set up a viewing."

How is this possible? By combining geo-fencing, mobile phones and GPS technology.

I can see huge potential for this in real estate and for web developers. Why? Because, as of right now, this technology does not exist for real estate! Personally, as an avid smartphone user, I would love to have this feature on my phone, especially if I was house hunting.

I remember a couple years back, when my husband and I were looking to buy a home. We’d drive around neighborhoods and say, "We love this area. I wonder if there any homes for sale in this neighborhood."

How cool would it be to have a mobile feature from our real estate agent: if we were in a neighborhood we were interested in, we could instantly be notified of homes for sale. There are a tremendous amount of possibilities (for this technology).

From a marketing standpoint, any brokerage or agent who was able to get this technology would have a huge advantage — especially if they do any targeted marketing to members of Gen X and Gen Y, who are accustomed to this type of technology.

People are definitely talking about geo-fencing. Here is the latest stream from Twitter with people chatting about it! And here’s an Inman News column by Joseph Ferrara.

What do you think? Is this something you think would be value when you promote your unique marketing services to a seller or buyer? Leave a comment or feedback below!

Click here to view the original blog post.

Katie Lance is the marketing manager for Inman News. Future of Real Estate Marketing is a part of Inman News.


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