Block Party started as an app focused primarily on helping agents digitize open houses.

Naturally, with open houses not quite holding the same sort of industry emphasis as they did prior to the pandemic, Ajay Pondicherry, Block Party’s founder, considered a response.

And that’s exactly what he did.

Altering direction to leverage his career talent in marketing, Pondicherry’s product now emphasizes the power of Instagram to help agents smartly promote listings, themselves, and yes, open houses.

A major new feature is called Only Link (onlyl.ink), a custom Instagram profile URL that leads prospects to an in-app summarized online “resume” within Instagram.  Only Link pages can also be shared, and viewed in any browser; for example:

Unlike Linktree, this is designed specifically for real estate agents, allowing them to quick link to and promote multiple forms of custom content, such as CMA tools, blog posts, property valuation tools and, of course, featured listings.

The property can be highlighted with multiple scrollable images, details, maps, live Google Street Views, and even Matterport, Facebook Live, or YouTube video tours — all viewable without leaving the Only Link page.

Featured listings are also given a landing page for a more in-depth look. And, should there be a pending open house, Block Party’s Only Link automatically embeds a QR code to open a registration form.

I know what you’re thinking.

However, new smartphones from both Apple and Samsung come with built-in scanner tech, making this once rather ho-hum tech much more usable, even advantageous.

The landing page codes can be also be used on a tablet or laptop at an open house for quick, no-touch registration and identity verification.

Without doubt, credit needs to be given for such a rapid evolution of the product, and a well-worthwhile turnaround at that.

As Instagram Reels rolls into the market in the wake of a potential TikTok ban, more agents are seeking ways to leverage the popular platform’s business capabilities without necessarily creating a business account.

Block Party’s open house management tools are now more effective thanks to its front-end marketing offering an acorn-to-oak tree like ecosystem. The added upfront promotion through Only Link can help push prospects directly toward an open house without ever having to leave the presence of the agent’s brand.

Also, Pondicherry clarified that some the advanced features of Block Party’s open house suite are available by default. My initial review stated otherwise. Good to know.

All in all, Block Party has made sharp moves during quarantine, and it deserves a second look.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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