The Move Towards Collaborative Search Online

Tune out if you’ve had enough of all the Facebook talk.

Following on the previous posts about Frontdoor’s implementation of Facebook Connect, Hotpads has rolled out a revamped homepage that also features Facebook integration prominently.

As with Frontdoor, you can now login to HotPads using only your Facebook account. The nice thing is Hotpads lets you dive right into into using all of its tools using only your FB credentials.

The upside?

Among other things, you can save favorites to your account, and share them with your friends by sending listings to your friends and/or posting them on your wall.

All fairly standard stuff but what I think this leads us to is a greater recognition and emphasis on the need for collaborative search online. To tap into the social web for recommendations and reassurance when it comes to finding a home.

This is largely an activity that to date has largely only happened offline. Collaborating with a spouse or partner in a house hunt is certainly nothing new, as is passing around a listing sheet or property flyer to friends and family. But you now have a whole breed of web-based applications (Dwellicious also springs to mind) that are helping better enable this activity online.

Using Facebook Connect to grease the wheels of this kind of online collaboration is a smart move for Frontdoor and Hotpads as it’ll presumably (hopefully) get more people using their product. As I mentioned before, it lowers one of the points of friction that exists to prevent people from making the best use of any kind of search experience; an agent or broker’s IDX site, an MLS site, a search portal, whatever.

Signing up for yet another service is tedious. And like it or not, most of us these days have Facebook account. And a lot of us like to talk about real estate.