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HyperSocial Connections: how buyers are connected to agents

After acquiring SocialBios in 2011, Realtor.com has now launched their HyperSocial Connections tool which shows consumers who they have in common with any agent via Facebook. In an era of social proof, this will be a definite help to agents looking to profit from their networking efforts.

SocialBios features made live on Realtor.com

In 2011, Realtor.com operator, Move, Inc. acquired social platform SocialBios, then announced in January that the acquisition had come to full fruition in the form of two mobile-enabled “HyperSocial™” tools in beta – Agent Profile Pages and Agent Recommendations integrated into the Find a Realtor directory.

The HyperSocial™ agent search tools will initially span Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and FourSquare, and the company says that “through social graphing technology, the HyperSocial™ Agent Profiles surface mutual connections, extended relationships, and shared interests by layering the social networks of agents and consumers.” Profiles feature recommendations and have a branded URL.

Pumping up Realtor profiles

Now, when users look up a Realtor on Realtor.com, their full profile appears as below:

As you can see, when you click “HyperSocial Connections,” the system allows users to log in with Facebook to see what connections they have in common with that Realtor and even what hobbies and interests are shared, with Realtor.com’s theory being that this works not only as an ice breaker but as a means of social verification of an agent.

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From a consumer perspective, however, “HyperSocial Connections” is not an obvious term for “click here to see who you have in common on Facebook,” and could be overlooked – the positioning is lacking, despite the company’s attempt at brand consistency. Additionally, there is no explanation to the consumer as to why they would want to grant permission for Realtor.com to access their Facebook over a manual Facebook search of the agent’s name. In fact, there is not even a “what is this?” button anywhere on the tab, so in the era of heightened privacy concerns, this could curb adoption as there are no assurances, explanations, or even clarity as to what the tab means.

The takeaway

The world of social verification is very real, and we have waited nine months for Realtor.com to build out their products in conjunction with SocialBios and while the tab itself could use some clarification, the product itself is solid and because it is free, is a major value added for Realtor.com users.

Realtors can get started here.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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