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What if there was a Yelp and Groupon for real estate search?



We’ve posited in the past that the real estate search game is changing and the thousands of startups across America are impacting the very core of what consumers prefer and demand. We wonder what the real estate industry would be like if there was a Yelp or Groupon service for real estate.

Yelp has done an amazing job with restaurants and retailers- I can search for a romantic restaurant based on healthy options and even lighting. Groupon has done an amazing job of revitalizing couponing and incentivizing commerce. Both have done a great job of going mobile and helping shoppers to direct their funds.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Yelp for neighborhoods? Realtors can’t steer, so the amount of information is relatively filtered online. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Groupon specifically for homeowners? Painters, carpet cleaners, decorators, Realtors and the like could focus their energy on a specific market already primed for their services.

Why isn’t there anything like this for real estate?

There is. Quietly, steadily and smartly, real estate veteran Brian Wilson developed YourPlace, a modern real estate search site already launched in three cities that brings together reviews and couponing to the experience and we are enthusiastic after getting a sneak peek behind the scenes.

The concept has legs, the user interface is clean, the drag and drop options for selected homes is creative, and it appears to simultaneously benefit agents and consumers. Word is there is a mobile app for consumers as well. We look forward to watching the growth of

Here is your sneak peek:

Click for full sized images.

What do YOU think of

AG is not affiliated with YourPlace.

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  1. Jimmy Mackin via Facebook

    February 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    NAR released a study last year polling consumers on the top reason why they choose their Realtor® – Not one of them was because their Realtor® was the cheapest to use…rather it was because they trusted them. As my marketing hero Seth Godin says – nobody wins at being cheap except Walmart.

  2. Jimmy Mackin via Facebook

    February 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    nevertheless it is a really interesting concept

  3. MH for Movoto

    February 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Hmmm….. it looks a teensy bit less-than-trustworthy to me….. that red “reduced” stamp is a bit cartoonish…. but concept-wise, i think it’s probably the wave of the future – sort of. it’ll be widely-used, but it’s not how people will choose their Realtors.

  4. Fred Romano

    February 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I am going to look into using Groupon for our flat fee listing service. I will post back and let you know where we go with it.

  5. Ken Brand

    February 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Brain’s a super smart guy, plus he has a good heart and a healthy soul.

    As an RE Vet of too many years, the natural first reaction is defensive and dismissive. But a reaction like that alerts me to pay attention – my intuition tells me there’s something important to consider. Maybe what MH said above is right, it’s a glimpse and glimmer of the future. Even if I don’t see it plain as day, I feel it. Others will too.

    Human behavior moves forward and can’t be stopped. If you can figure out where they’re headed and get there a wee bit sooner, then you create a thing like YourPlaces. Next, you tweak, reinvent and morph like a banshee. Who knows where it leads? That’s how Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, et al started. Right? I know, there are plenty of almost’s and never-happens too. But, you never know till you know.

    Meanwhile, I’m gonna have take a test drive because it’s smart research and survival.

    Disclosure: I’m a Brian Wilson fan.

  6. Brian Wilson

    February 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Lani, Thanks for taking the time to understand where we are and what we are trying to do. I expect there will be several more “zigs” and “zags” along the way but we are going to find that sweet spot where both customers and agents both get what they need.

    Ken, let me say “ditto to you.”

  7. Cheryl Johnson

    February 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Unfortunately, the potential for abuse on review sites is staggering.

    Example 1. A buyer breaches a purchase contract and loses his or her earnest money deposit. The buyer retaliates by writing an ugly review on Yelp of the listing agent.

    Example 2. Funds are withheld from a tenant’s security to repair damages. The tenant retaliates by writing an ugly review on Yelp of the leasing agent.

    Apply abuses like these to neighborhoods instead of individuals or businesses? Yikes!

  8. joan tole

    February 24, 2011 at 10:21 am


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Social Media

Instagram makes IGTV videos more accessible with automatic closed captions

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature for Instagram opens avenues for viewers who don’t or can’t use audio on IGTV videos, creating more accessibility for all.



Instagram live being recorded will now feature auto captions.

In an effort to expand accessibility efforts, IGTV videos on Instagram will now include an auto captions option. While its parent company, Facebook, has included auto captions on uploaded videos since 2017, this new-for-Instagram feature is expected to widen audience viewership and increase potential viewing by those who prefer watching sans-audio.

In a statement by Facebook, the company states: “While there is no shortage of information, not everyone can access it. It needs to be available to the hundreds of millions of people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.”

Current events have made the need for auto captions even more critical for inclusion. “The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in both the supply and demand of public health information. Several local and state governments, that were accustomed to holding live press conferences but didn’t have the resources, staff or technology to record, stream, and caption their live events, turned to Facebook Live. Several governments also discovered that video captioning was not just a nice-to-have, but imperative, especially in the absence of available sign language interpreters,” states the company.

Currently, Facebook provides auto captions for videos in 16 languages and has announced that Instagram’s IGTV will have access to the same features. The caption accuracy is determined by the video’s audio quality, although AI technology is constantly improving in both precision and speed.

Additionally, branded content ads are likely to see an increase in consumer interaction. Recently published data by Facebook shows ads visually designed for watching with the sound off have 48% more relevance to viewers and a 42% higher purchase intent. As auto captions normalize across social media, users can expect ad content to utilize this feature to the fullest.

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Social Media

New tool organizes your Reddit feed (and makes it actually usable)

(Social Media) Reddit’s UI hasn’t always been super intuitive. ‘Deck for Reddit’ organizes your feed into themed columns, making it way more user-friendly.



Deck for Reddit on display on laptop on desk.

Love it or hate it, the mass collection of forums on Reddit have some form of content for everyone. The simple UX design places content straight down the middle of the screen and the infinite scrolling feature allows you to view a limitless amount of content from cute puppy images to cringe-worthy videos. However, its simplicity isn’t very practical, and is something that I think should be voted down.

Yes, Reddit has come a long way from its previous text-heavy form, but there is still a lot to improve on. Charles Yang, a frustrated Reddit user, has created a web app that could change all that: Deck for Reddit, a desktop optimized, alternative way to browse your favorite forums.

“I built it to show as much content as possible at a glance, while respecting your screen real-estate,” writes Yang.

Currently, the web app is in open beta. With a very similar experience to Tweetdeck, this Reddit tool seems to hold some promise.

On the far left side of the website, there is a list of icons with all the subreddits you’ve subscribed to. Clicking on an icon will take you directly to that subreddit column. This is very convenient for users with a bunch of subscriptions. Additionally, by making several subreddits visible on the screen all at once, Yang succeeds in his goal of taking advantage of the vast empty white space that Reddit failed to use.

From this display, you can click on a post, and it instantly expands to show all the comments. Hit the back button, and the post collapses. Now, you are back to seeing all the posts related to that subreddit. And at the top of each subreddit, you can easily sort the content by what’s new, popular, and trendy. Engagement has never felt easier.

Along with everything else, this extension also adds another great feature in setting customizations. The theme can be switched from light to dark mode. Fonts, text size, and even the shape of the subreddit icons can all be adjusted. Preferences can be changed to hide viewed submissions and reduce animation motion. And if you’re slacking off at work or want to chill, you can set it to hide NSFW content.

Overall, Deck for Reddit makes the user experience smooth sailing, and it truly makes Reddit the “front page of the internet.”

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Social Media

Instagram now lets you create and share fundraisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) If you’ve been wanting to start a fundraiser for something you care about, Instagram’s new feature lets you do just that. Go check it out!



Instagram Fundraiser

Instagram announced last week that it has launched a test for a Personal Fundraiser tool on its platform. The feature will allow users to start their own fundraiser if it complies with guidelines or choose an existing cause to support. The launch began in some US, UK, and Ireland markets and is available on Android and iOS.

In its announcement, the company confirmed that since January, more than $100 million has been raised for COVID-19 across Facebook and Instagram (also owned by Facebook), citing that donations on Instagram have doubled in the US in the past 30 days. The announcement said, “from people raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19 and funding educational resources related to racial justice, people are eager to mobilize around causes they care about.”

Personal Fundraisers are short-term and meant to serve time-sensitive causes, with the initial duration lasting 30 days with the option to extend for an additional 30 days. Users must be 18 to create a fundraiser and have a designated bank account in which funds can be deposited. Donations will be processed through Facebook Pay, which also powers Instagram’s new shopping features. The platform covers fees for non-profits, but not for Personal Fundraisers. Donors can choose to keep their information hidden from the public, but organizers will be able to see user names and donation amounts.

To start a Personal Fundraiser, users with access to the feature can tap “Edit Profile”, “Add Fundraiser”, followed by “Raise Money”. They can then choose a photo, select the fundraiser category, and write out a story to encourage donations. When approved, users will be able to raise funds.

Instagram says it will expand the number of users who have access to this feature in the months ahead, as well as give users access to share fundraisers both in their Feed and within Stories. Fundraising features already offered by the company include Donation Stickers for Stories and a Live Donations feature for live streams.

This feature is similar to the fundraising feature already available on Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

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