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HomingCloud real estate social network doesn’t want your kind

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Real estate social network

Are you a Realtor? Have you spent years fine tuning your skills in the real estate profession? Are you an expert in your neighborhood or a specific type of real estate? Do you have access to more housing data than any consumer possibly could? Then you are not welcome at HomingCloud, the social network for real estate.

HomingCloud claims to be like a dating site for home sellers and buyers (or renters) where no smarmy broker is necessary (smarmy is our word, not theirs, although the video above clearly implies agents are smarmy). Buyers post what they’re looking for and magic website robots match them up with sellers selling similar products. It’s what we imagine a website would look like if Craigslist.com and Match.com made a little baby website.

Realtors have been property matchmakers since the beginning of time, and we have wondered why more don’t market themselves as such. To be honest, HomingCloud is using some pretty cool technology that we think would be a fun attraction for a site like Realtor.com or Trulia rather than a separate product.

The company was founded in 2009 according to CrunchBase and it is unclear if they have funding (although we believe they do not given the low levels of web traffic).

The takeaway:

As a real estate professional, you should know about companies that aim to disrupt the space and imply you’re smarmy, but you should also be aware of the technologies they use in the event you come across a consumer using the technology, you choose to implement similar technologies in your own practice, or a mega real estate search company acquires the technology.

The anti-agent propaganda goes over well in odd areas like NYC (odd because it’s not MLS based) or in super techie areas that are filled with consumers that are programmers that believe they can do everything without professional help because they have the interwebs. But the small percentage of consumers with this mentality is shrinking, just ask Redfin who originally sought to cater to this sentiment.

We think HomingCloud could increase their traffic and do better if they cut out the anti-agent sales pitch as the majority of transactions are done with a Realtor, but as it stands, it seems like a lot of work as a buyer/seller/renter to go through what equates to a dating process- how long does it take to find “the one?” Just ask anyone who is currently dating, seeking “the one”… it’s not a fun scene. Take out the broker-hater theory and you’ve got a pretty dang cool site.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Gina Kay Landis

    April 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I have often wondered why people intend to search through literally thousands of homes that don't match their needs, when an agent could (and often does) help them fine-tune what they're looking for so they can get their new home as quickly as possible, without losing the personal touch and with a definite eye toward the CLIENT's not the Agent's needs!! That was a run-on sentence, but you get my drift!!

  2. Brad | Home Loan Artist

    April 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Interesting how their tag line is happier – not broker. Who are the buyers/sellers going to sue when something goes wrong? Who's going to give them legal council? Do people have time to do all the searching/previewing of homes in a society that is pressed for time?

    Can they trust the seller will disclose everything? Who's writing the contract?

    • Doug Lindstrom

      April 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

      Did you see that Match.com in the news? They are being sued for aligning a meetup. The woman was allegedly sexually assaulted. I see this real estate meetup site being party to numerous lawsuits. If they want to avoid the broker who has been fingerprinted and identified by the state, they better have plenty of money to defend themselves in court.

  3. Marvin

    April 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Well nice but the same was said about for sale by owner people and we still here.

  4. jay Great Falls

    April 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    The people I see making the dumbest $$$ real estate decisions are often the most technological and intelligent people who think they know more than they know. They fall for the rebate scam not knowing that a top 1% agent could have saved them usually 1-2% more than the cheesy rebate they were promised by a desperate rebate agent/brokerage.

    There is a market for this pompous consumer who thinks they know more than they know. Often they are engineers or lawyers or financial planners.

  5. Cheryl Johnson

    April 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Phase 1. They cut out the "anti-agent sales pitch"…
    Phase 2. They realize there is money to be made if they charge agents to join/advertise/post "featured properties" or whatever…

    • Benn Rosales

      April 20, 2011 at 1:32 am

      Cheryl, it does seem like a really bad rerun doesn't it. 😉 I do like the video though and the tenacity to try (again) on their part.

  6. Tina Fine

    April 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    First and foremost, I don't think all agents/brokers are bad/ smarmy– but I do think things need changing in this market. homingCloud is not going to replace full service brokerage, but in the "matching" of owners and seekers I believe it can be an asset. And I do think that agents and brokers can use homingCloud to their advantage. They are welcome on the site, they just need check the "agent" box. If the brokerage industry is not careful, they will lose the entire market to very large search/internet sites. Right now, listings are fueling and pumping up the Trulia/Zillow brand. Brokerages are shooting themselves in the foot. I suggest that brokers and agents utilize homingCloud– let your clients post, find buyers on their own if they can, and if they do, give them a cut of the commission you would to a co-brokered deal.

  7. MH for Movoto

    April 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I took a little tour around their website, and it looks like things are still pretty small, pretty low-key. It feels like it would be a lot better for rentals than homebuying, but who knows.

    • Tina Fine

      April 22, 2011 at 6:19 am

      Yes, still pretty small but hoping to grow. Ya gotta start somewhere! I don't take MLS listings since homingCloud is a Social Network — home owners and seekers upload all content themselves!

  8. Mark Nejmeh

    April 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Dear Real estate agents,

    You created a new business. Congrats to homingcloud.com , and I don't even see homimgcloud.com trying to convince the seller to list cheaper for a faster sale. WOW.

  9. Thomas Morgan, CCIM

    May 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    like the slogan "happier, not broker" but with they have ousted one of the largest trade associations in the world…. maybe that's why they only have 71 visits a month to their site per compete.com

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Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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Social Media

Instagram Collabs: New feature fosters the ability to co-author content

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format called Collabs, giving users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels.

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Instagram stock images of collab feature.

Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format that many can benefit from. Called Instagram Collabs, this latest feature gives users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels. This isn’t the first feature Instagram has rolled out to promote collaboration between users, but we think it will be a beneficial addition!

How to use Instagram Collabs

Using Collabs is very similar to how you tag someone on Instagram. You can start by choosing to create either a reels video or feed post. After recording your video or taking your photo like you normally would, you head over to the “Share” screen and select “Tag People”. On that screen, there is now an “Invite Collaborator” option!

By choosing to invite a collaborator, the account you add will be able to share your post to their profile grid and their followers. Additionally, the names of all the collaborators will appear in the feed post or reel header, but before their username shows up on your post, the collaborator will need to accept the collaborator invitation first.

Keep in mind, only public accounts can be tagged and there is a limit to how many tags you can use. You’re able to tag up to 20 accounts, including the number of tagged users and collaborators.

Instagram stock photo of how to use new feature, Collabs, with iPhones showing the sequence of how to add a co-author.

Benefits of Instagram Collabs

Collabs makes it quicker and easier for everyone to share content on the platform. From local artists working together on a project to businesses working with high-profile influencers to promote their brand, content is shared instantly. Gone are the days of screenshotting or using third-party apps to repost that same content on your profile.

Along with making sharing easier, the feature makes it clear and simple to give credit where it’s due – all authors are given credit. When it comes to branded sponsorships, instead of adding hashtags or brand tags that can become cluttered, along with the user, the names of brands are neatly displayed in the header. Before this feature, it was a little difficult to distinguish a regular tag from a business, but with Collabs, that is no more.

And last, but not least, collaborators will all share views, likes, and comments. By sharing engagement signals, content creators will be able to maximize their reach and businesses will have more transparency with their customers.

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