Instagram & Neighbors

DigitalTrends.com recently ran an interesting piece on how Instagram is the hottest media for buyers to buy houses today- but it’s not the photos of the actual home that is the selling point. Instead, it is the neighbors. Yes, the neighbors to a property who are on Instagram and talking up their neighborhoods. You see, new technology is making it easier and easier to buy or sell a home because people can utilize social media tools to really see what people think about a local and its associated amenities. (school district, coffee houses, gym, golf courses, etc.) These real time comments are helping to showcase a seller’s prime location and it also helps buyers stay away from a beautified money pit.

The DigitialTrends article is also talking about the launch of an app called OpenHouse. While not readily available in every market, OpenHouse is available in 14 metropolitan areas, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., with additional areas to be added. OpenHouse has specific filters that make it easier for users to find what’s important to them in a home, whether that be a safe neighborhood, good schools in the area, amenities like swimming pools, and so on. So, what is the difference from finding a listing on OpenHouse and finding what is really going on in a neighborhood with Instagram? Simple – the conversation!

A dream home might be listed on OpenHouse. Your agent or broker may talk up the fantastic school district that goes with the dream home. But what about the street itself. What happens after dark. Well, if you use the street’s name as a hashtag and then the city’s name as a hashtag on Instagram, you may find out (from neighbors keeping the conversation / gossip alive) that the home you’re looking at is the product of a nasty divorce OR that the neighbors are throwing a going away brunch for the couple selling the home. You can use these comments as clues as to the neighbors you are going to get. Are they nice? Are they too nosy? Is there a lot of unreported crime or noise issues on the street you’re considering moving to? These are all things that Instagram’s community is starting to relay that can really help any and all trending real estate apps, like OpenHouse!

What do you really want to know? One of the items for concern with Instagram is that it could help detour buyers for sellers. Sometimes not all neighbors get a long, which can backfire when it comes to hashtag use on homes or real estate markets in general in certain areas. Right now there are over 2,000 tagged posts to the hashtag #badneighbor on Instagram – many which notate street addresses. If a potential buyer sees a home on this list, noted right next door to the dream home they are looking at, the sale could fall through – especially if the hashtag has a video clip! Thus, social media can help or hurt a home sale more than ever in today’s market and it is all thanks to neighbors and hashtags.

Until next time,

Sam