With an increasingly shrinking real estate pie, many companies are looking for ways to diversify their focus so as to cover more bases, get more eyeballs, attract more customers, make their site more “sticky”, and perhaps retain customer loyalty.
We’ve seen Realtor.com, Zillow and HouseValues branch out from real estate into financing and mortgage services. Local real estate firms are offering mortgage and escrow services under one roof. What other businesses have done the same thing?
There’s news out of Napa Valley, CA that Intero Real Estate Services franchise owner, Mike Bolen, has opened Mike Bolen Fine Art, a New York-inspired urban art gallery adjacent to his downtown Intero Real Estate office.
Several “Real Estate Cafe’s” have emerged, whether or not they serve real or virtual coffee, it’s a cute gimmick…. Both Good Earth Real Estate and Real Estate Cafe serve it up hot, and Seattle Realtor Louise Maxwell hosts Seattle Real Estate Talk with the byline “Double Tall No-Fat Real Estate Chat”.
And then, unrelated to real estate but it’s got the coffee thing goin’, there’s Seattle’s Espresso Dentist…….. (I guess they clean the coffee stains off your teeth….) And who could forget Sit ‘n’ Spin and Suds & Duds, businesses here in Seattle that combined beer and laundromats?
Claudia Ault notes a New York broker who managed to combine real estate with matchmaking and introduced a real estate client to her future fiancee…. a trend in real estate?
Then there’s MyHalfHouse.com . This is a web-based business model dedicated solely to connecting individual investors from around the world, together for the purpose of creating real estate investment partnerships. Think of it as a web-based dating-service, but instead of matching singles, we’re matching real estate partners.
And here’s a story from New York Magazine on another kind of real estate romance…..