Its not just about advertising anymore. Social media is important too. Accordingly, a number of vendors and network providers have developed tools to help them see where there best placements are; how their reputations are unfolding online; and to simplify and automate their processes for listings and other information.
Today, Oodle has taken several steps in this direction via the unveiling of “Oodle Pro.” The service represents Oodle’s first substantive effort to go after “individual” vertical SMB accounts, rather than media platforms. Initially aimed at real estate agents and brokers for $24.99 a month (or $14.99 a month with annual $180 subscriptions), Oodle Pro will eventually have versions set for property managers, auto dealers and job recruiters, among other classified verticals.
Oodle Pro is live for real estate now; the property manager version will be released within 2009; and the others will follow in 2010. The service represents Oodle’s first substantive effort to go after “individual” accounts, rather than media platforms.
The service has two main components. The first component tracks activity on listings, while also automatically uploading listings across its network of 80,000 indexed sites. That provides an “AdSense, self-serve like capability” to marketers, says CEO and Founder Craig Donato. The second component allows listings to be integrated with the online presence of sellers. For example, listers can use Twitter to promote a new listing, or integrate a listing with their Facebook page. Eventually, Donato sees Oodle Pro even giving a social dimension to pure classifieds sites such as Craig’s List, as Realtors can integrate their profile pages with listings.
Donato notes that Oodle already provides a listings platform for Facebook, MySpace and AOL, as well as 80,000 other sites. It is well positioned to now begin working with individual real estate agents and brokers to provide these services. Donato adds that realtors are the first targets for the service because they are among the most dependent category on social media. More than 300,000 real estate professionals have pages on Facebook.
Oodle Pro, in fact, already is being introduced to agents by Realogy, the umbrella group for 270,000 agents working under various Realogy brands, including Century 21 Coldwell Banker, ERA, NRT, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Oodle Pro will also be used by First Team Real Estate in Southern California, and McGuire Company in the Bay Area. More brokerages will be introduced to the product at the National Association of Realtors annual convention in San Diego, which begins at the end of this week.