Realtors beware, a project that won in round 1 of the 2009 MIT Arab Business Plan Competition Aqarmap.com has launched a platform that enables the buyers/renters to search the market by browsing an interactive map instead of using keywords alone.
AqarMap.com which was developed by Samaplus uses advanced mashup technology to empower the users with valuable information. “We use Google Maps for identifying the location, Youtube for the property tour, Twitter and Facebook for sharing the listing in the social web, and a set of other technologies to translate the content and convert numbers and currencies” said Ahmed Abdul Moula, Technology Manager.
We tried the site to look for some real-estate to rent, and it takes location to a new level, as when the site couldn’t find me anything in my country of residence, it went as far as showing me other properties in Jordan, KSA and Lebanon.
I’m not sure whether that is cool or not for the average user looking to put a roof over his head, but it’s definitely interesting to see just how regional the online real-estate industry is willing to go.
The founding team is excited about growing their language agnostic marketplace into developing markets such as Africa, Asia, and South America.
In their 2009 Real Estate interactive advertising outlook, Borrell Associates suggested that “spending on traditional media will decline, while spending on interactive will increase.” The time of gigantic marketing campaigns that were focused on investors is gone. Real Estate companies and private owners are currently focused on finding customers for their vacant properties.
This project will either give the chance for real-estate companies to reposition themselves in the ever-growing regional market by utilizing this generation’s tools, or push those who resist aside for a crowd sourced society where people simply get what they want online.