Rightmove.co.uk is an huge website – on some days with more web traffic than the BBC. They provide an online advertising service to member estate agents. A hyperlocal offshoot of Rightmove called rightmoveplaces is in quiet beta. you can find them on Twitter. The idea is to give people a flavour of the place in which they want a house and to signpost resources.
This makes sense to me – in Kings Cross I get a steady trickle of enquiries from people who read my site and want to know what it’s like to live in (good BTW) and no doubt others form their own impression by reading the site. Curiously very few hyperlocals cover the local property scene. I have done one article by a local estate agent but it didn’t generate much interest.
Rightmoveplaces has already been discovered by one or two hyperlocals (I see the magnificent Ray of Hedonblog is in there) and I have put in some content on Kings Cross and a link to my Kings Cross site. It’s a nicely designed framework site that offers a page for just about every place name or area in great britain and serves up localised pics with space to comment and contribute and an interesting house price game. I’m not quite sure about the voting bits, but understand that, in many cases is as much as visitors are prepared to do.
I’ve seen a few national hyperlocal framework sites come and go – they usually suffer the empty restaurant problem, if there’s not content on your area then you move on and don’t contirbute that becomes a vicious spiral. Also anyone following the hyperlocal debate will have been inundated with naff american ‘hyperlocal realtor marketing seminar’ nonsense of which we have seen little in the UK.
Given the sheer size of the parent website and the national obsession with housing I met with Rightmoves to try and understand it better (declaration: they paid for a coffee and a pain au chocolat). The following arose in discussion:
- rigtmoveplaces is only intended to be light touch , to give a flavour, linking out to others with more detail
- rightmove want a rounded picture of an area, warts and all
- there’s no intention to have ads on the rightmoveplaces site – people will be referred there from rightmove.co.uk
- rightmove is genuinely interested in feedback from hyperlocals and wants to engage
- would hyperlocals be interested in having an RSS feed into the places site?
- rightmove has vast amounts of detailed data about local property markets that could be of interest to hyperlocals
The reason we run the kings cross site is to help people understand the area, they need to understand it most when thinking about buying a flat. I’d be happy to have an RSS feed from my kings cross site on rightmoveplaces. Yes, a big company gets my content for free but I get a link back from a potentially colossal site and importantly no one is trying to sell naff advertising there around my stuff.
The burden though would have to be on me to put an RSS up there, not for them to steal my stuff without asking – reassuringly there seemed to be no intention to do the latter. And also for me to be able to take my feed off if the nature of the site changes. It’s all about manners and approach.
Lot’s of interesting issues here – what do other hyperlocal publishers think? Would you work with a site like this? Are you afraid of estate agents? Are bricks and mortar the future for hyperlocal? Would you RSS your stuff into the places site?
Let us know in the comments.
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