Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Social Networking for Your Property

LifeAt.comLike some other sites we've reviewed in the past, New York-based LifeAt wants to create a social network for your community. The site has received some attention from the Silicon Valley crowd. (Read the comments ... it's interesting to see how the world of "Web 2.0" has reacted to the idea.)

LifeAt's business model is to make a one-time sale ($5,000) to the property owner or condo association, then they host and maintain the co-branded site indefinitely. The site is visually more appealing than AptConnect, with lots of features for residents, but it does not appear that it offers as much functionality for property managers ... yet.

Each property website is primarily built around resident-generated content, but can also feature leasing info and other items posted by the building manager. Residents sign up to get news about the building, interact with other users, etc. They can provide information and reviews about local businesses (dry cleaners, restaurants, delivery services, etc.), and there's a marketplace for residents to buy and sell their own goods within the building.

It remains to be seen whether the transient nature of apartment renters will benefit or work against sites like this ... either residents won't stay long enough to care about meeting their neighbors, or they'll want an easy, engaging place to make new friends and learn the area. Either way, it's clear that websites of all kinds are getting more social, and your property's sites can only benefit by joining the party.

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