RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

MAR 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/944619

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86 March 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {Trending} H ave you scrolled by an ad on Facebook for new real estate signs—just a few hours after you searched for them on Google? Ad targeting is not a new concept, but it has transformed over the years through data analysis and the use of algorithms. Social media users are accustomed to experiencing ads that reflect their recent product searches or, more invasively, seeing ads for products mentioned in conversation that were never physically searched for. Now, the social media giant may be looking to extend its efforts on the ad targeting front. Just a week after Facebook announced its foray into local news, sources are reporting the discovery of a patent filed by Facebook on July 27, 2016 that would allow the platform to inch even closer toward its consumer base through data analytics. While the social platform has not formally announced plans for implementation, the patent shows that Face- book wants to "increase awareness about products or services to online system users" by gathering data on homeownership, travel, education, internet usage, de- mographic and device ownership—factors that could be used to determine users' socioeconomic status without using their income information. According to the patent application, Facebook would aggregate this data using market research questionnaires that would then build individual profiles categorized by socioeconomic group: working class, middle class and upper class. Sources also report that Facebook commonly seeks patents for new technology, but does not always follow through with all of them. Although this plan has not been officially confirmed by Facebook, users and adver- tisers have questions: How would this information be used? If Facebook sold this data instead of keeping it for algo- rithm purposes, they would have to determine who gets the information and how it could be used. If available for purchase, Facebook could be opening the door to new methods of hyper-targeted marketing for the real es- tate industry. Agents would be able to promote listings within a user's predicted income status. For example, instead of seeing a mass-promoted, multimillion-dollar listing, a potential homebuyer categorized as middle class could begin seeing more affordable purchasing options. Likewise, that multimillion-dollar listing could be targeted toward those potential homebuyers catego- rized as upper class. By finding out homeowner status, real estate profes- sionals could vary the phrasing of their ads to attract more leads. Those that are listed as renting could re- ceive ads on the benefits of buying over renting. Alterna- Facebook Files Patent: Homeowner Data Could Reveal Socioeconomic Status by Liz Dominguez

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