Sunday 14 October 2007

Location, location, location

by Ronnie Apteker

The physical world and the virtual world are alike in every sense. Real estate is all about location, both in the analog and digital domains. So, one of the things we are currently looking at on Vottle in more detail are locations.

We recently rolled out a major enhancement to our search facility; in particular when it comes to specifying one’s location. But, we are now looking at providing a bunch of “hot links” on our home page whereby a user can simply click on an area, like Cape Town or Johannesburg, say, so that you can see what’s on offer in a particular location. It sounds simple, but there is actually quite a bit of coding involved to get this seamless and smooth. Hard coded city links, right from your first glance, are what we are going to be putting in place soon.

One of the ideas we had right at the start of our Vottle journey was the ability for a user to compare two, or more, communities side by side. This is soon going to be a reality. It would be amazing, for example, to be able to compare the price of real estate by comparing two locations on the screen at the same time. This kind of information will give us insight into the cost of living, community trends, social behaviour, etc.

By providing hot links to specific areas and hence tying a user to their community, we not only bring people in touch with potential sellers directly in their own back yard, but we also narrow down the search results which will hopefully help you find what they are looking for even more quickly. Furthermore, if you are looking for a particular product or service in your local community, and if you can’t find it, perhaps then it is available elsewhere in another city, and we can then proactively tell you about it. So if you can’t find what you are looking for in Cape Town, say, then you don't manually have to go and search Durban and Johannesburg for the same product – if it’s available in those regions we will tell you.

So, stay tuned. There is a lot more Vottling coming your way.