Facebook lets you text your way to a new home

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Social media giants join forces with online estate agents to make househunting as simple as texting a friend

By Jamie Thomson

We’ve already told you about the apartment block that demanded tenants “friend” it on Facebook, and about Mark Zuckerburg’s plans for virtual reality house-hunting. Now, it seems the worlds of social media and real estate are set to become even more enmeshed.

Teaming up with US online real-estate firm Trulia, Facebook are using their Messenger service to reduce the rigmarole of house-hunting to a simple text message conversation.

Basically, you message the Trulia bot on your phone with a succinct shopping list of demands for your next home (eg “3 bed apartment, $2000 Rent”) and your desired postcode, and in an instant, it comes back with a selection of potential properties for you to swipe through. Good matches can be saved, and daily updates are offered based on your preferences.

If that sounds like most real-estate aggregators, but in a slightly different form, then consider this: your cyberchat pal will also provide information on the neighborhood, including the average age of renters in the area and even crime rates from Very Low to Very High. It seems only a matter of time before they, or some other ingenious soul, integrate search results from Just Eat and Tinder, so you know how many decent takeaways there are in the area, and how many potential romantic dinner partners you could invite over to enjoy their wares with.

Of course, this is only available to US Facebook users at the moment, but – for such a fiendishly simple, user-friendly service – a global roll-out is hopefully not too far away.

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