Most of us in the Real Estate Technology space understand that building applications for Facebook is a pretty interesting strategy for real estate. Roost just launched a Facebook application and a pile of IDX vendors have Facebook applications. The Roost and IDX applications all serve to allow consumers to search for property from a Facebook page.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that Second Porch recently closed on a round of $1 Million in Angel funding to promote rental houses on Facebook. Take a look at this press release and let us know what you think.Portland, Oregon (PRWEB) March 17, 2010 – Today Second Porch announced that it has closed a one million dollar Series-A investment, led by the Oregon Angel Fund. The investment will be used to continue the company’s expansion into the vacation home rental and home exchange markets, which are among the fastest growing segments in online consumer travel. Second Porch enables owners and renters to tap into real world relationships in order to rent and trade vacation homes, where trust between owner and guest is of paramount concern on both sides of the transaction.
Second Porch offers vacation homeowners an easier way to generate and manage high-value rental inquiries. According to the 2009 research report “Vacation Rental Marketplace: Poised for Change” published by travel research firm PhoCusWright Inc., homeowners who rent their own vacation homes reported that 73% of their inquiries come from friends, family, referrals and previous guests.
“Second Porch tackles the unsolved piece of the marketing opportunity for vacation homeowners by bringing an easy to use system to effectively and tastefully market to the best possible source of guests: people you already know and with whom you have some degree of trust”, said Brent Hieggelke, CEO of Second Porch, “The typical Facebook personal network comprised of ‘friends of friends’ reaches almost 17,000 people, all of whom can be vouched for by a friend in common. For a homeowner, this is an obvious opportunity to find prospective guests to rent to with a higher level of comfort and peace of mind. Second Porch also complements sites like HomeAway and VRBO, by giving homeowners the controls to integrate their existing calendars and even link back to their listings on those sites.”
Second Porch comes at an ideal time for the second home market. Due to the recession, many of the estimated 16 million second home owners globally who previously avoided renting or trading are now being forced into the market for an additional source of income. Second Porch provides a perfect entry point for travelers and owners who have hesitated to rent vacation homes due to trust concerns: renters can choose to view only homes owned by friends, and owners can choose to limit visibility to only friends only. Complementing this aspect, Second Porch users can also search for homes based on location, budget, recommendations, amenities, and-most important-by relationship to the owner or to a previous guest, who can deliver a highly valued first party recommendation about the quality of the home. In addition, Second Porch allows owners to conduct both rental and trading opportunities with the same listing. Trading vacation homes is another way to save money and still have incredible travel experiences and is an increasingly attractive option for many homeowners.
About Second Porch Inc.
Second Porch is a new social vacation home marketplace, including the first Facebook application that helps vacation homeowners overcome the biggest barriers to marketing their properties – trust and hassle of renting to strangers. Second Porch also allows homeowners to discover other homeowners who are amenable to trading homes. Second Porch users can search for homes based on location, budget, recommendations, amenities, and-most important – their relationship to the owner. Second Porch’s attractive, easy-to-use design allows users to display property photos, information, and updates on their profile pages.
About Oregon Angel Fund
The Oregon Angel Fund (OAF) is a highly structured, professionally managed, investor-driven angel fund. The fund provides accredited investors privileged access to the most promising startups and early-stage growth companies in Oregon and SW Washington.