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New iPhone home-finder app could have consequences for the struggling newspaper industry

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on August 26, 2008

Newspapers across the country are in turmoil as advertising revenue continues to flood out of print and onto the Web. Classified advertisements, especially the real estate listings that papers have long depended on, have shifted to Craigslist and other free Web sites.

A new home-finder application for the iPhone that I wrote about this week could be something else for publishers to worry about. The iPhone app finds your location and then displays all available open houses and other listings on an interactive map. With a couple taps of the screen, you’ll find details about the house, agent contact information, and photographs. Why carry around the bulky weekend newspaper when you can pull up real-time open house information for free while you’re actually in the neighborhood where you want to buy?

Trulia CEO Pete Flint told me that the application will go “right at the heart” of newspaper real estate ad revenue.

“Unfortunately, this is another nail in the coffin of newspapers,” Flint said.

Reader Comments


August 27, 2008 6:03 AM

Once again without shame Gopal is blending advertisement with his so call journalism. While TV's info-commercials honestly announce that their show is a paid advertisement, Gopal disguises his clever under-hand, under-the-table advertisement for in the format of journalism. Credibility in journalism appears not to be a primary concern for Gopal. Stating the obvious fact that the massive decline of classified newspaper ads is the primary cause of many newspaper's demise, Gopal expediently introduces his friend CEO Pete Flint of to show off his URL web-based real estate advertisement. Like a fake strawman argument, Gopal's presentation is a set-up for nonsense. Smart phones and not-so-smart Sidekick phones as well as laptop PC cards have been accessing webpages without complications for at least the past 5 years. Goofy Gopal thinks he can pull-off such obvious ruse. In addition to being guilty-by-association with Gopal, the whole ruse stinks of manipulation tainting's inauguration. As for CEO Pete Flint's judgment, his better business strategy would have been to pay for a regular ad in BW instead of following Gopal's shadowy introduction. Gopal and his followers should realize that in business as well as in journalism it is always better to come clean. Finally, Flint would have made a more accurate and intelligent prediction had he said this is the last nail in the coffin for Gopal.

Jay Thompson

August 28, 2008 12:07 PM

"“Unfortunately, this is another nail in the coffin of newspapers,” Flint said."

I don't see it as being all that unfortunate...


September 4, 2008 6:03 AM

All About Real Estate

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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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