When you can’t ask a friend or a relative about a particular neighborhood you are interested in, and don’t know if you should trust just anyone’s opinion online, you can turn to the ‘new kid on the block,’ BlockAvenue, a location-based analytics company focused on providing consumers an intuitive platform to help better understand everything there is to know about a location.
BlockAvenue compiles everything from local facts and trends to new happenings on their site, and then they add geo-data and informed opinions from neighbors who live and breathe the area, to finally give you (and all its users), an idea of what to expect if they should move there, and they do so with a simple and all-familiar letter grade (i.e.: A, B, C, D and F). BlockAvenue says its site is “an easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great – and not so great – in your ‘hood.”
Since some cities are so densely populated, neighborhoods can quite literally change from block to block, BlockAvenue collects basic underlying data such as demographic information, crime, transit options, school data, local amenities and social activity, and makes it available for users to access and get a good sense of what is going on in the area of interest. An added benefit of going through BlockAvenue is that users are also able to tap into information with real local reviews from people who actually live or frequent the location(s) which allows the site to show users an entirely new dimension.
A great idea which is sure to help in the property search game. It's like tapping a friend on the shoulder and getting their personal opinion on a neighbourhood.
BlockAvenue posted this on their blog, which should help in the search and review process:
What is a BlockReview?
A BlockReview is UGC (User Generated Content) submitted by locals (you) who intimately know a particular block/street/area really well. Whether they live nearby or frequently visit the area, locals have “inside” information about the area that outsiders are unaware of.
We found that the content behind a BlockReview is extremely valuable to anyone who is interested in learning about a specific area. Plus, many are quite entertaining (or completely horrifying) to read. Would youlike to live on a block (like Tony’s) where creepy ladies go through your trash every morning? I didn’t think so.
We began our process of seeding BlockReviews a few months ago. Of course, there is no right or wrong review, but we are looking for quality reviews containing the key components that make up the unique aspect of a block or neighborhood.
Step 1. The Smaller the Area, The Better the Review
Consumers are looking for reviews about specific locations rather than a general neighborhood or city overview. Knowing about one block in an urban city can make a world of difference. Think back for a moment- have you ever said to yourself, “This is a cool place to visit, but I would never want to live around here”?
Here is a basic example of what we mean:
Good: Prince Street and Hanover Street, North End
Mediocre: Kendall Square, Cambridge
Not Good: Boston, MA
Step 2. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Great high-quality reviews do not always mean “happy and positive.” If an area is great, that’s awesome, if an area is NOT great and has some major flaws or problems, then we want to hear about all about it. People want to know if your building shakes every time a subway goes by or if drunken college kids vomit in front of your building every weekend…you know, the sticky stuff. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind!
Step 3. Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down
When browsing and reading what others have written about a location you know, you can engage with the contributors. If you agree with the review, then give them “Thumbs Up.” If you disagree with the review, then give them “Thumbs Down,” and if you want, tell them why you agree or disagree. Let’s face it, when someone agrees with what you say you tend to feel a little like Jay-Z at the White House. However, if someone decides he/she DOESN’T agree with you…well, you expect the other person to offer a valid reason to why the heck not. What we’re trying to say is be completely honest and share your knowledge and opinions with each other.
So you agree? Wise choice, tell me more…
Step 4. Sharing is Caring
Thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, you can now share pretty much anything you come across on the internet with your co-workers, family, and friends. By sharing your knowledge about the location you choose, you just might help your friends, friends’ friends, or even friends’ friends’ friends, to make the right choice of where to go…and where NOT to go.
So there you have it. We hope this was helpful, and we do want to reiterate once again that there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG REVIEW! What you share is so valuable to the person reading it, so please remember to be as specific and honest as you can be. If you’re thinking, “Well, I really only know few spots in town…” well, we think you know more than you think you do. So get ready to drop some pins and write some awesome BlockAvenue reviews!