Minneapolis Saint Paul use Web 2.0 to Build Relationships with Current and Future Residents

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New web site LiveMSP.org promotes cities' neighborhoods, uses social-networking sites with the goal to sell homes and celebrate city living.

Live MSP logo

2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

An interactive web site featuring a video message from the cities' Mayors, links to Facebook and Twitter accounts, and detailed information about city living, is hoping to attract web-users who want to learn more about what Minneapolis and Saint Paul have to offer.

LiveMSP.org is a comprehensive web site that provides users with in-depth neighborhood profiles, tools and information about purchasing a home, and links to the many things going on in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Visitors to LiveMSP.org can search real estate listings through the "Find a Neighborhood" feature on Realtor.com and OwnaHomeMN.org, a website created by the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers featuring quality, affordable homes. It is also a destination for current residents to share their enthusiasm for city living, find home renovation loan and grant programs, and stay current on local events and entertainment.

According to the "2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers" published by the National Association of REALTORS®, 94% of home buyers aged 25-44 years (representing 61% of the home buyer market) used the Internet to search for homes. The report also found that one in five buyers in the same age bracket use social networking sites every day.

The web site is being funded by the Family Housing Fund, a non-profit with a mission to provide safe, affordable, sustainable homes to families and children in the Twin Cities metropolitan area through ongoing partnerships with the public and private sectors. "We see Live MSP and its celebration of city living as a platform to showcase the many opportunities available in Minneapolis and Saint Paul," said Elizabeth Ryan, Vice President of Regional Housing Initiatives at the Family Housing Fund. "LiveMSP.org is a one-stop resource where residents and prospective home buyers can go to explore all of the cities' neighborhoods, learn about the dozens of incentive programs available, and finds ways to get more engaged in city and neighborhood life."

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are joined at their borders, connected by major thoroughfares and a reliable and growing transit system. Both cities are known for their world-class natural, recreational, and cultural amenities. The cities' hope is that this partnership will reduce residential vacancy rates, increase the cities' resource base, overall vitality, and improve environmental outcomes by encouraging home ownership in existing, compact, walkable, neighborhoods.

"Saint Paul and Minneapolis are rich in culture and diversity and defined by their historic, strong neighborhoods. LiveMSP.org brings that strength and livability to light, showing why our two cities are the foundation for a prosperous and healthy region," Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said.

"With the help of the Family Housing Fund, we are better able to showcase our two cities and celebrate city living," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "This incredible and useful web site enables users to explore all of our neighborhoods as well as check out the many incentive programs now available for home buyers and current homeowners."

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Krista Bergert

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