Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
What happens when you join
1You’re automatically subscribed to the Official Community Page for your suburb.
2We send introductions to other members already in your neighbourhood.
3You get instant access to a newsfeed of local news and updates from neighbours.
4Neighbours send you invitations to connect when they join Housenet.
5Say hello back to your neighbours, publish your local news & let the conversation begin!
Why do you need my postcode when I sign up?
So we can group you with other members in your area and deliver content relevant to you. It's the only way we can provide users with a truly amazing local, social experience.
What happens when I join?
You will be instantly connected with people and content from your nominated primary suburb. Our system will send introductions on your behalf to members in your primary suburb ONLY. They then have the opportunity to accept, or decline. You will receive updates, news, events, classifieds ads, & forums discussions of your suburb in your feed.
What if there's no one else yet in my suburb and I'm the first local to join?
Lucky you! If you’re the first, you get to set the agenda for the suburb, but you will need others to make it fun so invite a few locals to get things going.
Can I add more suburbs?
Yes. You can ‘follow’other suburbs using the ‘Connect by Suburb’ search feature at the top above the main menu when logged in. However only the primary postcode entered in your profile will appear to others in site content. Also, you will only be automatically connected with people in your primary suburb. If you want to be connected with people in other suburbs, you can do so manually via the ‘people you may know’ block or by ‘Connect Local’ searches.
Can I control friend connections & content in my feed?
Yes, absolutely. Like any social media site you can easily ‘un-friend’ anyone at any time, and unsubscribe to any content you don’t like.
Can I connect with others outside my postcode(s)?
Yes, of course! Via the ‘people you may know’ block on your home page or ‘Connect by Suburb’ searches.
What's the difference between my status updates, and content I post in the official community page?
Your status updates are for general thoughts, photos, tips and fun about the area - share your experience of the neighbourhood here.
The official page is more for serious news & information that other residents would want to know.
Is site membership free?
Yes, it's free to join! Housenet offers a selection of paid and free membership packages to suit different needs. Although the free memberships come with heaps of features, paid subscriptions offer even more.
Can I upgrade or downgrade my membership subscription at any time?
Yes. We recognise some users will want ongoing paid subscriptions, and that others will only occasionally wish to make use of these extra features. That's why all members enjoy FULL flexibility with NO long term contracts: you can upgrade or downgrade your membership at any time to suit your circumstances.
What is the minimum length of a paid subscription?
One month, paid in advance.
Do you store my credit card details?
No. We don't even see your credit card details because we use recognised, third-party payment gateways. All subscription and advertising fees are processed by your choice of PayPal or 2 Checkout (corporate advertisers only may be billed direct).
Why don't you publish a contact phone number?
If you check, you'll find most other social networks don't provide phone contacts. There's a good reason for this: email, forums and chat are vastly more efficient and provide a better experience for social networks, especially when membership numbers are growing rapidly. That's why we've invested in awesome help desk software, and staffed it with top customer service people who care. No phones means a faster response time to your enquiries, and a more vibrant community!
For technical issues or queries use support use the Feedback and Support tab, for any sales, media or advertising enquiries, use the contact tab.
How do classified listings and sponsorships work?
On Housenet, each suburb in Australia has its own micro-classifieds site. It’s the perfect place for residents to sell, swap or share with neighbours and people in your area. You can list household goods, share accommodation, cars, pets - even real estate and property in the online classifieds just for your suburb. It’s a great way to reach local members, but listings are also indexed by Google and viewable by a global audience. (NOTE: Businesses and real estate agents are can only sell in Housenet classifieds with a paid subscription) Some paid subscribers are also able to 'feature' their listings. In addition to this (or in place of it), you may also sponsor your listing for one, two, three or four weeks at a time. Sponsored listings enjoy priority over free listings, appearing at, or near, the top of search results during the sponsored period. Sponsoring will also effectively double the exposure of your listing as it will appear in the 'sponsored listings' area as well. Click ‘sponsor listing’ in classifieds for a full price list.
Housenet is great but I have some ideas to make it even better. How can I contribute?
We LOVE getting suggestions for improvement, so please click on the Feedback & Support tab to get in touch! We want to make Housenet truly amazing, and we know we can only do this with your help. That's why our Feedback portal even allows for members to vote on any ideas or feature requests. Go on, give it a go!
For residents & neighbours
What content should I post to my activity feed?
Any thoughts, experiences, news & ideas you have of your neighbourhood. Comments, photos and video you share will be published as part of the local newsfeed for the residents in your suburb. Had a beautiful morning walk at the park? Post a photo. Great coffee at that new café? Tell the neighbourhood with a comment.
Housenet is a newsfeed for locals, by locals. So tell us what you love (or hate) about where you live – don’t be shy!
I have a local issue I want to write about, where’s the best place?
Use our 'publish local news' feature. It’s a blogging platform for local residents to reach neighbours with their news and views. The combined efforts of all our local bloggers across Australia forms the Neighbour News Network – a powerful collective of citizen journalists reporting on local issues, nationwide.
Who should I invite to join, in order to get the most out of Housenet?
Neighbours, other residents, friends, community groups, local businesses you love and anyone else you deal with in your neighbourhood.
I am a resident, will I appear in the industry directory?
No, only business members will appear in the business member search results.
Can I create a private page for more than one property?
Yes, members with FREE basic plans enjoy up to 3 pages. For more, you will need a paid subscription. This is an incredibly powerful feature that has multiple applications:
- homeowners can manage their renovation project online
- body corporates and lot owners can hold discussions for their strata title complex with a private social network for their community
- investors and landlords can manage tenants and private rental properties online
How can I rate & assess other members?
Activity points. The number of activity points in a member's profile shows how active they are on Housenet. Our points system is a closely guarded secret, but it's fair to say we reward activity that adds value to the Housenet community such as photos, comments, forum posts, blogs and the like. If you see a member with lots of activity points, there's a good chance they’re `an engaged, active contributor.
Star rating. Our system delivers a rating out of ten that is a 'live' average of all previous ratings by the Housenet community. If you like – or dislike – what a member is contributing to the neighbourhood, go to their profile & rate them! Peer review by residents, neighbours, and local business people is the best form of behavioural feedback.
'Vital stats'. These are interactive charts and graphs that display the business performance of property professionals in up to four key metrics. This data (provided by the member) allows you to better compare property people, and to target members that are most suitable for your particular need.
Number of Friends. Although popularity is not necessarily an indicator of quality (or of suitability for your needs), it may nevertheless illustrate that a member is trusted and well-liked by many other people.
Wall Comments. The comments by other users on a member's wall may also give you some further insight into how they do business.
For local business
Who should I invite to join to get the most out of Housenet?
Staff, suppliers, fans, customers, and locals. The more Housenet connections you have the wider your network, which will get your business pumping!
How can I promote my business?
First, you’ll get a FREE listing in our business member directory just for joining! Once you’re on, we’d recommend you create a Housenet page for your business. Post regular updates from the page so your friend connections can see what’s happening with you and your organisation. Got an event happening? Post it to the community feed. To highlight your content, upgrade to a paid subscription. To ‘own your market’, consider advertising.
What content should I post to my Housenet activity feed?
Focus on useful news and tips for other residents & locals. Post news on the suburb, photos of customers or people, interesting items from the local area. Photos of your team at work are good. But don’t just spam everyone with stuff about your business! Drop in special promo offers occasionally. Regular, useful local updates are best.
Are 'Vital stats' mandatory, and how do they work?
Vital Stats are interactive charts that display information on your business performance in a new and compelling way. No, they're not mandatory but remember people on social networks generally are more drawn to those who are open and share useful information. You can choose what data you want to display, if any, by answering questions found in your 'edit profile' page. Only a maximum of four charts will ever display at any time, and you can change these at will.
Can I embed my Vital Charts into my own business website?
Yes, it's easy! Just copy the code below the charts into the appropriate page and an iFrame with your Vital Stats will appear. Consult your web developer in need.
I'm an agent, why should I list my properties on Housenet? Is it a manual upload?
Housenet is not just another property portal; we're a social network with a real estate listings capability. Yes, it’s a manual upload at this stage but it has huge potential benefits for your business.
Firstly, but any homes for sale & properties for rent you list will:
- Appear in the feed of the members you have as friends / connections.
- Be listed in the Housenet classifieds, viewable by members and guests
- Get indexed and found by search engines
Secondly, other members who want to buy or sell in future can also 'follow' you, creating a new pool of possible future leads.
Finally, you'll be embracing innovation. This is a good place to be in a competitive market. Not only will it set you apart in the eyes of your clients, more portal competition is good for the industry and your long-term future.
I'm an agency owner, should I create an account in the business name for listings?
Yes you can if you wish, but you may find it's not necessary. On social networks people generally respond better to real people over brands and companies, so we'd encourage individual accounts for sales staff. You'll find when you (or your staff) create an account you'll be asked to upload a logo for your agency which will automatically import into your listings, along with your photo. If you want to monitor listings added by sales staff Housenet accounts, you can easily 'follow' them too.
Tech, Privacy & Security
I'm still concerned about postcode privacy but want to enjoy this social network, what can I do?
Enter a different postcode to where you live, as your primary postcode in your profile. That postcode will then appear in site content. Then add your home postcode via ‘Follow Suburbs’ as a secondary choice. You’ll then get your home postcode in your activity feed, without displaying it in your profile.
(Your profile may still show up in postcode searches for your home suburb however, so to further enhance security you may choose privacy settings of ‘community only’ or ‘no one’)
Is it safe to join Housenet using my existing Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or social media account?
Yes, it's safe, quick and easy. The protocol behind this is called 'Open Social' and it's now becoming extremely popular to join new sites this way. Facebook and other social sites only transfer your basic user details, not all of your data, so you maintain your privacy but avoid having to re-enter all your details or remember yet another password.
Where is the Housenet site hosted? And how secure is it?
Housenet is hosted by Bulletproof.net.au in downtown Sydney. Bulletproof is one of Australia's most highly regarded web hosting companies. They're experts in 'Mission Critical Hosting' and provide secure hosting for some of Australia's biggest brands. We take the security of your data very seriously and so have partnered with Bulletproof to ensure a great experience for all our members.
Can I control the privacy of content I create?
Yes, absolutely. In fact this is one of our best features; you can set the privacy levels on nearly all the modules of Housenet. The default setting in most cases is public, but you can easily create private content that is only accessible by you and selected friends/contacts. This is ideal for creating a private page for your home or rental property where multiple people need to upload and view documents and photos.
When I upload documents to Housenet, where are they stored? What is Scribd?
Nearly all of the content you create on Housenet such as photos, videos, and listings is hosted on our servers at Bulletproof Hosting in Sydney. So that you can upload and share documents such as PDF's and word files, we've partnered with Scribd.com.
Scribd is the world's largest social reading company, with cutting-edge technology that you may have already seen on other social networks. Any document you upload to Housenet (such as PDF, word, etc) is stored 'in the cloud' on Scribd's servers, but is only viewable on the Housenet site. You can control the privacy of each document within the Housenet community by using our privacy controls. If you're uploading private or confidential documents, make sure you select the appropriate setting so only the people you want to see it, will see it. Refer to the knowledge base for articles on how to achieve this.
Is Housenet mobile and smartphone friendly?
Yes, and with so much search and social media networking taking place on handsets this is now essential. You can get the local community newsfeed & many basic functions on our mobile site, just like Facebook. Crucially, local crime alerts and are sent straight to your mobile phone inbox.
I need technical support, where can I get help?
In the first instance, click on the 'Help & Feedback' tab and have a look at the Knowledge Base library. It's likely you'll quickly find the answer there. If not, then create a ticket in our Help Desk and one of our staff will respond within 4 business hours.