Popularity of Community Chat Portal is Overwhelming in Newer Buildings, Says LifeAt

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorNew York–LifeAt, a New York-based online networking service for residential real estate developments, has named Matthew Goldstein CEO.Formerly COO of the company, Goldstein helped to establish the Web site, LifeAt.com. In his new position, Goldstein will now oversee the daily growth and management of the company and handle its media and marketing demands.LifeAt, launched in January 2007 and currently available in over 450 apartment buildings and suburban communities, provides a social network for residents by creating customized websites for properties. It is a modern, all-in-one version of the more traditional building bulletin board, neighborhood gossip and local business guide.“The site focuses on resident-to-resident interaction with a management twist,” Goldstein tells MHN. “Residents are utilizing our services to get together a portal to speak with each other in local communities and within their buildings.”LifeAt members are categorized into two tiers, and there is no fee for residents to use the site. To become a member of the top-tier group, a building must be a candidate for a Premium Sponsored Building network, and there is a one-time fee of $6,000 for the building. There is no fee for bottom-tier members, which usually include older, pre-war developments. Building managers do not have any relationship to the site. “In newer properties, the popularity is overwhelming because not that many residents know each other,” says Goldstein. “Some clients view LifeAt as a marketing tool; others view it as an amenity.”Approximately 21,000 people in eight states—Calif., Fla., Ill., Mich., N.J., N.Y., Penn. and Va.—and Washington D.C. and three countries—the U.S., U.K. and Australia—have already connected with others in their buildings and communities through LifeAt. In the next several months, LifeAt plans to expand to an additional four states and will include a marketplace section where residents can buy and sell items within their buildings.(Pictured: Building in Florida part of the LifeAt network)