Archive for March, 2010

The Realtor and the iPad

The Apple iPad, real estate software, and sales. – Part I

Okay so I’m jumping on the bandwagon and writing a post about the upcoming release of the Apple iPad. This post is going to focus on how I see real estate professionals using the device, Part II I will focus on how I see real estate vendors using the device. You might also want to check out Gahlord Dewald’s article on Inman today as well.

The Realtor and the iPad:

One thing that’s really important and people should understand is that it’s important that your apps are 100% web based and they work on Apple’s Safari browser. Lucky for us Cloud CMA works great on Safari! Another important thing to remember is that many popular real estate apps, available in Apple’s App Store, will be ready to rock right out of the box. Lots of choices and it will be interesting to see how they translate from the iPhone/iPod Touch to the iPad.

Many MLS systems will not run on the iPad and if your agent website uses Flash consumers sitting on their couch with their iPad searching for listings (the iPad doesn’t support Flash) on your website will get a poor experience.

While I think it will be possible for some web-based real estate software applications to be used on an iPad I think the real win will be with displaying output: reports, graphs and interactive charts (which will also be a challenge for developers to create without using Flash.) Just imagine flipping through pages of a CMA while sitting at the kitchen table with a seller. But there is a danger here, which I’ll get to later in Part II.

So I think web apps that generate output and allow manipulation via “What If” scenarios of that output will be awesome, for example:

1. What if the interest rate went to 6%?
2. What if I lowered the total commission to 5.5%?
3. What if we listed the house below $500K, what does that do historically to the DOM?
4. What if we based the List Price on avg. $ per square foot instead of the median of the comps.?

This will make a listing presentation a truly interactive and collaborative experience.

Or imagine real estate agent handing their buyers an iPad as they go out on tour. Any comments and ratings will instantly update the buyer’s final report output.

Will REALTORS embrace using the iPad for searching the MLS? Not likely. Will users use the device to fill out forms? More likely. Will REALTORS use the iPad to show reports (i.e. PDFs)? I think this is a no-brainier. As a software company we are excited about seeing the possibilities with the iPad and what new software applications the real estate industry will come up with. We’ve certainly got more than a few ideas ourselves!

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Cloud CMA now includes Yelp.

Cloud CMA integrates Yelp!

My business partner Dan Woolley likes to refer to Cloud CMA as a “platform”. Meaning he can develop all sorts of fun and useful report pages based on the data available. And our preferred method for non-MLS data is the use of APIs (application-programming interface). An API is basically a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a web-base software application or Web tool. Currently Cloud CMA uses about 15 different APIs.

We get all sorts of ideas for different report pages for Cloud CMA. Today we released something that has been in works for quite awhile.

We are very excited about this new Yelp integration with Cloud CMA. Now we can show a report page with the closest restaurants, and their Yelp score, to properties in a Buyer Tour or Property Report.

So real estate agents will “foodie” clients can now automagically include this in their Cloud CMA reports. And when their clients are viewing the reports as a PDF they can click right through to the restaurant’s Yelp page.



Bon App├ętit!