Archive for the 'Buzz' Category

Cutting edge tools for Real Estate Search

2 snippets on the future (one as close as this Saturday) of real estate search.

Zillow just amazes me. While the industry keeps bickering these guys just keep innovating. I need to find another South African (Dave Gibbons from Zillow voice can be heard on the video below) to narrate my Cloud CMA and Dwellicious videos, his voice is great.

For the complete story check out, Zillow Blog: Introducing Zillow on iPad: Home Shopping Re-invented

And also check out these two grad students at MIT. Real estate meets Minority Report!

Cloud CMA – When it rains it pours!!

Ever since Dan and I came down from the Empire State Building in New York we seem to be going at lightning speed!

[See photos from our launch of Cloud CMA at the Empire State Building here.]

We had a great time in New York at the Inman Real Estate Connect Conference. It was good to see everyone and show them what we’ve been working on. The response was fantastic!

At the event Dan and I were on a few panels, Dan moderated the Connect Tech portion of the conference and the content and attendance was great.

I had a chance to participate in the “Start-up Shoot Out!” This is where 7 entrepreneurs got to pitch their product. Then investors and audience members would weigh in on what product they liked the best.

You can see a video of the panel(s) at Inman News (you must be a premium subscriber) The first video is “the entrepreneurs” on stage, the second video is where “the investors” give their opinions on which product they would invest in.

All 3 investors singled out Cloud CMA and iPromote. In the end Nabewise won the grand prize, but Cloud CMA also received a prize of $2,500 in free advertising on Inman News. Read the full story here.

Then the guys at 1000watt Consulting posted a great review of Cloud CMA on their popular 1000watt Blog. And I quote…

“The application – which, as the name suggests, is a Web-based CMA and property report tool – evidences a deep mindfulness of end-users. Greg Robertson and Dan Woolley at W&R Studios, the brains behind CloudCMA, have raised the bar on UI design for real estate software by applying this sensibility.”

It was really great to hear they thought so highly of the product because we really respect those guys.

Then earlier this week we launched our first MLS customer, IRES in Colorado. The entire IRES staff and the wizards at RealGo have been a pleasure to work with. So far the response has been great from IRES members. Here’s an snapshot from IRES’ Facebook page:

gr

Welcome IRES members!

We want to welcome all the new IRES members to Cloud CMA. We launched yesterday and so far everything has gone better than expected! Here some stats for you to chew on…

Stats from yesterday:

User signups 112
Reports created 134
Listings downloaded 1671

Remember if you have any ideas to make Cloud CMA better please e-mail us at feedback@CloudCMA.com

Thanks!

-Greg & Dan

Cloud CMA Official Launch Press Release!

W&R Studios launches new innovative web application, Cloud CMA, from the top of the Empire State Building!
Innovative report system blends data from MLS and top websites.

BOCA RATON, FL January 7th, 2010 — Web software company, W&R Studios, announced today that it is launching its latest web application, Cloud CMA from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.

This symbolic launch coincides with the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference being held in New York City starting January 13th, 2010. Co-founders Dan Woolley and Greg Robertson will be participating in the conference on several panels.

“We couldn’t think of a better place to launch a product named ‘Cloud CMA’ than among the clouds themselves, atop the Empire State Building in New York City” stated Greg Robertson, co-founder of W&R Studios.

Cloud CMA is an online report generating system. Real estate professionals have access to several report sets including, a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), buyer tour, and single property reports. Reports blend information from their local MLS system and top websites including Zillow, Education.com, Front Seat (WalkScore), Google, Panoramio, and others, giving their clients the full spectrum of real estate data available.
Sending an e-mail from their smart phone can also be used to create reports. Cloud CMA subscribers can e-mail the address or MLS number to a specific e-mail address, (e.g. property@CloudCMA.com) and in just minutes Cloud CMA will e-mail their client a fully personalized report on that property.

“We spent a lot of time on the design of the user interface and the reports themselves,” stated Greg Robertson, co-founder of W&R Studios. “Creating beautiful and comprehensive real estate reports has never been more simple; it just works,” continued Mr. Robertson.

Cloud CMA will initially launch in Southern California using the California Real Estate Technology Services (CARETS) database system. CARETS provide an all-inclusive database of properties for sale covering 6 counties in Southern California.

This gives the ability for over 100,000 subscribers, combining several Southern California MLS providers including, SoCalMLS, MRMLS, CRISnet, i-Tech, and TheMLS®/CLAW to integrate Cloud CMA into their marketing efforts.

“We are excited to have W&R Studios developing against the CARETS database,” said Art Carter, CEO of MRMLS. “By providing access to one single database vendors can bring products to our members quicker and more efficiently, and require less support,” continued Mr. Carter.

Cloud CMA will be sold on a monthly subscription basis. For more information about Cloud CMA, or to sign up for a free trial, please visit http://CloudCMA.com. Details of the Empire State Building launch can be found at W&R Studios’ company blog.

About W&R Studios
Founded in 2008, W&R Studios (http://wr-studios.com) is a privately held web software company. W&R Studios focuses on creating the next generation of web applications for real estate. By providing a “less is more” approach to software design, elegant user interfaces, and using the latest in agile programming, W&R Studios’ software applications are at the same time powerful, yet accessible to everyone. W&R Studios’ products include Dwellicious, a social book-marking site for real estate, Dwellicious Pro, and Cloud CMA. Co-founders Dan Woolley and Greg Robertson each have over 15 years experience developing and marketing software solutions.

For more information please contact:
Greg Robertson
greg@wr-studios.com
(714) 924-4219

IRES chooses Cloud CMA!

We are super excited about this and wanted to share it with everyone before we formally send the press release out next week. Many thanks to Lauren and her team who have been great to work with.

W&R Studios to provide their innovative new web application, Cloud CMA, to Colorado MLS provider Information and Real Estate Services, LLC (IRES)
IRES to include Cloud CMA as part of their MLS services.

Boca Raton, FL., December 21, 2009 – W&R Studios, a privately held software company, focusing on creating the next generation of web applications for real estate, announced that they have signed a contract with Information and Real Estate Services, LLC, to provide IRES subscribers with their new Cloud CMA web application.

Cloud CMA is a new report system that blends data from MLS systems and top websites. Reports are personalized marketing tools that help real estate professionals take their clients to the next level, whether its signing a listing contract or writing an offer. Cloud CMA reports can also be created by using any smartphone.

Lauren Emery, CEO of IRES said, “Cloud CMA is easy to use, as promised. There is not anything like it in the market today. We believe our members will truly embrace the product and help their businesses tremendously.”

Greg Robertson, co-founder of W&R Studios, stated. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with IRES. They are a great organization and we look forward to working with them and their membership for many years to come.”

About W&R Studios

Founded in 2008, W&R Studios is a privately held software company. W&R Studios focuses on creating the next generation of web-based software solutions for the real estate industry. By providing a “less is more” approach to software design, elegant user interfaces, and using the latest in agile programming, W&R Studios’ software applications are at the same time powerful, yet accessible to everyone. Co-founders Dan Woolley and Greg Robertson each have over 15 years experience developing and marketing software solutions. For more info please visit http://wr-studios.com

About IRES, LLC

IRES was formed in 1996 as a regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Colorado by five Boards and Associations of REALTORS® in Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, and Loveland/Berthoud. IRES is also the MLS provider for Estes Park, Logan County and Morgan County and has gained a reputation of providing an innovative and robust system for real estate professionals. Additional information about IRES (Information and Real Estate Services) can be found on their company web site at http://www.IRES-net.com.

Cloud CMA makes 2009 Top 5 List!

Real estate technology guru and consultant, Matt Cohen, has published his “2009 Real Estate Industry Top 5 Recap”. You can check it out here.

Cloud CMA receives an honorable mention. Matt states…

“Honorable Mention: Cloud CMA – just announced and not big … yet. I think it’s important because it illustrates and brings awareness to the power of mash-ups for real estate business apps.”

Matt was one of the 20 or so demos we gave at the recent N.A.R. convention in San Diego last month. We are super excited Matt sees the potential for Cloud CMA and looking forward to bringing Cloud CMA to the market next month.

Keep tuning in for updates on the launch schedule for Cloud CMA.

Thanks!

gr

Cloud CMA Logorama!

This is Part III in our “Does the world really need a new CMA program?” series in which we blog about the creation of our latest web application, Cloud CMA.

Cloud CMA Logorama!

We had a lot of fun last year when we asked readers to submit their ideas and give their opinion on logos for Dwellicious.

This year for Cloud CMA we were under a tighter schedule, so we didn’t publicly post the logo candidates we went through. But, since I got a lot of great feedback from our Dwellicious post I thought I would give you a quick walk through of our design process and selection of the final logo for Cloud CMA.

First, the name. For us, the word Cloud had 3 separate meanings/vibe.

The first is obvious: “Cloud” is synonymous with “the Web”, or “Internet”. One of our main goals with Cloud CMA was to augment MLS data with the best data/information from the Internet’s most popular real estate and community sites.

Our second inclination was to have a name that reflects a calming or blissful vibe. Something from nature. This would extend to the web application itself, something that is easy and maybe even a pleasure to use.

The third was a slightly arcane reference to one of our previous product names, “Lightning”, because where does Lightning come from anyway? A cloud!

Round 1

Below are the two design references that were first submitted.

R1 Version A

R1 Version A

R1 Version B

R1 Version B

I was immediately drawn to the B version of the logos. To me, the use of negative space that made the cloud was subtle (too subtle?), but also created a kind of “speaking bubble” effect as well, which I thought might add to the social nature of the application.
Both Dan and I hated the font.

The B version seemed too “sci-fi” to us. Some feedback we got from others we consulted said it looked like a logo from a pharmaceutical company.

Round 2

They added the “bar” to the “A”, but kept the stylized “M”, which was growing on us.

R2 Version A

R2 Version A

Round 2 Version B

Round 2 Version B

We were playing with the idea of calling the application Cloud CMA or Cloud CMA & Buyer Tour. In the end, we decided to drop the “& Buyer Tour” reference even though the application did more than just a CMA report. In this round we had asked our designer to add a “+” symbol to reflect that the CMA report did more, but as I mentioned we decided to drop the “+” altogether and just use Cloud CMA.

Also, we thought the green pea color was wrong and wanted to see what it looked like if the bottom was a sky blue, giving the effect the cloud was in the sky, not coming over the horizon.

Here’s what that looked like:

Round 2 Version C

Round 2 Version C

The effect made it look like “teeth”, so we scrapped it. We also settled on the “cloud” being over “CMA”, not centered on the whole phrase, “Cloud CMA”.


Round 3

In this round we focused on coming up with the correct color green for the patch of grass. We experimented with some other colors. (It’s pretty hard to see the differences on this screen capture). We also started to figure out how to incorporate the product slogan, which is, “Sales Are Looking Up!”.

Round 3 Version A

Round 4

R4 Version A

R4 Version A

We were pretty happy with the color green we chose, and the placement of the slogan. So, I sent the logo around to a few friends and colleagues to get further opinions. To my surprise, a few of them still saw “teeth”. Not good!

I thought more about it and suggested our designers come up with an asymmetrical cloud. We would lose the “talking bubble” effect and a bit of anchoring to the “M”, but I thought it would be worth another round of proofs.

The final logo.

By making the cloud asymmetrical we lost the “teeth” effect, and we knew we had a winner!

cloud-cma_sloganfinal

The funny thing about a logo is that the product starts to become more “real” when you give it an identity. Now the really hard part was about to begin….

Next up, UI, Oh My!!