Category Archives: Technology

Wow…looks like FLIR is “flinally” here for Real Estate Agents / Realtors

Jan 13th, 2014

Having been involved in IT since the early 80s…this thing here is like seriously…. the “holy grail” of technology… a seriously real “meeting of the minds.”

Lets go “Back to the Future” …2009 style…

2014 that camera

Regular readers may recall my post a few weeks back to around about Dec 2009 when I mentioned that Craig, a friend of mine…had invested over USD$70k to import an aerial drone from the USA (radio controlled of course) to see what was “up there” and then… make a business out of it, and that he was also considering importing the associated FLIR cam to go with it. (NOTE – part of that USD$70,000 investment was the need/requirement to have a backup unit ….”just in case”)

2014 dragonfly

Crikey, when it arrived it back then…….it even made the front page of our local paper, the Nelson Mail.

One thing I do definitely recall very vividly about that time, was what the Manufacturers (well I just investigate that sort of thing) advertising brochure / website mentioned….and that was the ability of the drone to show, in real time ( if I remember correctly, after you had invested $$$$substainial USD to the bargain) a “real-time” FLIR image. ( pretty “cutting edge”, even for the late noughties.)

And although initially he had intended to use it to demonstrate…

2XXX for sale

….quite fantastically (if you ask me) for the time actually ….images pertinent to real estate…the Chch EQ detracted him for a year or two…whence forth he found the service that he offered “very much in demand.”

Fast forward to the future…and something called “Kickstarter.”

This really is the future, this KickStarter concept thing I feel.

I tweeted this today….

Jan 2014 tweet

…because of its “awesome-ness” and what would now seem to be a new found “accessibility” to many. (Check me out as Nelsonian on Twitter to see the site I mentioned)

Folks…it would appear that after quite some years of tracking…we are nearly there…..and for me… Well….

After seeing/tracking this concept a year or so back (ok ok maybe a bit longer than that…but hopefully you get my drift…2008/09 was a while ago….) …I was in the mind….thinking how long something like this would really take to get to ….well….serious taken…fruition / traction….and even more so….especially when considering the monster USD$ price these chaps/folks/ladies were hoping to launch the product at ….at first I was thinking…..are they even on the “same planet?


Amazon 2014

See here today …in your time and place the cheapest FLIR cam on Amazon….(and I have no idea how good it is…) is priced at….well see the pic for yourself. And the resolution is…ready for it …. 120 x 120 pixels.

To me…its a massive game changer to the “end user”….just like that Microsoft Kinect Cam thing was a while back… think the next bunch of 10-12years are about to show us in the next 5 yrs just exactly what this “tech” can do.

And know what….

2014 nz herald

I got a sense of that last night already…and it turns out I’m about 2 – 1/2 months late to the party because folks knew about this in October 2013…now this is what “venture cap” is about surely…..Latest is, a UV paint designed by a Kiwi (yup…sorry about that….but yet again….its another one born in Middle Earth) in the UK, that enables surface like footpaths, and potentially roads to “light themselves” to show patrons the way…and no they don’t rely on the Sun…just UV…so cloudy days are perfectly  fine (pun intended)

Man…what the h*ll is it about these folks that call themselves Kiwis?

Surely…they should just be happy with their lot in the antipodes….why the heck do they try to make such a fuss….?

Well….hey …that’s just the Kiwi spirit…unless I was born different?


Back to the topic I was meant to start todays post with….

Well it looks like there are two legged, red blood cell, understandable language speaking, excitement chasing, intelligent beings down under after this weeks announcement at CES 2014.

2014 flir image



If I could get $25 for every mention of this product on TV News in 2014 I reckon I could be a millionaire. Lets see?


No longer will you have to involve the services immediately of a $1000 per visit on-site specialist.

I suspect that (& I’m ready for the haters…) this will really be a game changer for the early adopters…and I reckon you’ve got 3-6mths maybe 9 at tops because after that it may be a $99 item produced in China by then. But as they say…

So to the forward ….embrace this tech…and show your clients that you really are trying to “go overboard” in helping them buy a new property for all the right reasons.

Does it mean you are the “new expert??”

Perhaps the wrong answer is No…but then I personally profess I do not know what the right answer is?

But it means you have definitely taken it to the next level of client involvement and indeed….could be no more happy than to tell your new property buyer….from what I / we can see here on this screen….see Mr Client look here…. I am about to suggest to you here and now….. that you should spend a few extra dollars ….. and based on what this screen shows….invest in a thorough examination of…..well ….what-ever tickles yr fancy I reckon.

From a New Zealand perspective it would be, more than 80% of the time an important decision about weather-tightness…but there could quite easily be other reasons too…and the fact that YOU were the person that first brought this to your clients attention cannot do you no harm…well thats my thought pattern anyway.

NASAs “Rock Star” ISS Commander Hatfield gives NZ an XMAS present…

Dec 23rd, 2013

Well that’s how it felt to us here down-under in NZ.

Watch this and see for yourself. Take special note of the comments at around 5:40 into this video.

And just to remind you who Chris is ….heres his near on 20m viewed David Bowie Space Oddity cover performed on the International Space Station. Hes also the guy who took over 45,000 photos while he was up there…. on Nikon gear.

Time to turn up the volume!

Ok ok…so you only have dialup and can’t bear to wait for the answer…so here goes;

Interviewer: “I’m just indulging for a moment here…because I know when you’ve been in space…it must be very difficult to decide where to go on holiday …..but I was so thrilled…ah…to read that the place you want to go …MOST ON EARTH is….. ”

Cmmdr Hatfield: “the wine country of the South Island….in the North end (Island?) of NZ. It just looks so beautiful…….”

Commander Hatfield I concur! NZ does that to people.

And why was the interviewer so thrilled?

Well you’ll need to watch the video to find out the answer to that.

Heres what reported;

New Zealand, Hadfield said in an interview with BBC World News, represented the last landmass that the astronauts viewed before travelling east over the Pacific Ocean. “It’s so beautiful … after you’ve crossed New Zealand you have the long passage across the Pacific so it’s your real last sight of land for what’s going to be – gosh, it takes almost a half an hour to cross the Pacific – so looking at New Zealand, it’s just beautiful,” Hadfield told presenter Lucy Hockings

So just another reason to visit Middle Earth?


Its Monday, its May, it Must be winter…

May 6th, 2013

Well, in a nutshell ….. soon.

NZ’s Consumer has always been there to really help Kiwis out in deciding what to spend their hard earned money on…. and it continues….

But I digress. Kiwis are very fortunate that we have a national organisation like Consumer (like Choice in OZ, Consumer Reports in the States, et al…)

And why?

Well, one of the side benefits is that even if you don’t subscribe to their most excellent magazine and service, the folks there are still generous enough to provide heart warming reports for free.

And talk about timely?

Here is a question I have heard about a dozen times over the last year. (probably nearly the same for every year before that too!)

Whats best/most economical  – leaving the heatpump ** on 24hrs a day / 7 days a week … or only when you need it?

Well those gracious folks in Wellington provide the answers right here, just in time for that cooler weather.

Thanks Consumer!

* heatpump is the generic term in NZ given to what in OZ is called an air conditioner/ split system type.

**Eagle eyed readers will note the Consumer Report is from April 2012….but even with advances in Tech over the last year….by my reckoning its still 90% correct.

Otago Uni creates online injured cyclist-door crash map

Feb 8th, 2012

Just noticed Otago University have been working on a NZ wide aid to residents, and I also think it could be looked at as another “helper” in the mix for folk considering their options about living in certain areas.

They mention their aim ;

A searchable online map showing where in New Zealand cyclists have been injured as a result of car doors opening has been created by University of Otago injury prevention researchers.

Currently the map shows approximately 245 cycle door injury location over this 2007-11 period and indicates their seriousness and the direction the cyclist was traveling. And because its an overlay that rests on-top of Google Maps, its a breeze to use and visualise.

Otago researchers create online injured cyclist-door crash map

Great idea, and again, shows the advantages that the web can offer up each and every day.

Can Social Media sell Real Estate?

August 26th 2012

Couple of really interesting events transpired over the past week or so. Most especially so because they relate to the social media/ real estate combination in Oceania;

1] one of Sydneys leading agencies, McGrath, embraced social media further with the launch of their agents corporate Facebook page.

2] a much talked about case highlighted in an article by News reporter Victoria Craw, entitled “How to sell your home on social media” provoked plenty of comments …..of a Sydneysider taking to social media to sell their property.

How much social media did these Sydneysiders use, you ask….

There is also a Facebook Fan Page, Pinterest page featuring numerous boards of photos, Google + and a Twitter account where they can share some of the real time happenings at and around the apartment and tweet out their Instagram photos ….

ARTICLE SOURCE :  How to sell a property using social media ~  by Greg Vincent

Other marketing methods currently gaining traction with Real Estate Agents, are both online video (BTW recent 2012 Conference in USA has said the magic number, when it comes to video communications, is 1min 30secs) and audio marketing, as mentioned by Greg Vincent, Australias online guy for Real Estate Professionals, where he recently posted an article here on this same subject.

The Daily Telegraph ~ SYDNEY

While admitting “I’m not very good on Twitter”, host of Selling Houses Australia & real estate consumer champion, Andrew Winter also tells his readers hes not fully sold on social media yet.

As an agent, asking sellers to promote their home on video could work in some cases, but what worries me is if it is expected by everyone. A good local agent will know the real selling features better than the average seller.

But did concede that….

On the other hand, when people are looking at new homes, they are usually looking for a sense of the lifestyle the home will offer. Perhaps hearing first-hand will help them understand if there is a lifestyle match.

ARTICLE SOURCE: Not fully sold on social media  ~ Andrew Winter ~ The Daily Telegraph August 18, 2012

His comment regarding “first hand” is the clue here. But hes not the only one whose not getting too excited.

Still things could change…..

A 600lb Gorilla enters the room…

One things constant in all of this, real estate is down to two fundamental things really;

1] how best to market the property to the widest possible audience, both active and passive buyers, to get that premium price in the most efficient time period required and

2] how to select the correct agent/company that will do this to not only exceed a sellers satisfaction threshold, but place the most money in their pocket at the end of the day

As far as point No. 1 goes I feel social media is making inroads here, especially with a younger audience (read non- baby boomers) whose use of technology is just second nature. If members of this group want to find out about homes for sale, they know exactly where to go and how to do it…… many of these under 30’s don’t like being told how either …. witness the thousands of real estate twitter accounts with less than 10 posts, all about new listings for sale, and pretty much to a tee – now dormant. This leads me onto point no. 2.

Point no. 2 is all about creditability, reputation and integrity, and anything which aids the home seller, and the buyer too, should surely be welcomed with open arms.

Some may not know that Facebook picked NZ to “test” its infamous “pay to upsize your post” campaign.

Likewise, currently another 600lb Gorilla is trialling here a “very relevant to this topic” new addition to their program, but why NZ I hear you ask?

...its all about this new ENDORSE button....could be coming soon to you too...?

Well, according to Stuff’s Tom Pullar-Strecker in this article….. their spokeswoman Tara Commerford told him;

“New Zealand is one of the most connected communities in the world. Given the highly social and viral nature of this product, it made a lot of sense to test it in this market. If this model provides positive results, we may consider this approach for other products.

ARTICLE SOURCE: New Zealand becomes LinkedIn testbed by Tom Pullar-Strecker

The below screen shot shows an addition to your usual blue Linked-In screen, a box with skills / expertise and just below that the all important ENDORSE button.

The system is interesting because it throws up quite random requests seeking endorsement, like for example…..does my Product Manager friend know about Public Speaking, or does a Real Estate colleague know about HTML, or a fellow Rental Property Associate, do they know about Home Staging, so it really does get you thinking, especially about work attributes of colleagues from many years back.

Not your usual Linked-In screen……

Any chance to add more “verifiable” information amongst the business people on Linked-In is a good thing. Somehow I thing this one has legs….seems this is a bit more “hold accountable” that the “likes” of other programs, and perfect for the more typically professional oriented Linked-In community.

After you've clicked ENDORSE...then what happens...?

This weekend I’ve been endorsing a few current and past work colleagues, so will be interesting to see what their feedback is come Monday.

So to answer my original question, the jury is still out, but it won’t be long before more real life examples like this one, one which according to Australia’s REIV (Real Estate Institute Victoria) was a possible Australian first …… will start appearing, that’s for sure!

And when its “done right”….in everyones favourite term “hyper-local” way….

To end this post, in a related social media way, but a bit  “Jamie Oliver / Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall like”……. check out this great article (with analytics included), documenting the very real benefits of a “real life” short-term (48hrs the writer states) social media campaign conducted.

Oh ….and it involves beer.

Strategy wise, its a beautiful village style example of when social media is done right, resulting in the product that you’ve allocated for the festival, running out on the first night! Be surprised if even SEO’ers don’t pick up something from it.

Lastly, can social media go even where humans haven’t yet….well could this sign be a pointer?