New Zealand is, well actually has been now for a while…

……the perfect test case.

This I recall from my IT days chatting with project folk from the major companies, even when it was something that wasn’t the most popular thing, NZ was, they recanted, just a perfect “test case” situation. Another likened it in these words… a “control” experience for his company.


Well, from what I was told…it went like this……….

1] english speaking country

2] accustomed to most / easily adjustable, even taking local customs into account, to Australia / Canada / USA / UK, and hence scalable …..

3] the ability to “test market” anything for a pittance of what it would cost to do “the same” in one of the countries named in no. 2 above

4] plenty of other “not at first glance” obvious reasons…..

….and that precisely brings me to this…….


many media sites are reporting tonight, like the ole days of IT, that Google Maps will deliver “live traffic” updates to 3 countries, us, Hong Kong, and Norway.

So good on you Google – well done…can’t wait to try this out.

And while I’m at it on the subject of driving in New Zealand – can I recommend all Kiwis check out the most excellent site here…..

It just makes this new road rule change (thats due in about a week) so so so easy to comprehend and more importantly, understand.




March 20 2012 | General and Nelson and New Zealand and Technology | No Comments »

A new species, the “Phablet”

Feb 2012

This month I think its becoming pretty apparent that the Samsung Note, and friends need a name.

Phablet” seems a mighty fine one, although a Google search shows up just 105,000 results when you plug that name in, its definitely going to grow, dare I say grow very fast!

For folks with dimensioned challenged fingers (hmm … like those of someone I know?) a phone, be it the iPhone, or a Samsung Galaxy 1 or 2 are just starting to approach what I would term “comfortable when it comes to typing an email / texting on them.

So someone in NZ who uses a gb of data at the min. in their day to day life per month….well I’d love to here from them. Better yet….I’d certainly love to here from anyone who is currently using one of these “monster phones.”

For Real Estate consultants an item like the Samsung Note could be a “godsend” enabling absolute mobility.

Perhaps I’m out of town for a few days, but with the click of a few buttons on my Android device I can instantly see….

what my add that is booked (in full colour resolution) for this weeks publication, on the cover of Fridays “Summit Weekly”, will present to the general public when they collect it, or the insert in the Nelson Mail, then let me tell you……….. that’s what I classify as a real helper.

February 21 2012 | General and Technology | No Comments »

Real Estate Agents, your “Floor Plan Drawing” ship just came in…

Thanks to Larry over at the PFRE blog for alerting me to this one.

Agents now have one less reason why they should not be including floorplans with their web listings, or print out brochures.

You really need do no more than watch the intro video to see how this app called “MagicPlan” works.

Only for IOS and iPhone at this stage, but Android users should get their own version in about 6 mths.

Larry mentions;

The final floor plan is free for non-commercial use (includes a watermark) and $1.10 USD for commercial use (with the watermark removed).

Oh and did I mention, the app is free to download.

Century 21 in France are using this already...

And just in case you are wondering “where can this lead….?” check out what this French company are already doing with it!



November 21 2011 | Buyers and General and Sellers and Technology | No Comments »

Australia the new Smartphone ruler

Sept 9th, 2011

Most, if not all IT show visitors, IT forecasters, IT sellers -> -> and filtering all the way down the supply chain to your local electronics store/supplier… ….seem to believe the world starts in America, well just after Japan / Far East Asia that is. Thus for them, it follows that if the product was this successful in USA / the uptake was this percentage, then do the maths and the NZ or Australian market will take / sell this many units.

Here to tell you, this just might not be correct!

Here in NZ, has successfully impacted on Kiwi’s technology uptake with the launch of its Smartphone iPhone GIS property browsing app. (hopefully soon to be joined by an Android version)….and has been pleasantly surprised at its surprisingly fast take-up.

But what if we here down-under led the world in utilisaltion of this type of technology?

Could it just be that same antipodean spirit that still has us Kiwi’s renown in Sydney, London, New York as ambitious, “long hours working” industrious employees?

Sir Steven Tindall, Warehouse founder and KEA, issued a point last year …

New Zealand has the most globally dispersed population in the OECD with a staggering 25% of our highly skilled population living off shore.

As has been broadcast for ages, the fact “that we are so far from anywhere” gives us somewhere to “hang our hat” when looking for reasons. Hey…we also don’t have to look far to see plenty of examples, like ones I’ve previously documented on this blog already!

Everyone has friends and family offshore and likes to keep in contact.

And its by no means, a new trend…..John Mulgan wrote Man Alone, a NZ classic, where he put it this way in the book Report on Experience ♣ (1947) of New Zealanders’ propensity for travel, and their need to return;

‘They come from the most beautiful country in the world, but it is a small country and very remote. After a while this isolation oppresses them and they go abroad. They roam the world looking not for adventure but for satisfaction. They run service cars in Iraq, goldmines in Nevada, or newspapers in Fleet Street. They are a queer, lost, eccentric, pervading people who will seldom admit to the deep desire that is in all of them to go home and live quietly in New Zealand again.’ (pp. 3-4)

So maybe all of this goes partly to explain the breaking news delivered in last Saturday week, Daily Telegraph…

…..under the headline “Smart Aussie call on Phones.”

That puts us well ahead of the US and the UK, where smartphone users make up only about 30 per cent of all mobile phone users.

Research from retail analyst firm GfK highlights just how quickly Australians are dropping their standard phones for new feature-packed models.

Sales of smartphones only outstripped regular phones for the first time during the first three months of the year. But, during the following three-month period to June this year, for every regular phone sold there were two smartphones sold.

This news means that by following the so called “worldwide” (read heavily USA based) stats /sales histories of mobile related apps / phones / plans / trends, many in Australia & New Zealand aren’t getting the full picture, and are potentially stymieing their channel or their business……let alone the opportunity that this rapid local uptake presents for new developer business. Anyone remember Derek and Geoff Handley’s multi-million dollar Hyperfactory sale last year??

My point.

With real estate being one of the more regularly used apps locally, we here down-under must continue to ensure we  are world leaders here. (because our usage is)  So, don’t just look at what has happened in the US or the UK, or even Tokyo. No design here needs to maintain a cutting edge, to be some of the best realestate app software in the world, do it down-under (local users are obviously demanding it!) and then take that to the world.

My secondary point.

This untapped ex-pat population aids both Australia & NZ in terms of our own organic real estate market, assisting to buffer each country in harder “real estate” times. These softer times, eg; GFC….are times when Kiwis and Aussies think of returning home too…..and this surely has an effect on things. I would hazard a guess that a greater percentage of these returning ex-pats “buy into” the local real estate scene more so than “normal migrants”…certainly faster anyway.

Last outside view – looking in point.

NZ pollies better get it right with the current future predictions for UFB rollout, 4-5G, ex CDMA bandwidth auction, and further…..because it will matter in coming years….especially down-under. And if their predictions / potential trends based on overseas experience…..then really there is only one country they should look to – Australia.  And why….if you want to see how liberated the average Aussie smartphone user feels….just check out their rates.


NZ ex-pats, second highest percentage in the world

The World, 4 degrees warmer…..

SOURCE – “Smart Aussie call on Phones” The Daily Telegraph Sydney Saturday 27th August 2011



September 09 2011 | Buyers and General and Nelson and New Zealand and Technology and The Market | No Comments »

Its Real Estate Jim, but not as we know it

August 17th, 2011

In the old days, 90% of buyers would come into a real estate office and ask, or in more recent times search, for a desired property starting with / based on the number of bedrooms they wanted.

Times, they are, a changin’……

Get ready for the age of the retiring baby boomer. Get ready for the professional couple without children for who, the number of bedrooms isn’t quite as relevant as it was 15 – 20 years ago.

What they are looking for is a lifestyle location, within a lifestyle destination, and then comes the number of bedrooms and those other things……..

Today’s standard real estate search doesn’t appear to cater directly to that.

pick your desired location based on what "lifestyle" you want...

Enter the “lifestyle search”, in the instantly very easy to read “heatmap” format.

After over 2 years in development, their USA site has gone live in a Beta way.

But trying to explain it rather than just using it….its a bit like trying to tell you about a picture in 1,000 words. So no, in this case, its definitely best to testdrive the real McCoy for yourself.

Head on over to Spatialmatch’s (beta) website here….and see exactly what I mean. You’ll spot a bit of Walkscore in there too, but there is so much more. The future looks bright.


August 17 2011 | Buyers and General and Sellers and Technology and The Market | No Comments »

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