Tag Archives: Technology

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.

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?

Air New Zealand …. yes please

July 31, 2012

As you know many times on here I have spoken of the love Kiwis have for their airline, Air New Zealand.

And how, with much anticipation we are awaiting the world release of the Boeing 787-9, for which we are the launch customer/airline.

This mockup just tweeted by Air NZ begs to be shared around.

Lets hope that they haven’t signed off on the boring one at the top, and consider something like the one under that.

Surely, seeing how this has come from an official tweet channel of the airline…. there is more to this story? 🙂

NZ Car Logbook Dilemma Solved

July 2012

Real Estate Agents are no different than other independent contractors or self employed persons in New Zealand, who spend a good percentage of their working day “on the road” so to speak.

To calculate a “working Vs a private usage” situation for the vehicle used, IRD request that a log book must be kept, covering & detailing a continuous period of three (3) months. And it needs to be updated every 3 years.

This logbook is really no more different than what I suspect truck drivers complete every working day, it needs to state your start, your finish, your kilometers and the purpose, as in whether each trip is for private purposes, or solely business related.

Erwin Wernsen is a chap who, between projects, decided to write an app, in this case an Android app that works brilliantly on the Samsung S3 I can attest.

His little app will save the real estate agents of New Zealand heaps and heaps of time, and yet into the bargain, provide an even more detailed and accurate “log book.”

As any new Smartphone user already knows these devices today come standard with the ubiquitous GPS. To ensure you don’t lose any points on your license, most everyone I know has a Bluetooth handsfree carkit in said business related vehicle as well.

Great, that’s the only two ingredients required for this little app, the cunningly named “Auto Mileage Log” to do its business and log your journeys.

Time to throw away that paper based book!

The one other item required is an internet connected PC so that you can review, analyse and download your “logbook” reports.

And in the words of the developer himself, here’s the neat little trick that makes this app a standout winner in my books………

But while I was developing the app I got the idea to use the bluetooth connection as a signal to start and end the trip logging. This way the logging would be fully automatic and I would not need to remember to start and stop the registration. At that time that was a unique feature so I decided to publish the app on the market. I guess more people liked this feature since I had quite a few downloads right away. Some of the users also provided me with good feedback…..

So you don’t even have to remember to turn anything on! Just remember that you have started the app, and that you have the GPS and Bluetooth activated on your phone, oh and obviously that its connected “paired” to your handsfree carkit.

You can even review your maps right on your Smartphone just to check you got all the details correct

Another exciting feature is that when setting up the preferences you select what time of the day, I think mine is set for 23:00hrs, that the phone will upload your “logbook” data automagically to the dedicated website. Yes, yes…… upfront you do need to register on the site, and use a special PIN that the site generates for you, but it works a treat. You can also download the report in .CSV.

Oh, and did I mention at this stage the app is FREE.

I suspect that not just Real Estate Agents would benefit from this app/website combo, and would be interested to know of other industries in NZ where something like this would be handy.

Thanks Erwin for a great app, I’m thinking this won’t be the last one you write.

PS: When you review the details online you can adjust the report so that, for example. you may require to change Business to Private.

Also this works better with a car only Bluetooth unit, not one of those wireless ones people clip to their ears. If you have one of those, then this app will track you everywhere you go….?

Almost Real Estate TV – the future…

May 2012

Looking at this great periodic TV type video spot from the Gary Peer Real Estate organisation over in Melbourne….

the above is from Episode 27....

…one can’t but grasp how far the industry has come in terms of its embracing all forms of media.

Tis also great to see a touch of humour and reality, along with the reality in a timeframe wise sense, added too.