Very similar to what John L Scott did (they were both done by the same dev company) but a little more localized as far as neighborhood drill-down. They also added sold property listings driven by address reference rather than map based, but still pretty handy.
As I’m an agent for Coldwell Banker Bain I’ll refrain from singing my praises of the improvements. I’m a little more interested in what everyone else thinks of it. Check it out at http://www.cbba.com/InteractiveMapSearch.aspx
homes, real estate, real tech, search, Seattle
Announced with lots of fanfare on Inman today about New home-valuation site rivals Zillow. Just went to check it out and it valued my home at $618,000 compared to Zillow’s Zestimate of $1.12 Million. Hmm..just a slight margin of difference there. Inman’s blog site covers the ABC Value tool as “Zillow is old news“.
Personaly, while neither is quite accurate (I think Zesitmates have been covered enough already), I’ll take the old news over the new player on the block. They seem to miss some major value factors like..oh about 50ft of waterfront. All-in-all I think these services make interesting discussion points for our clients but it will be some time before they are on the money.
home, realestateabc, values, Zillow
I always hate spending time doing the copy+paste for a task that can be automated. So I wrote a VBScript that will read a data download from the MLS system and create my formated PowerPoint file, including the pictures. Used to take me 20+ minutes to do this manually, now it takes less than 5 minutes using VBScript for [tag]Microsoft Office Automation[/tag].
I’m not a programmer so there’s probably a lot that could be done more efficiently — thus I’m putting this out there hoping I’ll get some improvements as people take a look.
What would really be great is if I could pull the data directly from the MLS system, but at the present the NWMLS doesn’t even allow agents direct data links into the system. That’s a major pet peeve of mine, particularly when NAR’s Center for Realtor Technology has actually developed some great tools for us to do just that. Over on Rain City Guide, Robbie has a few good comments on that issue. Hey Robbie — if you see this maybe you can modify it to pull directly from your XML feed you’ve created for RCG.
At any rate – click this link for the file. You will need to save it as CREATPPT.VBS in order to run it.
One of the challenges of being a Realtor is that your personal plans are often waylaid by the needs of your client. Case in point — I was really looking forward to attending last nights MIT Forum about the future of real estate technology, but my evening was prioritized by the needs of a client. Ah well…such is the nature of the business. Justin has laid out his comments over on Rain City Guide and I’m looking forward to hearing what Ardell and some of the others have to say.
One interesting question Justin raises is the business model of Redfin — they tell the client to make the listing agent do the work of showing you the home than come back to us and we will write the deal for a discount — will listing agents start refusing to show the home to Redfin’s clients? Or to take it a next step, will a listing agent sue Redfin for the commission based on procuring cause.
I only have a take on the first question for now. I think Redfin’s model is awful, not because of discounts and the competition for lowering commissions, but because they leave the buyer with limited to no representation. Their agents do not look at the home that is being purchased and I’m not certain if they do anything except review your contract paper work. I’m just waiting to see which lawyers are going to start pouncing all over them with the class action lawsuits for inadequate representation.
For my part, I would not refuse to show a Redfin client one of my listing. I may not like their model, but my responsibility is to represent the best interest of my client. So if there is a ready and willing buyer, yes I will show them the home.
Interesting side note: I was working with my client (a buyer) until 9:30PM last night and missed the forum dinner for which I had already paid. Redfin’s hours are 6AM – 6PM (they don’t indicate a time zone though they are here in Pacific Time zone). I don’t know any reputable agents whose availability to their clients ends at 6 o’clock.