bio: peter comitini »

market knowledge
Manhattan market report »
townhouse report »

follow peter comitini

peter's newsletter
sign-up here »

the topics
blogs & sites
for sale or rent
green city
market reports
property geek
questions & answers
tips for buyers
tips for sellers
newsreal bookmarks
peter's photos

real estate services
home page
selling your property
buying a home
browse listings
recent press
contact peter

design & ideas
green design
nyc resources
real estate
real estate: overseas

the archives
April 2014
November 2013
April 2013
February 2013
January 2013
June 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
July 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
October 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
October 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
all archives

« previous: I am putting 10% down on my new apartment. Is that going to cost me more money?   |  next: the corcoran report: fourth quarter 2006 »

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Get Smarter Agent, or smarter agents?

id_tech.gifI was quoted in this week's New York Magazine regarding Smarter Agent, a new location based cell phone service for searching properties, using the phone's GPS location cross-referenced to a database of listings. I know there's something attractive about an advertising medium distributed on ubiquitous mobile phones that are aware of where and when I'm accessing the system— especially if I own the local MacDonald's and it's lunchtime. Beyond lunch, the jury is still out on people finding it to be a very useful way to find a home.

“Have you ever used a browser on a cell phone?” he [comitini] asks. “It’s one of the most frustrating experiences”
shoe-phone.jpgI still remember being a kid in the pre-cell phone era, watching Mel Brook's TV show "Get Smart", in which secret agent Maxwell Smart would talk into his 'shoe-phone'. I can't help but feel the same way about some of the new mobile tools which seem equally clunky. Typing on a keypad the size of a tablespoon, or browsing the web through the peephole-like aperture of a cellphone screen (many websites are designed close to 1200 pixels wide today, while even the biggest PDA phone screens will only display about a 320 pixel section of it) are not great experiences. Sites optimized for mobile use can help ease the pain, but the ergonomics are still hard to push past being just acceptable in my opinion. They tend to be on-the-fly tools, that are used when better options are not readily available. I'd much rather run customer searches on a desktop computer, and properly call for appointments and missing details. If my objective is to efficiently get into a number of properties in a few hours, it usually requires some advanced planning. So outside of open houses, Smarter Agent seems positioned awkwardly in the work-flow of house hunting.
“There’s no such thing as a 100 percent complete list of apartments”
Ultimately it comes down to the quality of the information and how to use it. Real estate agents have a level of product knowledge beyond the listing data that's hard to put in a can— the more qualitative things that make a difference everyday like a building's management, access to local services, transportation, quality of light and layouts, etc... People use real estate brokers for the same reason they use technology, to get things done better and faster. Smarter Agent, could be somewhat useful to smaller firms, depending on the quality of it's data; but it's uniqueness may be less revolutionary at second glance. Mobile data access is a popular notion lately. Corcoran recently introduced an mobile extension of its listing system for its agents. It gives everyone of us out working with a customer, the ability to access the most comprehensive listings database through our cell phones, whenever needed. It is a virtual tool that provides field support for a far more comprehensive brokerage business process. While not yet GPS enabled, I usually know where in town I'm standing, and can pull the data in moments flat. Many of my colleagues like it and use it a lot. read the full article »

post a comment:

to help fight spam, your comment may need to be approved by the moderator before it appears

we don't collect or share email addresses

email this to a friend:

recipient's email address:

your email address (required):

we don't collect or share email addresses

your personal message (optional):

a link to this page will be included with your message.