Posts Tagged as real estate tool (page 9)

Real Estate ‘Dictionary’ Aimed at Standardizing Descriptions

Real estate websites and classified ads can leave first-time home buyers wishing they had a Secret Agent decoder ring so they could decipher the abbreviations and description shortcuts used by real estate agents to save precious space when posting to  their local MLS system and creating newspaper and online classified ads for their properties. When house hunting, the first thing buyers and sellers need to do is learn the lingo!

Unfortunately, being able to decode a property listing on a real estate site doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a clear picture of the house that’s for sale. Like comparing apples to oranges, one Realtor’s flowery “luxurious master bath” may be another real estate agent’s succinctly stated “full bath.” Even real estate agents can find themselves confused when reading listings from another part of the country. Each regional of the U.S. seems to have its own unique way of describing different real estate features. Being unfamiliar with the local slang can radically skew your interpretation of a real estate listing. For example, a California bungalow could be a Midwest ranch or a New England Cape Cod. Each word conjures up a very different mental image depending on where you live in.

More than 900 nationwide multiple listing sites complicate the issue. Many determine their own listing standards. Discrepancies from one real estate website to another are often found in the way square footage is determined, how living space is defined, and how bedrooms and bathrooms are reported.

Such inconsistencies in the reporting, translation and display of real estate property data have led the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) to consider creating and adopting a standardized Data Dictionary for the real estate industry. Charged with promoting the development and implementation of data standards across the industry, the organization’s board has scheduled a discussion of the Data Dictionary proposal for its April meeting.

Real Estate Standards Organization board chairman Rebecca Jensen, CEO of, told The Seattle Times that preliminary discussions at the Real Estate Connect conference make publication of the first real estate Data Dictionary “very close.”

iPad Is Becoming a Must Have at Real Estate Open Houses

The popularity of the iPad is on track to close the door on traditional real estate open houses. Since its introduction, iPad sales have soared. An estimated 50 million people now own iPads or their Android tablet computer clones. Their slim size, light weight, portability, internet connectivity and compatibility with mobile technology have made iPads the marketing tool of choice for real estate agents.

Easier to use and display and even more portable than laptop computers, it didn’t take iPads long to replace laptops at open houses and client meetings. Their larger screen size also gives tablets a considerable edge over smartphones when it comes to displaying property listings and running walk-through videos for home buyers.

iPads have become de rigueur at open houses. Real estate agents find tablets a convenient and eye-catching way to showcase other area properties. Touch technology still engenders a certain “oh, wow!” response that impresses home shoppers. Some real estate agents have found it profitable to join in sponsoring neighborhood open houses. Tablet tours at each property entice home shoppers to visit other area open houses. But numerous industry watchers believe that tablets and the rise of mobile communication have already rung the death knell for traditional open houses. Time-crunched home buyers would rather check out property video tours on their iPads than spend time traipsing from house to house.

The marrying of tablets and mobile technology allows real estate agents to interact with clients anytime, anywhere. Video conferencing is replacing office visits. Tweets are replacing emails. iPad and iPhone apps allow real estate agents to forward listing information and video tours to clients as soon as new listings are posted. House hunters can now peruse real estate listings from the comfort of their home or while they’re on the go. With an iPad, home buyers can check out new listings while they’re commuting to work or sitting in the parking lot waiting to pick up the soccer car pool. Tablet technology frees real estate agents and home buyers from time and place constraints, opening a new era in real estate.

If you have an iPad, you might want to check out this cool app called Open Home Pro

New Real Estate Listing Network Challenges MLS

The launch of a new real estate listing network aimed at real estate franchises challenges the supremacy of the real estate industry’s traditional multiple listing services (MLS) and is generating a lot of discussion among U.S. Realtors. Developed by behemoth real estate syndicator ListHub, the new Real Estate Network (REN) will expand property listing syndication to the websites of the nation’s biggest real estate franchises. Owned by Move, Inc., ListHub is offering participation in its new Real Estate Network to real estate brokers and multiple listing services as a free and voluntary online real estate tool. RE/MAX, Century 21, Coldwell Banker and Realty Executives International were the first to jump on the bandwagon.

The launch of Real Estate Network will allow the 43,000 real estate brokerage firms, 376 multiple listing services and numerous real estate franchises that currently participate in ListHub to expand their real estate marketing reach by choosing to send their property listings to one or more network members. Members of the new network retain the right to pick and choose the network members with whom they will share property listings and may refuse to share listings with select network members at their discretion.

In the Real Estate Network launch announcement on PR Newswire, Move CEO Steve Berkowitz called the new network “an industry-friendly initiative” that “maximizes and ensures broker control” over the promotion of real estate listings. While Real Estate Network rules are similar to the Internet Date Exchange (IDX) listing parameters imposed by multiple listing services, the game-changing difference is that Real Estate Network mandates a uniform nationwide listing standard.

Several aspects of the new network are generating talk in the real estate community. The possible demise of multiple listing services seems to be the greatest potential impact the new network might have on the real estate industry. Some industry watchers are also predicting that online realty lister Zillow will suffer from competition with a new, broad-scale listing network. The biggest winners may be smaller real estate firms that stand to benefit from free access to real estate tools developed by their bigger brethren.

Social Networking Widgets

New widgets for real estate professionals.

We are looking into building widgets for real estate agent to showcase their listings, blog, twitter feed, YouTube Channel etc. What do you think? Is this something that a real estate professional would find useful? These widgets can be placed on blogs, facebook, websites and so on. We need your feedback on this one.