There were two announcements made this week that I think will have some pretty significant impacts on real estate. Wolfnet announced that they are now fully live on the national IDX data feed for Canada. Moreover, every application that Wolfnet offers has now been tailored to the needs of Canadian real estate. Wolfnet has long been a leader in property search solutions in America, notably serving search solutions to every Keller Williams agent in addition to many other brands. Now Wolfnet’s Canadian customer will have access to the same benefits. The second announcement came from W&R Studios, makers of Cloud CMA. Cloud CMA became popular by MLSs who wanted to deliver a CMA solution to subscribers that is fast, easy, and mobile. It has resulted in a huge success reaching over 95,000 users. Now, Woolley and Robertson have focused on another clunky feature of many of today’s MLS systems – the automatic notification. They call it Cloud Streams. It allows agents to configure a search for their client(s) that will notify them whenever a new or updated listing matches their search criteria. Like Cloud CMA, it is fast, easy, and mobile. Kudos to both Wolfnet and W&R Studios for delivering applications that will make a difference in the way that real estate services the consumer. Both companies are friends and customers, and we are rooting for their success. W&R Studios is scheduling demonstrations of Cloud Streams for Midyear. Reach out to Greg Robertson if you want to be among the first to see this product.
Many software solutions used in real estate today are offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), meaning that they are accessed through a browser or, in some cases, a mobile app. For most companies today, being cross browser compliant is about as far as they have gone. Advanced companies, mostly those who have the luxury of products released in the past couple of years, have made their browser-based application “responsive” so as to fit naturally into any screen resolution on any browser. Cloud CMA just came out with a browser Bookmarklet that reminded me how many powerful browser features are not being leveraged. A key objective of any Software as a Service company is to drive user adoption. Reminding the agent that they have access to the software tool and providing the agent with easy access are keynotes of that goal. Depending on your product or the type of organization, you may find many benefits to browser plugins that improve the user experience and accessibility of your application. That is exactly what Cloud CMA has done, and its brilliant! Agents simply drag a bookmarklet to their browser to get started. Then they go about doing what they always do – look up properties in the MLS for their CMA. When they have the MLS list pulled up, they simply hit the Cloud CMA bookmarklet in their browser and those listings are automatically ported into the Cloud CMA. One touch CMA and you are done! I think that in many cases, it makes Cloud CMA easier and faster than the CMA that is installed in many MLSs. Certainly, bookmarklets as illustrated are one browser feature that can increase adoption and ease of use. Beyond that, browsers have strong capabilities for supporting access and security to applications. You have probably noticed this when using a different computer or browser to access Facebook. They will challenge your access. The same access and security challenges happen with many online banking applications, and they often include a text message code layer. Although these security measures may not be stringent enough for protecting access to an MLS system, they are likely to be adequate for protecting against password sharing that many software providers are trying to solve for. Another browser capability that has promise for online applications are notifications. Today, many software solutions have depended on email for notifications, clogging up agent inboxes. Why not use […]