A Post Only A Geek Could Love…Harry Potter & Real Estate

As my blog address implies I am a geek.

So this post on ActiveRain really caught my attention as one of the featured posts for the day.

Anna “Banana” Krutchen in Phoenix, Arizona gives some great examples as to how the curriculum at Hogwarts can be turned aroud and applied to REALTORS®.

A nice, short and entertaining post and one I recommend taking a couple of minutes out of your day to read. So while you’re drinking your 2nd or perhaps 3rd cup of coffee for the day, click HERE to give the post a read.

Google Chrome – The Next Best OS?

Late Tuesday Google announced that they’re working on an open-sourced OS based on the Google Chrome browser that they’ve released for Windows.

While I’m surprised that they announced it late Tuesday (you would think they’d announce it early in the morning in time for the morning news shows) I’m not surprised that they’re working on this.

Since Google has been in existence we’ve seen them create a lot of really great programs which have all been FREE. Google Earth, G-Mail, Google Apps, etc. They’ve also constantly worked to improve and add little enhancements here and there to the programs over the years.

Google Chrome OS is supposed to be a lightweight, open-source operating system that is supposed to just make things work, and work fast. Google Chrome apps will be based on web technologies, so if a software developer writes it for Chrome, it will also work on Windows, MAC, and Linux machines.

Perhaps the best part of the announcement was this…

“We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.”

Wow. A company listening to technology customers, even better they’re putting their money where their mouth is.

Granted Apple has been doing a pretty good job about listening to its customers…just look at the new iPhone 3Gs.

I am looking forward to this new OS and how it will impact technology and how we’re all connected.

To read the full announcement click HERE. You can also read the currently very brief Google Chrome OS FAQ HERE.

…and in related news both G-Mail and Google Apps have FINALLY broken free of their “BETA” status. It only took a couple of years right? 🙂

Twitter Growth Continues & Facebook Still #1

Nielsen Online reports that Twitter continues to see incredible growth up 1,444% over last year and people are spending more time on the site.

You can check out the article by clicking HERE and also see how Facebook has retained its #1 social networking spot for the 7th month in a row.

So…REALTORS® finally ready to learn about how to use these tools and go where the clients are?

Google Squared…A New Way To Compare

Introducing one of Google’s latest enhancements…

Google Squared Search BoxNot sure how long Google Squared has been around for, but this could be very promising, especially for the real estate industry.
I typed in homes for sale and got the following:

Homes For Sale Search Results

While the search results weren’t the best, it’s a start. Even with its rudimentary form I’m still far more impressed with this than I was with Microsoft’s Bing.

The ability to search the web and compare items like this means it’ll be even more critical for REALTORS® to have a significant presence on the internet and to have their listings on as many platforms as possible. Those that do will benefit greatly.

What can’t Google come up with nowadays?

New iPhone…New Macs With Lower Prices…Safari 4

As we were showing off the new “My C.A.R.” iPhone app for the C.A.R. and REBS staff, Apple was rolling out their new stuff in San Francisco.

I have to admit it was a bit of a blissful geek moment to know that we were doing a demo at the same time as the Apple biggies..especially since they both involved the iPhone.

What would be really cool is to eventually see the “My C.A.R.” app get demoed at Apple’s WWDC as part of a keynote.
Maybe version 2.0?

Oh yeah…the Apple news.

So the big news from San Fran was the roll-out of new laptops with LOWER PRICES, the incredibly cheap Snow Leopard upgrade, Safari 4.0, and of course the much expected new iPhone 3GS.

So I could go on about all the nitty-gritty details but a lot of other blogs/websites have done that , my favorite Apple related sites  are AppleInsider and Mac Rumors.

I’m totally in love with my son’s iTouch and have downloaded app after app for it games for the both of us, and utilities for me.

I’m just waiting for the iPhone to be “officially” supported by the I.T. staff. I can get e-mail on the iTouch but since there’s no “official” support for accessing office e-mail like that I can’t give up my Blackberry. Once it is…it’s bye-bye Blackberry, hello iPhone!

It’s an incredibly brilliant device and the amount of apps available as well as the incredibly low price of them is astounding.

I think it’s great that Apple has brought the prices down on their laptops…it was much needed, especially with the BS Microsoft ads. While there was no “netbook” announced they did bring the price of the MacBook Air down significantly, that was another brilliant move.

Offering the Snow Leopard upgrade for $29…WOW!!!! One of the boldest moves I’ve ever seen a company make and another great shot at Microsoft.

I DARE Microsoft to offer Windows 7 upgrade for the same price!

Now I don’t totally hate Microsoft…it has its place in the world. After all we need a couple of competitors for us to get the best out of the tech market. Microsoft though continues to not listen to its customers and does what it thinks is right…that’s where it fails, and has been failing for the past 5 years.

It will be curious to see how yesterday’s product announcements bode for both companies. It’ll be exciting to watch…that’s for sure!

“My C.A.R” App Featured On Inman

Those good folks at Inman were kind enough to mention our wonderful new iPhone/iTouch app on their site here. and link back to my original blog post.

We’re getting a lot of great response to this and a lot of great questions. To answer a few…

1. Is this available to real estate professionals outside of California?

The application was developed keeping re-use in mind. It will be available for re-licensing by other real estate companies and REALTOR® organizations so they can easily put in the data that they want to share with their staff or members.

2. I’m a member of the California Association of REALTORS®, how do I get a copy?

The app was initially rolled out in pre-release format, and made available to the members who attended the business meetings last week in Sacramento. We’re going through the final approval process with Apple and once it’s approved our plan is to make it available through Apple’s App Store. Keep an eye on www.car.org and the C.A.R. Newsline for an announcement  once it’s made public.

3. How much will it cost me?

The app will be FREE for all members of the California Association of REALTORS®.

New “My C.A.R.” iPhone/iTouch App

Here’s a demo of the new “My C.A.R.” iPhone/iTouch app just announced at the C.A.R. meetings in Sacramento.

Right now it’s only available to those who are at the meetings but will be available through the Apple App Store later this month.

The video was put together by yours truly with help from Alan Arora and Ben Karp.

The voices are courtesy of C.A.R. staff members Rick Laezman and Stacey Katzin.