Industry

Friday Flash: A midyear breather

Author
Brian Boero
No.
869
Date
05/09/14

I am headed to the Midyear conference next week. There’s so much going on in meeting rooms, I doubt I will descend the elevator to the trade show floor.

I will, however, take a late-night cab ride to the Lincoln memorial, look up at the great man, read the Gettysburg address from the marble, then turn and look out with him upon the mall.

I always do this, and it always gives me chills.

A great break from talking shop and breathing stale hotel air.

..

Zillow released “Zestimate Forecasts.” I think this is something like a home value horoscope, but we all know that doesn’t mean it won’t be popular with consumers.

It will be interesting to see if agents report any impact on their dealings with sellers. I can see an exchange along the lines of “I understand it’s a good time to sell, Ms. Agent, but look here – my home’s going to be worth $30,000 more in a year. I’m going to wait.”

You might have caught the launch of Lasso this week. It’s another entry in the hot agent/client collaboration space, but with a twist.

People can “lasso” listings from anywhere into “corrals,” spaces where invited participants can compile listings, rate them, comment on them and more. Corrals can be accessed on the web or in the free Lasso mobile app.

The interesting thing here is that anywhere part. While collaboration products like ListingBook, AgentFolio, CloudStreams and RealScout rely on MLS feeds, Lasso doesn’t. They’re simply a shopping cart into which you can toss whatever you like, from any isle. You just email a listing from any site or app to “add@lasso.net” or click the Lasso browser extension and it’ll show up in your corral.

I like this product because it shines a light on something kind of important: real estate listings are out there, like, on the Internet. All over.

We try to protect them, silo them, lock them into the singular experience of this app or that app, try to push them upstream, or keep them under the banner of brand A or brand B. This is a noble effort, but trying at once to disseminate “advertising” and protect “content” is going to become increasingly tough in a world where fair use and ambient data rule.

Anyway, sorry to get heavy on you. Lasso’s cool. Check it out.

Move announced an enhancement to its Market Snapshot product called “Sold Alerts.” Agents can now set up their clients with instant updates on new sales minutes after they’re recorded in the MLS.

Market Snapshot is one of those products that’s been around for awhile and therefore gets overlooked by people looking for the next shiny object. But it’s fundamentally valuable.

It’s also good to see Move leveraging its inherent data advantage like this. Solds are, in my opinion, severely underutilized as a means of consumer engagement. If you think back to the Old Days, you’ll probably recall that about the only Realtor postcard you glanced at before chucking your stack of junk mail in the trash was the one showing recent sales in your neighborhood. Solds are sticky stuff!

SmartAsset, a well-funded startup that helps people make important financial decisions, including buying a home, has launched a free mobile app. It’s not mind-blowing. In fact, it’s pretty simple. It’d be nice to see more of this from real estate companies – straightforward, well executed decision support.

Enjoy the weekend.

[Disclosure: Move, Inc. is a 1000watt client.]