Friday Flash: Mobile mortgage, geo-fencing magic and a psychic salve

Zillow released a mortgage iPhone app. It’s really good. Rates, calcs and a smooth tie-in to their mortgage marketplace, where they and their partners make money.

Bigger picture:

After 15 years on the “PC Web,” mortgage rates and tools have remained more or less stuck in a sad world of jangly co-brands, gonzo display ads and confusing calcs. With this app, which likely took a few weeks or months to build, that noise is gone. All of it.

I love this new world.

More on mobile: LPS Real Estate Group’s REALM ad network partnered with Smarter Agent, the real estate mobile app developer. This means ads LPS sells will appear on some of Smarter Agent’s apps.

Brokers have been very tentative about monetizing their website traffic with ads. It will be interesting to see what happens here. In any case, the advertisers are on board.

A smallish announcement in the big Apple news that I really dug: Location-aware reminders that fire not only when you need them, but where you need them. So, let’s say you have “pick up pound of coffee” on your to-do list. When you drive past the coffee house on your way home from work, you get the alert. Smart.

Think about home search this way: You’re looking for “3-bed, 2-bath craftsman around $800,000” … it’d be nice to get a push notification whenever you drive or walk within a quarter mile of what you’re looking for. A location-aware email listing alert, if you will. No searching – just what you’re looking for, when you’re near it.

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of map-based real estate search. It can work well on some sites in some markets for some user profiles, but I think maps are better used as a complement to a good old-fashioned list view in most cases.

But… maps could lead for some “lifestyle” searches. This map from Stamen Design illustrates this. It allows users whose foremost concerns are price and commute time to determine quickly where they can live based on those values.

Imagine dozens of such preference pairings, on one site.

The week has worn you down to the nub. Your inbox isn’t cleared out, and your front yard is loaded with weeds.

I know.

If you need a psychic salve, check out this video. Light, sound and warmth from the cold of Norway.

Enjoy the weekend!

[Disclosure: LPS Real Estate Group is a 1000WATT Consulting client]