W&R takes the field with CloudStreams

In 1997, Coldwell Banker introduced a website feature called “Personal Retriever.”

The listing alert was born.

It was, and is, a killer real estate app. You can put IDX on Facebook; you can draw a search on your phone; you can take video tours of homes. But these things pale next to the enduring utility of having homes matching your criteria sent to you automatically.

Oddly, though, few companies have taken the time to improve upon this core function. I get email listing alerts from dozens of sites and almost all of them transport me back to 1997. They look terrible on my phone. There’s no thought given to information design. And they’re not tied to a place online where I might collaborate with an agent or organize my search.

Sadly, the companies sending these alerts are proclaiming “I don’t get it” to consumers with every email.

This is why last week’s launch of CloudStreams, the new listing alert and collaboration app from W&R Studios, the makers of CloudCMA, is significant. They have taken something important and improved upon it. A lot. As a result, agents that set up clients with alerts and “Streams” (what W&R calls the collaboration space) look like heroes, not knuckleheads.

Agents can set up clients to receive email alerts, but also SMS alerts. The emails are responsive, so they look great on a mobile device. The design is clean and attractive. Calls to action are strong.

Welcome to 2014.

Perhaps most importantly, when a client clicks through a CloudStreams alert, they are taken to an online space where they can not only get more information on the properties to which they have been alerted, but can favorite, delete or comment on properties in tandem with their agent. All of this is designed beautifully for both mobile and desktop.

Cloud Streams

ListingBook has played in this space for a while, but it’s poorly designed. Buyfolio did it right, but was absorbed into Zillow in 2012.

The field was open and W&R took it. They’re going to do well, deservedly so. Dan and Greg (the “W” and “R” in W&R Studios) are two of the smartest, classiest people in this business. They’re also partners on our Nudge app.

Congrats to them on another winner.