May 1, 2012

Conference showcases real-estate technology

Real-estate agents and brokers have been deluged in recent years with hundreds of different software applications promising to make them more efficient, competitive and successful.

The problem with so many options is figuring out the best tools to choose and learning how to use them, according to representatives of the organization that maintains the Phoenix area's real-estate listings.

In an effort to provide information and guidance, the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, or ARMLS, hosted its fourth annual Technopalooza, a daylong conference highlighting the latest real-estate technology and how best to take advantage of it.

"Technology has infiltrated virtually every facet of real estate," said Chris Heagarty, ARMLS director of communication and professional and business development.

As a result, ARMLS has since 2009 hosted two annual events: Technopalooza, to showcase the latest technology tools; and in October the Learn-A-Thon, which focuses on high-tech training.

One of the instructors presenting to about 700 attendees at Wednesday'sTechnopalooza was Victor Lund, founding partner of real-estate consulting firm the WAV Group, in Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Lund walked the audience through more than a dozen software applications many real-estate agents and brokers regard as the best and most useful tools available to the profession.

He also encouraged the group to adopt technologies that incorporate cloud computing, scannable QR codes, mobile alerts and digital social networking into their businesses.

"Some people have resisted getting on social networks," Lund said. "Don't resist -- this isn't going away."

Among the applications Lund presented was Open Home Pro, which lets agents and brokers create listing pages for their properties and manage open houses from an iPad,iPhone or Androidsmartphone.

Another app, called Cloud CMA, allows agents to quickly create and send electronically to their clients reports known as comparative market analyses. A comparative market analysis uses information about recently sold, similar properties in the same area to estimate the value of a client's property.

"This is the coolest technology that has ever happened," Lund said.

Another application, although still in relatively rough form, represents a sort of Holy Grail for real-estate professionals known as transaction management, he said.

The software, called DotLoop, lets all parties to a real-estate transaction upload, download, edit and sign digital documents, as well as monitor the progress of the transaction.

"Transaction management has been the dream of real-estate people forever," Lund said.

by J. Craig Anderson - Apr. 25, 2012 06:54 PM The Republic | azcentral.com





Conference showcases real-estate technology

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