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June 29 2011

Have No Fear, The Mobile Tsunami Is Here!

What an exciting world we live in today!  Every direction you turn, business professionals and consumers alike are cutting landlines and trading their desktop computers for tablets and smartphones.  Even my grandfather, a 75-year-old Italian immigrant and Korean War veteran, is now using his iPhone to send me pictures of his rose garden.  I never thought the day would come…

But it has, and not just for me but for everyone!  The “mobile shift” that we discussed in hushed tones last year, possibly in fear of it turning tail and crossing the Atlantic from whence it came, is now an undeniable paradigm switch that Nielsen has labeled a “Mobile Tsunami”.

Below are some of the latest mobile statistics that reflect just how drastically cell phones have permeated today’s America.  Since outrunning a tsunami is borderline impossible, just sit back and let the waves of progress wash over you…

 

-  USA cell phone penetration currently at 96%

  • Up from 13% penetration in 1995

-  37% of all mobile subscribers have smartphones

-  40% of smartphone users have downloaded a QR code reader

-  49% of smartphone users who have seen a QR code have scanned it

-  Average data usage is up almost 200% across the nation

  • 230MB/month in 1st Quarter of 2010, 435MB/month in 1st Quarter of 2011

-  Average data usage per user has increased 89% in last 12 months

  • 582MB/month average for Android users, 492MB/month average for iPhone users

-  Cost per unit of data had dropped 46% despite increased consumption

  • Dropped from 14 cents per unit of data to 8 cents

 

Mobile statistic aggregators are also reporting fluctuations in more areas of the mobile industry than just data usage:

 

-  Foursquare now has as many users as Bolivia has citizens (10 Million)

-  12% of U.S. internet population (ages 8-64) own a tablet

-  35% of new tablet owners report using their PC significantly less, or not at all

-  32% of laptop owners reported the same

-  96% of small business owners report that they would not be able to remain relevant without using mobile technologies

 

 

Feeling refreshed yet?!

 

(Data points above were collected from independent aggregators, not affiliated in any way with Goomzee.  For citations or other bibliography-related inquiries, please email:  asmith (at) goomzee (dot) com.)

 

- Austin Smith, Goomzee Community Manager

 

June 13 2011

Exhibit A

We recently stumbled across a QR code success story that is a perfect example of effective, consumer-oriented marketing.

Based out of Birmingham, Alabama, a broker named Charita Cadenhead was struggling with a way to entice open house attendees to sign the log-in sheet.  So, she created and began distributing double-sided sign-in cards.  Each card had places for contact info on the front and instructions for downloading a “QR reader app” on the back.

After filling out the card and returning it to Charita, each attendee received a “One Day Sale” QR code coupon to scan.  And for the first time in Charita’s career, everyone who attended her open house signed in without hesitation!

This is a great example of QR code usage in real estate on several fronts:

1. Solves a Problem – Having troubles getting attendees to log their contact info at open houses, Charita let technology step in.  By implementing her campaign with a fantastic call to action, she was able to overcome the ‘privacy issues’ hurdle and connect with her market’s tech savvy homebuyers.  Like any good carpenter, Charita let the tool do the work for her to solve a problem.

2. Call-To-Action – Too often, QR codes will just lead to contact info or property info that was already available on the media it was just scanned from.  In this case, Charita used a coupon giveaway to create value; a special, otherwise inaccessible offer available only to those who took the time to sign the cards.

3. Clear Instructions – Unfortunately, a limitation we are currently facing in QR code adoption is the lack of inherently supportive mobile handsets.  Many phones in Asia have been hard-coded to read and scan QR codes.  In America, the handsets are not quite to that point yet; QR interaction still requires the download of a “QR reader app”.  Aware of this issue, Charita printed clear, easy-to-follow instructions on the back of each sign-in card.

4. Mobile Optimized Landing Page – Charita also paid attention to the post-scan consumer experience by creating a “special Postlets page”.  The QR code did not lead to her existing agent website or property search, but to a mobile-ready site that was created specifically for her open house marketing campaign.

Taking the time to construct your QR campaign correctly will open the door to interaction with homebuyers through the mobile medium they prefer.  And as you can see, proper implementation of QR code technology can also help overcome some of the adoption hurdles we currently face here in the U.S.

June 03 2011

Making Room in Your Ecosystem for QR Codes

Just like your business cards, flyers, IDX website, and ‘For Sale’ signs, Quick Response (QR) codes are a key piece of the complete real estate marketing ecosystem.    Since the demand for mobile-optimized information has reached a new peak, (driven by a generation of tech-savvy first-time homebuyers) the effective marketer will make sure to utilize QR alongside traditional media and other mobile marketing tools.

While some may view America’s adoption of QR codes as a hurdle, it is, in fact, an opportunity.  According to a 2010 trend report from ScanLife, 40% of all U.S. smartphone users have downloaded an app to scan 2D barcodes.  While we’re not quite at Japan’s level of adoption yet (where barcode software is hard-coded into 65% of mobile phones), ScanLife also reports a 1600% increase in U.S. barcode scanning throughout 2010.

Unfortunately for the U.S., some early QR practitioners have not fully honed their marketing for the mobile channel.  Since a bad experience inhibits consumer adoption, here are a few tips for your QR code campaign:

1.  Optimize for Mobile

  • First and foremost, the destination behind a QR code must be mobile-ready.  Since QR technology is mobile-focused, consumers are going to expect that whatever website or landing page they are being directed to will appear pre-formatted for their handheld device.  If it doesn’t, the effectiveness of the mobile interaction is nullified.  To ensure effectiveness, make your landing page easy to interact with across all mobile devices.

2.  Reward

  • Just like any other marketing medium, the consumer needs to be rewarded for their troubles.  Mobile users who scan QR codes are expecting a payoff, and it needs to be more than they are left with had they not scanned the code.  Successful marketers have been providing rewards in the form of coupons, special offers, or even just additional information.  As long as the QR code is a gateway to a new experience, consumers will always want to see what they are missing.

3.  Use in A Complete Marketing Ecosystem

  • In a previous post we discussed the marketing ecosystem – the concept of utilizing various and distinctly separate marketing mediums to create a network with a single message.  Part of maintaining a successful ecosystem is adopting avant-garde technology and blending it with existing tools.  In this case, adopting QR code technology and merging it with SMS (text message), mobile web, email, and phone.

Critics of QR technology in the U.S. say it will soon be replaced by augmented reality, if the slow rate of adoption doesn’t twist the knife first.  Based on the numbers we see from ScanLife in regards to adoption we know that this is simply not true – usage is on the rise, and the current climate is a great opportunity for professionals looking to stand above their competitors by correctly implementing a technology that consumers demand. Unfortunately for augmented reality, results are limited by the aggregator and not driven by a personalized marketing plan.  In advertising terms, augmented reality is “inch-deep, mile-wide marketing”, a powerful tool in its own right but one that does not compete with QR’s ability to literally pull users into your marketing.

If we have learned anything from the thoroughly-critiqued adoption of technologies such as Twitter and SMS, then we know that the negative feedback typically comes from those who are using the medium incorrectly.  By implementing the proven methods discussed above, however, Quick Response codes can be a flexible, relevant, and valuable part of your complete marketing ecosystem.

March 27 2011

Six Steps To Help Avoid The “Follow Up Trap”

Every sales professional has probably experienced this but never put a name to it so at Goomzee we have. Quite simply, sales professionals have now become captives to their broad Internet-based marketing and must be on call to respond to leads 24/7. With the addition of Internet marketing which seemingly never sleeps, the sales professional must be willing to respond and follow up with leads all the time or they will go cold. We call this the “follow up trap”.

We hear from real estate professionals around the country and one common theme noted from the industry’s veterans is that things used to be simple and they’re frustrated trying to keep up with all the new things they “have to” do to market and sell real estate. In the past you would list the property in the MLS, place a sign at the property, print up flyers and occasionally advertise in the newspaper (often to appease the sellers). Something that was very clear back then was the target market which typically was other real estate professionals within the community. That made marketing easy because there are a finite number of people you market your properties to and the MLS made this possible to achieve, efficiently, creating a “clearing house” of real estate listings that other agents could gain access to. The target market was clearly defined which made this approach very efficient and effective.

Today the real estate agent is trying to market properties to the consumer and this target market is exponentially larger. In my hometown of Missoula Montana we have approximately 100,000 people and approximately 700 real estate agents. In the past, an agent had to market to 700 people to get their home sold and now they have to market to an audience 142x greater. If they spent $10,000/year in the past to reach 700 people, could this mean they have to spend 142x that amount to reach consumers?

Obviously having a property search on their website and placing advertisements on national search portals have allowed agents to benefit from the efficiency of online marketing. This has introduced troubles, however. Now they just place listings online and leads come in from around the country and they spend their time being reactive all day long in hopes the leads will turn into a perspective buyer (or seller). As such, they are captives of their broad marketing efforts to be “on call” 24/7 and most cannot respond quick enough to keep the best leads “hot”.

There are a variety of techniques and tools available to help but it takes discipline to truly take advantage:

Step 1) Define your best customer and narrow your target market focus

First you want to narrow your target market so the leads you receive are your best customers.  Look back at the homes you have successfully sold and identify who your best customers truly are.  Were they local or out-of-state?  What age group and sex?  What was their income level?  How did they find you?  If you ask yourself these questions, you may be surprised to find your best customer is not who you thought they were and they found you where you’d least expect.  Many real estate professionals track this information but if not, simply contact your past customers and explain you are performing a customer satisfaction survey and wanted to ask them a few questions to help better serve them in the future.  This not only helps you, but it keeps those leads thinking of you and recognizing your professionalism (likely leading to more referrals too).  Below are a few questions you might ask:

  • What is the most important thing you look for when choosing an agent to represent you?
  • When searching for a home to buy, do you drive around to visit the neighborhoods?
  • When requesting information about a home, how quickly do you expect a response?
  • What best describes you?  (male/female,   18-24, 25-32, 33-40, 40+)
  • When you were looking for a home to purchase, did you live in the same city?

Step 2) Identify where your best leads come from

A study at Baylor University revealed that real estate agents spent more money on the marketing tools that delivered them the least value.  In terms of value, the #1 was referrals and #2 was IVR (or call capture technology like 800 numbers and text messaging sign riders).  The key is to identify where you receive the most value that truly accomplishes your goal (more transactions in less time) and fine-tune your marketing investment.

Now look at where real estate agents received the most value and you’ll see they spend the majority of their money in the things that deliver them the least value.

Step 3) Focus your marketing efforts towards your best customers

As you can see above and in analysis of your business, you’ll find areas that deliver the most value.  Once you identify where your most value is received, you can make a list of the tools and marketing channels best suited to exploit them.  If you receive most of your business from referrals then identify where they come from and make sure you invest in networking, sponsorships, and maintaining your professional network and address book follow ups on a regular basis.  If your business comes from online sources, identify who actually buys and where they are located so you can hone in your online marketing efforts to reach those customers more efficiently.  Where do they go to search for homes?

Step 4) Use technology to automate repetitive tasks

Although some may be frustrated with all the new technology tools and ever-changing software solutions, most are designed for one reason and that is to automate repetitive tasks.  If you look at your typical workday and break it down to what activities you perform over and over, you can then look at tools that will help you automate those activities and get more hours of productivity each day.  This results in more transactions and thus, more money, so investing wisely will pay off.

An example might be that your best results come from taking top buyers to lunch on a regular basis.  You may want to use a calendar application and set up an automated reminder to schedule a lunch meeting each month with your top buyers.  If you spend a lot of time answering emails, perhaps you can set up an automated response that thanks the sender for their email and tells them the time of day you will call them back.  Better yet, at Goomzee we have a tool called the Auto Responder which will start a conversation automatically with the lead and notify you if they express interest in follow up, saving you time from following up with all leads, all day long.  The trick is to identify what you do and what tools can automate those tasks while keeping the customer engaged.  One thing to use caution with are tools that effectively push away buyers or seem too impersonal like recordings or voice menus.  Make the communication interactive, and personal, and you’ll satisfy today’s demanding buyers.

Step 5) Establish a regular time for lead follow ups

No matter what tools and advertising you invest in, you will gain leads all the time.  By leveraging automation tools like an email or text message auto response, you can effectively manage the customer expectations and set a time they will expect your follow up.  Email alone may not provide them information they seek right away but often that form is tied to a website which allows them to view property information.  You can simply set up an “out of office” message for an email account so your Internet leads are responded to automatically.  Text messaging typically works with at-property sign riders which also deliver information to the buyer instantly so they will accept you calling them back later.  Text messaging adds the ability to make the response Interactive and if the lead is really hot, you can receive notifications on your phone to allow callbacks of the best candidates.  If you utilize these tools or ones like them, you can establish a regular time you follow up with your leads each day to avoid being trapped and the lead quality when you do follow up will be much higher.  The “trick” is effectively managing the expectation of the buyer, but also satisfying their desire for instant gratification.

Step 6) Measure and analyze the results

After you analyze your business, target your marketing, automate repetitive tasks and “time box” your follow ups, you will want to measure results.  Often what we expect is not what results, like in the example from the Baylor University study.  As such, when you form assumptions on who your best customers are and where you find them, keep track of your ongoing transactions and either validate your assumptions or refine your targeting.  If you find that following up with the leads in the morning is better than the afternoon, for instance, then you may want to change the time you set aside for follow ups.  Tools that offer you tracking of your leads and when you received them can help you determine the best time of day for your “callback hour” to achieve the best results.  You may need to try a few tests for a period of time each and find what works best but if you make the investment, you’ll remain a step ahead of others and likely keep more of the money you earn in the process.

Mike Sparr is a global expert in mobile technology and founder and CEO of Goomzee.com. Goomzee helps real estate professionals increase sales efficiency by delivering high quality buyer sales leads and automating lead follow up using mobile technology. You can instantly learn more about improving your business and mobile technology done right by visiting http://www.goomzee.com

This article may be freely printed or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog, or website. The author’s name, bio, and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

February 03 2010

Goomzee

Alphabet soup - what the #@$% do all those real estate acronymns mean?!?!

Ever wonder what all those abbreviations mean behind a real estate professional’s signature?  We did too, which is why for the past year we have collected all designations and their definitions/criteria that have come across our radar.  We call this list “Alphabet Soup”.

The list below may be useful to you; if you find any designations we’re missing, please add a comment to this post with as much info as you can and we’ll keep on top of updating the content.  If you are re-posting this list, please give credit where credit is due and link back to Goomzee's Mobile Marketing Blog.

To view the list in its entirety, either click the following link or cut and paste it into your browser's address bar:
 - http://blog.goomzee.com/2010/01/28/alphabet-soup/  <!--session data-->

What Mobile Solution Is Best For You

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/mobile_app_or_browser-based_site.php

I came across the above article this morning, and it reminded me of my call with Rob Luna of Diverse Solutions the other day.  He told me how he and his wife were shopping for a new phone for their child, and when choosing pricing plans, they saw “Talk”, “Talk + Text”, “add Data”.  The latter option was another $20-30/mo so they did not sign up.  The most critical services for their phone plan, even for their child, included “Talk + Text”.  Rob stated that it “clicked” and he immediately thought of Goomzee, and our SMS-based solution for consumer access to real estate info (with call capture of course).  “Younger people don’t talk on the phones, they just text,” noted Rob.

Now, over 72% of SMS users are aged 25-49.  This is the exact same demographic real estate professionals are trying to reach in their marketing.  The people you build a website for would rather text than talk to you.  The question is, what are you doing to reach them?  As indicated by wireless carrier reports for the past 4 years, SMS continues to grow and now approximately 80% of US market sends/receives text messaging.  This means no learning curve, built-in technology, and maximum reach to consumers.  There’s simply no better way to reach today’s consumer (buyer) than SMS.

The article above indicates another trend in the US, and that is the shift from buzz of apps to rich mobile web apps, depending on the purpose.  Native apps are excellent for specific purposes and at Goomzee we’ve also built native apps for our clients to manage their text campaigns on today’s popular smart phones.  For search, however, consumers still open their browser and type away.  I’ve seen innovative MLS organizations like Contra Costa/Bay East/EBRD already recognize this and begin to build an impressive suite of tools for their members.

This trend will continue to grow, but it will still take a few years before the consumer reach is significant enough to deliver maximum value.  The latest wireless industry reports cite that between 30-40% of consumers have a data plan.  This means nearly 70% do not, and any app/web-only solution will miss those consumers.  It’s still an early adopter market, so managing agent expectations is key, and concentration will vary in some metro markets.  Price pressures will inevitably force the bundled plans to include data, but carriers will need the next “up sell” first to keep Wall St. satisfied and until then, there will be cost barriers.

Check out Goomzee’s Mobile Marketing Trends page for more information on current US wireless market statistics.

January 25 2010

Prudential Missoula Agent Ivan Crago Recognized For Using Goomzee

Ivan Crago

Missoula MT – Sunday January 24, 2010 - Local real estate agent, Ivan Crago, of Prudential Missoula Properties was recently recognized by The Missoulian for his use of Goomzee’s text message marketing tool, Realty Connect.  The article describes how the service works and the growing trend of US consumers using and relying on their cellular phones to communicate and gain access to information, instantly.

Mr. Crago is part of a growing number of real estate professional nationwide using mobile technology to streamline their work, and empower consumers to gain access to for sale property information at the point of interest.  Agents assign property codes to their listings and then place signs or ads that tell consumers how to request the information on their cellular phone.  Consumers send a text message to Goomzee’s nationwide text-in number, 44133, and enter the property code as the message.  Within seconds, the property information is delivered to their phone, and optionally they may view photos using Goomzee’s exclusive Mobile Virtual Tour solution.  The real estate agent is alerted of the buyer interest and can connect and answer any additional questions.

“Consumers are learning how much easier it is to access  information on their phone when they want it, using text messaging, and we’re seeing a steady rise in real estate professionals responding to meet their needs,” explains Mike Sparr, Goomzee’s CEO and founder.  “I’m always excited when our clients like Ivan Crago of Prudential Missoula Properties are acknowledged for their commitment to delivering maximum value to their clients, and real estate buyers.”

You may Ivan Crago online by viewing his company website or when you see one of his properties around Missoula, don’t hesitate to text for instant information delivered to your phone.  A digital PDF copy of the Missoulian article can be downloaded by clicking here to download.

About Goomzee
Goomzee Corporation provides a mobile marketing technology platform that connects buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest.  Goomzee’s flagship product, Realty Connect®, and Mobile Virtual Tours, specifically assists real estate professionals to win more listings, acquire more leads and close more sales.  The Company was established in 2003 offering hosted online storefronts to small businesses as well as consulting for some of the world’s largest companies and brands.  Goomzee is an industry leader in text message marketing and continues to innovate from a client first perspective.  We connect buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest.  To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us at (877) 324-1796.

January 12 2010

Guy Kawasaki Names Montana’s Goomzee As Favorite

Guy Kawasaki

Palo Alto CA – December 17, 2009 – Author, speaker, entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, recently named a Montana-based mobile technology startup, Goomzee, as one of his favorite applications in American Express’ Open Forum for Small Business.  Kawasaki selected this mobile startup not based in California, or even Seattle, but from Missoula Montana.

Goomzee provides an easy-to-use software platform that allows marketers, including Guy himself, to create and manage text message marketing campaigns while tracking results in real time.  Goomzee’s mobile marketing platform is used nationwide primarily by real estate professionals who advertise their for-sale properties.  The service delivers home pricing information and photos to potential buyers via text messaging.  At the same time, it can alert agents of buyer interest for prompt follow-up.  Shopping malls, retailers, auto dealers and others like Mr. Kawasaki have found creative uses for this technology as well.

“It’s nice when someone like Guy Kawasaki recognizes innovative companies like Goomzee who are based outside the [Silicon] Valley.  As a former San Francisco resident myself, my Bay Area friends thought I was crazy to build a mobile startup from Montana.  Our location has challenges, but it forces continuous creativity and efficiency, ultimately building a much stronger company,” explains Goomzee’s founder and CEO, Mike Sparr.  “Montana’s allure even helps in enterprise sales and perspective clients often joke about selecting Goomzee if it includes a trip here.  Our Governor often leads in speeches with ‘Montana’s On The Move’ and I couldn’t agree more; we’re happy to do our part.”

Montana is no stranger to technology startup success stories.  Bozeman’s Right Now Technologies (RNOW) provides on demand customer experience management software and achieved a successful IPO and over $1 billion in revenues before Salesforce.com.  Kalispell’s Semitool (SMTL) recently negotiated a sale to Applied Materials (AMD) for over $300 million and another Kalispell IPTV startup, Auroras, merged with Broadsoft to form Avail Media and secured over $25 million in venture financing from Novak Biddle, Columbia Capital and others.  Like the Rockies Region startups mentioned, and many others, Goomzee continues to impress Silicon Valley thought leaders like Guy Kawasaki.

About Goomzee
Goomzee Corporation provides a mobile marketing technology platform that connects buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest.  Goomzee’s flagship product, Realty Connect®, and Mobile Virtual Tours, specifically assists real estate professionals to win more listings, acquire more leads and close more sales.  The Company was established in 2003 offering hosted online storefronts to small businesses as well as consulting for some of the world’s largest companies and brands.  Goomzee is an industry leader in text message marketing and continues to innovate from a client first perspective.  We connect buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest.  To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us at (877) 324 – 1796.

September 10 2009

Goomzee Heats Up The Summer By Signing Four More Multiple Listing Services

Missoula MT Sept 8, 2009 – Agreements with Intermountain MLS of Boise and Northwest Montana Association of REALTORs in Kalispell, plus two others, continue to grow Goomzee’s nationwide footprint.  Goomzee®, a leading text message marketing and lead generation provider that connects buyers and sellers in real time, announces agreements with four more multiple listings services.

Intermountain MLS of Boise Idaho spans southern Idaho and eastern Oregon and is the largest multiple listing service provider in Idaho.  Northwest Montana Association of REALTORs spans Montana’s beautiful Flathead Lake communities and is the largest multiple listing service provider in Montana.  Goomzee also has signed agreements with Missoula Organization of REALTORs and Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORs with respective deployments pending.

“It is the Intermountain MLS’s practice to provide our members with the best available information resources and tools, increasing their value to their customers and making them more productive,” said Greg Manship, CEO of the Intermountain MLS of Boise.  “Goomzee will be a great asset in helping agents connect with buyers using today’s mobile and web technology.”

Mike Sparr, CEO of Goomzee, celebrated the signings.

“The nation’s leading MLS groups are recognizing Goomzee’s unique value proposition and continue to move forward with implementations.  Recently in California, for instance, we’ve been selected as the provider of choice for three additional MLS groups totaling over 51,000 members.  The nation’s leaders continue to acknowledge that Goomzee’s service, agility, and dedication to helping their members is unrivaled and for that, I’m thrilled.”

With the addition of Intermountain MLS, Northwest Montana Association of REALTORs (NMAR), Missoula Organization of REALTORs (MOR) and longtime client, Billings Association of REALTORs, Goomzee has further secured its leadership position throughout the Inland Northwest.  Additional rollouts in Pennsylvania, and pending rollouts in North Carolina, California and other key markets continue to secure Goomzee’s leadership position nationwide.

Goomzee’s existing partners continue to rave about the power Goomzee’s technology delivers to their agents, and their organization.

“Goomzee has provided a cutting edge product to the membership with very little effort by MLS Staff while having developed many opportunities for rev share or site license to its partner,” states Rosemary Scardina, CEO of The Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORs.  “The Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS MLS couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Goomzee.  ALL MLS’ SHOULD CHECK THEM OUT.”

Goomzee’s text message marketing solution, Realty Connect, compliments any MLS system and not only simplifies text message campaign publishing with their MLS Publishing Wizard, but also delivers valuable real-time market intelligence to the MLS organization on what buyers are looking at, when and where.  Before Goomzee, there was no efficient way to gather this information for a 360-degree picture of the market.

About Goomzee
Goomzee® Corporation, based in Missoula, MT, is a mobile and online service that connects buyers and sellers using text messaging technology.  Its industry-leading text message marketing platform, Realty Connect, delivers unmatched value and innovation to pacify sellers, buyers and sales professionals by facilitating live interaction while delivering property information and photos to buyer’s cell phones.  Goomzee was founded in 2003 and services clients worldwide, including the world’s leading mobile technology and telecommunications firms, real estate brokerages and franchises, multiple listing services and REALTOR associations.  Learn more about Goomzee online at http://www.goomzee.com.

August 25 2009

GOOMZEE SIMPLIFIES PHOTO MANAGEMENT FOR REALTORS; INTRODUCES DRAG & DROP

Missoula, MT – August 25, 2009 – Goomzee, a leading provider of text-message marketing solutions for real estate professionals, announced today one of its latest innovations for marketing professionals, drag and drop photo organizing.  This functionality is available within its web-based campaign management software that its customers use to publish and manage text message marketing campaigns.  The new functionality will allow any user to reorganize photos and captions in seconds right from their web browser with a simple drag and drop interface.

Drag & Drop Screen Snap

Sales professionals realize that photos are essential when marketing any product or service today, and real estate marketing is no exception.  Recognizing this need several years ago, Goomzee introduced its patent-pending technology, Mobile Virtual Tours.  According to the company, users can upload photos from their computer or from any website, and the system generates a multi-photo slideshow that can be delivered to mobile devices as a single message, saving consumers from expensive messages or annoying ‘blasts’ of multiple messages.  When photos are automatically retrieved from MLS data feeds, the need for users to reorder photos, and their captions, was recognized so the company introduced the ability to reorder photos with a simple drag and drop interface.

“We continue to push the envelope when it comes to innovation that improves our customers’ businesses.  In the past year we have led the industry with innovations such as our exclusive Auto Responder, interACT lead follow up system, Dashboard with printable reporting and interactive charting, and now with our Drag & Drop photo reordering technology,” claims Mike Sparr, Goomzee’s founder and CEO.  “REALTOR associations, MLS’s, and enterprise clients continue to choose Goomzee over others, noting that our products and company offer more depth in technology, responsiveness and industry expertise than any they evaluate.  We always strive to be the best at what we do and the industry has certainly noticed.  I’m grateful for our wonderful clients nationwide who’ve helped us make this possible; rest assured, our commitment to innovation and quality continues.”

Drag and drop interfaces are common with desktop software but they are now becoming more popular within web applications.  As web browser technology advances, the line between desktop applications and web-based applications blurs, exposing users to a richer online user experience.  Goomzee’s adoption of these emerging web standards is yet another example of what users come to expect from leading web-based technology solutions.

About Goomzee
Founded in 2003, Goomzee Corporation is a leading national real estate marketing and technology solutions provider. The company’s core technology is specifically designed to connect buyers and sellers. Clients look to Goomzee for global expertise in mobile and web-based technology solutions. For more information about Goomzee, visit http://www.goomzee.com .

Contact:

Goomzee Corporation
Mike Sparr, CEO
406-542-9955
mike@goomzee.com
http://www.goomzee.com

August 13 2009

Will The Real Fidelity Please Stand Up?

As you may know, the holdings of Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions have recently been re-branded as LPS Real Estate Group.  Some individuals in the industry instantly labeled the move as a “Fire Sale”, but in reality the situation is really nothing more than a simple name change.  Well, maybe I shouldn’t have spoken so quickly.  “Simple” is misleading, as the advent of LPS has caused a bit of confusion among Real Estate agents and RE tech vendors alike, many of which work with FNRES-now-LPS on a daily basis.

With this confusion in mind, I set out to decipher the Rubix cube that is LPS’ corporate history.  Thankfully, several timelines made my job quite easy; here are my findings:

It all started when Fidelity National Financial (FNF) acquired Chicago Title and Trust Co. in 2000.  Finalized on March 20th, the acquisition set FNF up to host a “leading market share in excess of 30%”.  A worthy feat, no doubt, but Fidelity neglected to rest on its laurels.  In 2001, a merger with VISTAinfo spawned Fidelity’s Mortgage Information Services (MIS) branch.  MIS promptly announced joint ownership of a leading national real estate database with LexisNexis (a global business information provider), and followed up with what FNF deemed the “best in industry” MLS system and IDX framing solution.  MIS rounded off the year with an acquisition of HomeSeekers’ XMLSweb™ division, a move which carried over into 2002 with MIS’s follow-up acquisition of ISDI and FNF’s acquisition of Eastern Software’s Empower.

Unbeknownst to many, Fidelity National Financial had big, big plans for 2003.  While all of the action listed above was going on, ALLTEL Information Systems had been quietly chugging along, processing roughly 20 million loans in the late ‘90s and slowly but surely acquiring underwriters, data systems, and mortgage software.  2003 broke the seal on a new era for the loan community as FNF acquired ALLTEL’s financial services division and renamed it Fidelity Information Services.  With their loan processing powerhouse in place, FIS was now in a position to make a series of corporate acquisitions that stretched for the next three years.  The list includes such software companies as Hamilton & Sullivan Ltd., Kordoba GmbH & Co., Aurum Technology, Certegy, and Sanchez Computer Associates.

By the end of 2006, Fidelity’s MSP mortgage platform was processing over 28 million loans, had become a publicly traded company, had been named the #1 bank technology firm in America, and had also been named to the S&P 500 index.  FNRES was fast becoming the “go-to” name for loans, financial technology, and MLS software.  FIS launched their Loan Portfolio Solutions division in 2007, and a year later went live with Lender Processing Services as a publicly traded company.  LPS then formed the LPS Real Estate Group to monitor FNRES’ real estate related holdings.  This is how the company stands today, a thriving, complex financial powerhouse.

I hope this synopsis clears up confusion for some of you.  Like many in the industry, we here at Goomzee were thrown for quite a loop when we began hearing buzz about LPS.  Now that we have the names straight, we look forward to working with the LPS Real Estate Group.

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