"Where is my property?" - Lost in Canada

by Alistair Helm in


We all know, or I would hope we all know that digital marketing is the primary focus for real estate; more people, spend more and more time online on mobile apps and websites searching for property to buy or rent. This is the mantra that I was extolling to the real estate industry back in 2006 and yet I still sense that the message has not got through to all of the community.

I am a fan of technology and love to explore new apps and gadgets but still rely on the ones that do the job and do it simply. The Realestate.co.nz app is a great example - it delivers a simple solution defined as "discovering property around me". I fire up the app and it shows me all the properties that are for sale or rent within a kilometre or so of where I am standing. Perfect for buyers, perfect for agents and their clients as it showcases the current properties on the market, especially good as it highlights open homes.

Or so you would think, until you discover that unless you were standing on the corner of Lloyd Avenue and Braidwood Avenue in Peterborough, Ontario in Canada.  If you were not at that exact point you would have no idea that the house being marketed at 1 Lloyds Close in Rolleston in Canterbury was actually open for viewing this weekend.

Confused? - well the issue is that the property listing in question, a nice single level 4 bedroom brick house has an address of 1 Lloyds Close, Rolleston, Selwyn, Canterbury has, through the computational programme at Realestate.co.nz placed the property listing on the world map in Canada not in Canterbury. The Realestate.co.nz system uses Google maps to locate this address with a pin on the Google maps on the website and on the mobile app. However as we all know technology can perform strange acts at times and in this case the Google maps programme decided that 1 Lloyds Close, Rolleston, Selwyn, Canterbury was actually 1 Llloyd Ave, Peterborough in the state of Ontario, Canada!

 

This is somewhat amusing, but actually there is a serious issue here as the agent in their role of providing services to the client is potentially failing that client as the property they are marketing is invisible to anyone standing in Rolleston using the app or in fact a person anywhere using the mapping function of the app - especially when you consider the app has been downloaded over 200,000 times and is being used actively everyday by buyers.

There is a very simple solution to this problem and that is provided by Realestate.co.nz who can go into the their database and overwrite the geo-locational address to place the location pin in the right place and hopefully for the benefit of the owner of this property it will be completed within minutes of reading this article. However the fundamental issue is one of agents 'owing' the online marketing and checking that all of their clients listing's content is accurate online - a very important process often overlooked.

In case you were wondering I found a total of 24 NZ properties on the app today that are in other countries - 1 in Tasmania, 1 in Illinois, 2 in Kentucky, 2 in New York, 3 in Ohio another one in Canada and 13 in the UK!

As a note the Google map on the Ray White website of the property is correct and places the property in Rolleston, but it further reinforces the need for agents to check content on all medium - mobile and web.


Realestate.co.nz iPhone update - the return of Google Maps

by Alistair Helm in


Realestate for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad on the iTunes App Store.png

It was just over a year ago that Apple took a bold step that ultimately lead to massive backlash, as it deleted Google Maps as the default mapping platform for iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) and replaced it with Apple maps. Now in many countries the change was not so bad, but in NZ the change was dramatic especially when viewed by satellite image.

Apple had not even come close to providing the resolution quality of Google Maps - so for Apple iPhone and iPad users they had to accept that situation or download another app such as MapQuest, at least until December last year, when a native Google Maps app appeared in the apps store.

However for applications such as the Trade Me and Realestate.co.nz apps which rely so heavily on the default mapping platform, there was at the time no alternative and as such the user experience fell seriously backwards in June last year with a very poor low resolution experience for satellite view of property on the app.

Now I am delighted to see that Realestate.co.nz has released a new version of the app (Version 1.5) which uses Google maps again as the underlying platform layer for satellite and street maps. 

It's funny but it is not until something is taken away do you realise how much you missed it! 

This return to the Google maps layer for the Realestate.co.nz suddenly in my mind catapults the app far ahead of Trade Me Property app, a far cry from the rating I gave it just 4 months ago - especially as both now have synced integration of saved properties between web and mobile. 

Just look at the side by side comparison between the apps for the same property on the market. The image on the left for the current version of the Trade Me Property app in satellite view mode is the highest zoom before you loose image - the Realestate.conz app on the right uses the same zoom - staggering difference!!

Trade me app vs Realestate.co.nz app.png

Then the Realestate.co.nz app satellite view gets even better given the quality of the underlying image resolution allowing the tighter zoom-in as shown from the screen shot on the right. 

 

Zoom in Realestate.co.nz app.png

In my view this now places the Realestate.co.nz app as the must-have for mobile property searching.