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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Smarter Agent's Blog has a new location! 

Thanks so much for visiting! Smarter Agent has recently transferred our blog over to the WordPress platform to match our spiffy new Web site. Click here to be directed to the new blog and click here to go to our Web site.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Smarter Agent launches new app for BlackBerry Storm. Free upgrade also available for all BlackBerry users. 



BlackBerry Storm
users - the wait is over! This week, Smarter Agent launched its free, location-aware real estate app on the Storm.

This new version of our BlackBerry app not only features our flagship search "Homes for Sale" which let's you search all publicly viewable listings in more than 300 markets nationwide, but if you check out the image to the left you'll see an additional search option is included in this app - "Recently Sold" so you can see the prices of homes that sold within the last three years.

With the Storm, the GPS Quick Search feature will pinpoint your location and find all property listings around you. Or, you can always use Smarter Agent's other convenient search options to find homes based on address, community name, city and zip code. Plus, our refine search will narrow down results based on property type, distance, price range, and beds/baths.

Here's what you can expect to see in Smarter Agent's upgraded app:
-A graphically dynamic interface with icons for every command
-More Powerful GPS capabilities
-"Recently Sold Homes" data
-Option to SMS text a property listing to a friend
-Screen adjustment for landscape view

This enhanced version is also available for all other BlackBerry devices (but only the Storm gets the landscape view, sorry). GPS search capabilities are dependent on your device and carrier.

To search all Homes for Sale and Recently Sold Homes on your BlackBerry with the new and improved version, text TRY to 87778. You'll receive a message with a link to begin the download process. I did mention it's free, right?

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

#ICSF Day 1: A Lesson on Mobile Apps 


It was standing-room only for the panel "Mobile App Development for Real Estate" at Inman's Real Estate Connect SF '09.

Smarter Agent's President/CTO Eric Blumberg was invited to be on the panel along with Sasha Aickin, Engineering Manager for Redfin and Jim Secord, President & COO of Kurio. The workshop was moderated by the Co-Founder of W&R Studios Dan Woolley.

Inman News writer Matt Carter published a story to recap the session entitled, "Do mobile apps right, or not at all."


Carter's article quoted Eric Blumberg using one of his favorite analogies in his panel presentation:
"If you only put an iPhone app out, it's like saying I'm only going to sell to people who drive a Mercedes."

Of the 270 million cell phone users in the U.S., only about 7 million have an iPhone.

Maybe it's time you incorporated a mobile solution that reaches everyone with a cell phone. That's Smarter Agent's philosophy.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Smarter Agent Selected as Speaker and Innovator Award Finalist 

Connect SF '09 starts Wednesday! More than 1,500 people are expected to attend Inman's annual conference Real Estate Connect in San Francisco Aug. 5th - Aug. 7th.

Smarter Agent's President/CTO Eric Blumberg was selected to speak on the panel, "Mobile App Development for Real Estate," as part of the newly added ConnectTech workshop Wednesday morning. ConnectTech was designed for technology officers, developers, entrepreneurs and product managers to "talk tech."

Smarter Agent is also honored to be an Innovator Award Finalist. Our branded mobile real estate application is up for Most Innovative New Technology.

For Connect SF updates, follow @sa_jen and @smarteragent_ss on Twitter.
Or check out Inman's Social Media Dashboard.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't want to take our word for it? Listen to the pros. 



Some of the most vocal bloggers in the real estate industry are weighing in on Smarter Agent's mobile real estate app.

See what they have to say:

Agent Genius

Bloodhound Blog

The San Diego Home Blog by Kris Berg


You can also click here to view more comments and success stories on our Testimonials page.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GPS Smartphone use expected to jump 34% worldwide 

According to a recent report released by Strategy Analytics, GPS smartphone shipments will grow from 57 million in 2008 to 77 million in 2009. You can either pay $7,000 for this full report or get the gist below. And yes, that is our intern Nick loading Smarter Agent's real estate app on a BlackBerry inside a BlackBerry. Just a little Photoshop fun.

The report indicates there are two main reasons to explain why GPS smartphone volumes will increase 34% worldwide in a year:

1). Widespread acceptance of portable navigation devices in Europe and the U.S.

2). Increasing presence of mapping applications (Like Smarter Agent's location-aware real estate app! That's not in the report-it's just our 2 cents.)

Nokia is the global leader in GPS enabled smartphones. But the report says Research in Motion and Apple are starting to close in. See the article on FierceWireless for more details on the report and quotes from Strategy Analytics.

Here’s the first GPS Smartphone with a mobile real estate search built by Smarter Agent’s founders in 1999.

This is an early version circa 2000 Brad and Eric Blumberg created to find properties in Philly. Check out the size of that antenna!

Smarter Agent has come a long way. Our premium mobile real estate search now works on 95% of cell phones. Click here to see the devices we support and to download Smarter Agent.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Hole in One! 

So, imagine you're working on your golf game and you come across this on the back nine!

No, we don't go putting up Smarter Agent signs on every green. But today, Smarter Agent was a sponsor for the 2nd Annual World of ACIN Golf Outing at the Suneagles Golf Club at Fort Monmouth, NJ.

The ACIN Technology Center is Smarter Agent's home. It's America’s first small business accelerator devoted to serving the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. ACIN was established in 2001 through a contract between the U.S. Army and Drexel University. The mission of the ACIN Technology Center is to identify small businesses and technologies that make information delivery faster, more secure, and more flexible to benefit the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

Smarter Agent's location-aware, mobile property search technology helps not only interested home buyers and real estate professionals but also first responders and the military!

You can follow the instructions on our sign above or text SA to 87778 to download Smarter Agent's mobile real estate search to your phone.



Saturday, July 11, 2009

Smarter Agent Launches Upgraded iPhone App 



Smarter Agent
's upgraded iPhone app offers great, new features to make your real estate search even easier!

Real Estate by Smarter Agent
offers:

* New search flow
* Increased speed and stability
* Ability to share properties with friends via text or email
* Ability to save images with favorites
* Integrated Map View and Map-Based Search
* More data details on properties
* Increased coverage area for searches
* Enhanced Picture View

In a neighborhood you like? Smarter Agent will use your iPhone to pinpoint your GPS location and find what’s for sale in your immediate area. Select a property from the search results to see price information, the number of beds/baths, square footage, interior and exterior features, pictures and more. Map the results to see the surrounding area and get directions to each listing.

If you want to search somewhere you’re not, Smarter Agent will take you there. Customize your real estate search by entering an address, community name, city or zip code.

You can also refine your search based on property type, number of beds/baths, and your price range.

When you’re ready to take the next step and schedule a tour of the property, the “Call to See” button will connect you to a real estate professional.

The “Broker Reciprocity” logo at the bottom of the data lets you know you are seeing every public MLS listing in that area. Smarter Agent partners with local real estate agents and brokers to gain access not only to their listings but to all listings in more than 300 markets nationwide. If you do not see the “Broker Reciprocity” logo, you will see about 25% of the available listings coming directly from feeds Smarter Agent gets from major real estate firms.

Real Estate by Smarter Agent is free! Click the App Store icon below to download to your iPhone or iPod Touch today!




Don't have an iPhone? No problem! Smarter Agent works on 95% of cell phones. Use this download tool to get Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale application on your mobile device.



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Friday, June 26, 2009

Smarter Agent's GPS, Real Estate Application now on Android - Still the Only Application for All Mobile Users 

Smarter Agent extends its reach to Google's Android Operating system and continues its reign as the only developer with a property search application available across all devices, carriers and formats.

Real Estate by Smarter Agent is a free application on the Android.

It’s a power tool for anyone interested in accurate, up to date, and comprehensive real estate information.

Real Estate by Smarter Agent features three location-aware (including GPS-triggered) real estate searches in one easy-to-use application.

Search options include:
• Homes for Sale
• Recently Sold Homes
• Apartments for Rent

Homes for Sale lets users search every public MLS listing in over 300 markets, more than any other real estate application on the market. With Recently Sold Homes, consumers can see the prices of homes sold within the last three years, and Apartments for Rent offers a growing list of apartments from top Web sites like apartments.com.

All three search options use Smarter Agent’s patented property search technology to pinpoint the user’s location and find available apartments and property listings in the immediate area with the touch of a button. Consumers can also search by address, community name, city or zip code.

Search results reveal:
• Price
• Square footage
• Estimated mortgage
• Taxes
• Interior and exterior features
• Interactive map
• Beds/baths
• Pictures

Smarter Agent features a “Call to See” button, which offers real time access to a real estate professional if you have questions or want to schedule a tour of the property.

This is the first application created by Realtors for Realtors that gives home buyers full access to publically viewable MLS property information and helps agents and brokers maintain their brand in the emerging mobile real estate market.

Android download instructions: Go to Android Market, select Search and enter Smarter Agent. Select ‘Real Estate by Smarter Agent’ and then select Install at the bottom of the screen. You can also text G1 to 87778 for download instructions.

For other devices, Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale application can be downloaded from:
www.SmarterAgent.com
• A consumer’s cell phone via the carrier’s application store, or from application stores maintained by iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.
• A broker’s or agent’s Web site if they subscribe to Smarter Agent and have a branded application.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Snapshots of NAREE's Annual Conference 


All Aboard the Smarter Agent Express
Bus transportation for all NAREE members and attendees to tour D.C. was provided by Smarter Agent again this year! Both buses were packed - about 80 attendees toured D.C. from what we liked to call the "Smarter Agent Express."



From the buses, it was difficult to catch For Sale signs, but the writers could see all property listings in D.C. with Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale application. BlackBerry generously provided 30 BlackBerry Curves so that a majority of members could see the app in action. A big thank you goes out to BlackBerry for providing us with so many phones at a moment's notice. Since Smarter Agent works on virtually every mobile device, many members downloaded the app to their personal cell.


The Big 8-0!
The weekend packed with tours, panels and presentations concluded with a toast to NAREE, which has been going strong for 80 years. Smarter Agent hopes everyone enjoyed their time at the conference. We enjoyed your hospitality and enthusiasm!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Smarter Agent on the Hill 



This weekend, Smarter Agent is a proud sponsor of the National Association of Real Estate Editors spring conference in Washington, D.C. This is the primary networking event for real estate writers, editors and authors. Nearly 100 members of the press covering residential, commercial, and financial real estate have gathered to hear from representatives of the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

BlackBerry provided Smarter Agent with BlackBerry Curves to give attendees a mobile tour of D.C. real estate with our Homes for Sale application.


Monday, June 15, 2009

How Realtors Can Reach Generation Y 



I read an article this morning on RISMedia about how Realtors can effectively meet the demands of Generation Y. With over 72 million ‘Millennials’ in the US (another cool term for people, like me, who fall in the 22-31 age group), we’re an “increasingly powerful economic force.” The article briefly touched on a list of ways Realtors can become relevant in the Millennials’ world including blogs, social networking, and virtual tours on YouTube.

I may be slightly biased, but I don’t think the article went far enough in stressing the importance and prevalence of mobile in the Generation Y target market. Our dependency on accessible, mobile technology comes into play not only in communicating (texting and e-mailing via cell phones is the norm), but gathering information and completing even the most mundane of tasks (from finding movie times to tracking personal spending), and finding a home should be on that list!

We here at Smarter Agent think one of the best uses of our mobile application is to become relevant with your Generation Y house hunters and to help meet their needs using a medium with which they are already very familiar.

Click here for the full article.

-Melissa Hindman, Smarter Agent Marketing Manager

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Camden Waterfront takes over the city! 




Severe thunderstorms rolled through Camden, NJ around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday morning and Market St. near Smarter Agent's Headquarters just couldn't handle all the rain! Sure, we're located on the Camden Waterfront but this was a little too close for comfort. Gondola ride, anyone?

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Smarter Agent's iPhone app makes front page of Baltimore Sun real estate section 



Pretty spiffy. But don't forget - Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale app is available on virtually every mobile device!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Smarter Agent Employee: "Opportunity may have been lost" if not for Homes for Sale app 


Over the past 15 months, my wife and I have been preparing to purchase our first home. It started with raising our credit scores by decreasing our debt, which fortunately turned out to be easier than expected. Simultaneously, we were gathering information about what neighborhood, school district and price range would be ideal for us. After crunching numbers and weighing the pros and cons, we narrowed our search down to the zip code that best fit our criteria.

But we were challenged with trying to lay out a plan to drive through the different neighborhoods and only see the properties that were both in our price range and included the features we desired. Throughout this time we witnessed our selected homes pop up as new listings only to go off-market before we were ready to commit. We never imagined what a challenge it was going to be to keep track of the dynamics that were happening as we were out searching for properties.

While we were out searching, I noticed some For Sale signs had sign riders to have the property information texted to your cell phone so I decided to give it a try. I’d stop the car, pull over in front of the sign, type in the text information and wait for the text message. Much to my surprise the text message arrived quickly, which made me very excited to be able to instantly see the additional information available for the property, “including photos” it said, but I was disappointed by the seemingly endless wait for the data and photos to be transmitted to my phone followed by endless scrolling up and down to actually view the data.

These events provided more than enough motivation to help the company I work for, Smarter Agent, to launch its carrier approved, GPS mobile search application. Finally, the time came that we are ready to purchase our home. So, on the night of May 15th, 2009 I took a BlackBerry armed with Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale mobile application to the neighborhood we were interested in and performed a GPS refine search, narrowing the results to within our price range. Very quickly we had a list of 17 properties that fit our specifications, along with a map view to guide us to each one. As we easily drove to the homes on the map, we were able to quickly narrow the list down to our top five: three corner lots and two middle rows, based on all the property information, including pictures, displayed right there on my BlackBerry screen. I need to mention that there was no need to send a text message and then wait for the information and photos to be transmitted to the phone for just that property, or scroll endlessly to see all the information once it arrived. It was just there. An easy-to-use, touch-of-a-button application allowing us the luxury of driving right past the homes that the photos and data helped us eliminate and right to the homes that we could stop in front of and envision ourselves living in.

I immediately called my Agent to schedule showings for our top 5. As we walked through the homes, I was able to pull up other properties for sale in the immediate area by doing a GPS Quick Search to compare the value of the property we were being shown. Now the best part- As as we walked through our top pick, the value was clearly evident. This home was priced to sell with a list price 15% under the 3 other properties within a stone’s throw. We are now under agreement with this property and are very excited about this terrific opportunity that may have been lost without the instant access to information provided by Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale application.

Ken Gilliam, Data Analyst for Smarter Agent


Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Dream Internship 


Eight months ago I tottered slowly into the Smarter Agent headquarters for the first time. And to be honest, I felt like I was walking into a completely new universe. I've been employed at countless jobs ever since I was a young teenager, but I never actually had a real job. I scrubbed tires at a car wash, bussed tables at a restaurant, stocked shelves at a supermarket, and did about 734,278 odd tasks at various local grocery stores. So when I was shown my very own cubicle... with my very own name on it... with my very own computer (with two fancy shmancy high grade monitors, mind you), I felt like Charlie when he won the golden ticket. You mean I can actually sit down at work? You mean I get unlimited free coffee? You mean I can make my own schedule that works around my college courses?

Seriously, it felt like I had met the most beautiful girl in the world. And for some odd reason, she decided to give me a chance.

Well once the initial honeymoon wore off, and it actually got down to do work, I was pleasantly surprised. I work on the fastest desktop I have ever used. I use powerful “crème de la crème” programs. I write web pages. I design handouts. I create things. I create things that people are actually going to see on their computer screen or mobile device. I'm not just cheap physical labor anymore, but an actual asset to a company. It's honestly one of the most exhilarating feelings I've ever had at a job.

I've been pretty busy at the office these days. I seem to have my hands on a bunch of different assignments at once. I get to work one-on-one with most of the other people at Smarter Agent, and everyone is extremely proficient at what they do. Not only are they hard workers, but they are darn good co-workers, too. It's a real family atmosphere over here, and that definitely makes it easier to be productive all day long. One of my bosses actually decorated my cube with Jonas Brothers and Twilight posters, as well as various High School Musical memorabilia. Despite the fact that I am a twenty-year-old male with little to no interest in these tween sensations, I keep all the items exactly where they were placed. Because I'll tell you, looking up and seeing Nick Jonas squinting seductively back at me is enough to make me crack a smile on even the most stressful of days.

While I'm notorious for my lighthearted and jocular personality, I'm using this post as an earnest opportunity of reflection. I get to do something I love for a company that makes a product that I am very proud to be associated with. I'll meet people in my personal time who ask me if I have a job. I'll tell them how I do graphics and web work for a company that makes a GPS-based real estate search for cellular devices. And they all respond the same way: “Whoa... cool.”

So I'm grateful. I'm grateful that I wake up in the morning and drive to work with a smile on my face. I'm grateful that I work with some of the coolest, smartest, and most talented people I've ever met. I'm grateful that all of my superiors think highly of me enough to keep me on board. And I'm grateful for the opportunity to be apart a company that is destined for tremendous success.

To the MLS companies that supply their IDX feeds, the brokers and agents that sign up for our branded application, the real estate buyers downloading Homes for Sale on their cell phone, the Blumberg brothers who operate Smarter Agent, my department superiors Alison and Tom, and all of the other wonderful people I work with:
Thanks.


Sincerely,

The Eccentric Intern with the Most Questionable Cubicle Decorations in the Entire Office.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Leave No Cell Phone Behind 

We at Smarter Agent believe everyone should have access to our superior mobile real estate search. Have you checked out our downloader tool on our homepage recently? Take a look below. You'll see Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale is now available on even more carriers and devices.



Plus, if you don't see your device listed, you can select "[Other] Not Listed" to download our mobile web (WAP) version of Homes for Sale. With our fully downloadable application and our mobile web version, we can reach just about every mobile user! And we won't stop until Smarter Agent can provide the best mobile experience for everyone.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Smarter Agent Presents at GPS Wireless Convention 


Smarter Agent's Founder and President Eric Blumberg was invited to San Francisco this week to speak at the 13th Annual GPS-Wireless Convention on the Web Portal Markets Panel. He is joined by:
Thomas Owen, Vice President of Wireless Development & Alliances and panel moderator; Pankaj Mathur, Vice President of Sales at infoUSA; Howard Steinberg, IAC Mobile Business Development at IAC Mobile (Ask.com); and Bob Upham, Director of Business Development for Yahoo! Geo Technologies.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day: Go Mobile, Go Green! 


Give our Earth a break! Help reduce waste while house-hunting by going mobile with Smarter Agent.

Consider this situation: You print out pages upon pages of properties you're interested in checking out. And you can't forget directions to each destination--a dozen more printouts. Then, as you're driving to the first property on your list, you pass the perfect house you never came across in your internet search that you just have to know more about. All those printouts--and, still, you don't have all the information when you want it most.

Using Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale mobile search application saves paper, time, and hassle. So save a tree, and get GPS real estate search capabilities and real time property information directly on your mobile device for an easy, green, and fun house-hunting experience.






Friday, April 17, 2009

How to Improve Your Website: Add Smarter Agent's Mobile App Downloader 



Kathleen Allardyce is the President of Getting It Write, Inc. and a "how to" guru on a variety of real estate marketing issues on her blog, Build Real Estate Results. She writes how Smarter Agent can help "Dazzle Your Real Estate Website Visitors." --Click the article title to find out more on how Kathleen thinks Smarter Agent can benefit agents and brokers.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Smarter Agent's WAP App Solution a Hit in San Diego 


Kris and Steve Berg of San Diego Castles Realty are excited about Smarter Agent's WAP app, according to their blog post. The Bergs launched their mobile search feature a few months ago, and now the WAP app makes it possible for the Bergs to reach every consumer across every carrier and device, including Kris's BlackBerry Storm. Rest assured, Kris, the fully downloadable Homes for Sale application will soon be available for the Storm, and we'll be asking you to be a Beta tester when the time comes.

Click here to see Kris's full blog post on San Diego Home Blog and for more information on San Diego Castles Realty's mobile application.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Smarter Agent in the Windy City 

Geno Petro--a top producing Web 2.0 Realtor and downtown Chicago Buyers Agent--just announced his Homes for Sale application is live and ready to help all his clients search the Chicago MLS from their cell phone.

See his blog Chicago's Home Weblog for the full announcement and more on how Geno is taking his business mobile.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Q&A With Smarter Agent on RealTechTools 


Check out Mike Antoniak's post on Smarter Agent. Mike covers technology for the National Association of Realtors and supplements his articles with his blog RealTechTools.

Five Questions About Smarter Agent
Most think of GPS as a navigation tool, but one company is using that technology as the basis for of location-based property searches on mobile devices. Smarter Agent is a carrier approved, GPS-powered tool which enables consumers to search and retrieve property information on their cell phone or other handset, based on where they are. It was developed by co-founders and brothers Brad(CEO) and Eric Blumberg ( CTO and president). The Blumbergs have an insiders’ understanding of how technology can best serve the needs of today’s mobile real estate professionals and clients... See the rest of the post on RealTechTools.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Smarter Agent Shares Expertise at CTIA 



Smarter Agent's President Eric Blumberg was invited to speak on the Mobile Search panel at CTIA in Las Vegas.

Here is a description of the panel:

"Rising penetration of smartphones and all-you-can-eat mobile data ‘bucket’ pricing plans have led to a dramatic increase in usage of mobile search services. The assembled panel will deliver a frank discussion on what the mobile search sector’s diverse set of players need, want and expect from each other in order to maximize their respective stakes in the mobile search game. This invited team of experts will offer insights on the real-world partnerships currently in place and their top choices for future collaborative arrangements and why."

Moderator: Mark Lowenstein; Managing Director of Mobile Ecosystem

Speakers
Doug Antone; CEO of Networks In Motion

Eric Blumberg; President & CTO of Smarter Agent

Aman Brar; Vice President, Business Development of ChaCha Search, Inc.

Matt Crowley; CMO of AT&T Interactive

Brian Lent; Chairman and CEO of Medio


Friday, April 03, 2009

National Survey Shows Wireless Applications are Essential for Success 

“In the midst of these challenging economic times, this study shows the wireless industry’s future is extremely bright.”-Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.

LAS VEGAS, Apr 02, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) – A new national study released today at International CTIA WIRELESS 2009® in Las Vegas, Nevada by CTIA-The Wireless Association® in conjunction with Harris Interactive®, finds that almost half, 45%, of business decision makers state that wireless applications are important or absolutely essential to remaining competitive in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Click here to view the full article.

Highlights of the study, “Mobility Means Business—The Wireless Road to Prosperity” by Harris Interactive Technology Research Reports:

55% of business decision makers agree with the statement that “wireless applications are only getting started. I’m excited about the future.”

More than 50% of those surveyed expect to deploy the hottest application within the next two years.

Improvement Expected with wireless applications: Small Business: 16%, Medium Business 16%, Large Business 14%.





Smarter Agent's President Eric Blumberg is invited to speak on the Mobile Search Panel at CTIA in Las Vegas this week.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Smarter Agent Presents to North America's Elite Real Estate Firms 


Smarter Agent's Jennifer Levine presented before The Realty Alliance this morning at its General Membership Meeting in Coral Gables, FL. Levine demonstrated Smarter Agent's Homes for Sale mobile search application in a session titled, "Taking House Hunting Mobile." Members of The Realty Alliance represent and serve most major markets in North America. These Realty Alliance members were the first to join the mobile revolution:

Prudential Georgia Realty: www.PrudentialGeorgia.com
The Keyes Company: www.Keyes.com
William Raveis: www.Raveis.com
Real Estate One: www.RealEstateOne.com
Prudential Fox & Roach : www.PruFoxRoach.com
Prudential Carolinas: www.PruCarolinas.com
Prudential CA
Prudential Douglas Elliman


Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Unexpected Turn of Events With Smarter Agent 

Jay Youmans is a Broker Associate at William Raveis, Smarter Agent's Real Estate Partner in CT, MA and RI. Jay took advantage of the latest in mobile technology by signing up for a personal branded Homes for Sale application for his websites. He continues William Raveis' attitude of having the latest and greatest in technology, and making sure consumers benefit from those tools!

Jay had been keeping me up to date on the happenings with some out of state buyers. Smarter Agent always strives to provide the best user experience possible, so when our efforts prove successful for the agents we work with, we are ecstatic!
Jay sent an email to the Executive Vice President, Kent Hanley, of William Raveis telling how he used his branded mobile application to seal a deal! Kent was nice enough to allow me to share it with all of you.

...'I had an unexpected turn of events with my new "Go mobile" Smarter Agent system. I wrote an offer which was accepted on a home in Sharon, CT. My buyer clients are getting an absolutely incredible deal on a charming well cared for 1780 vintage home. After the inspections, the buyers were concerned about value based upon some issues they felt needed correction. On final decision day I met with the out of state buyers at the house (4th time) armed only with my Blackberry and knowledge of the current market. After lengthy discussions at the kitchen table I suggested to the buyers that we take a look at what's on the market right now around this house so could see for themselves, one more time, whether or not this was the best value.

I pulled out my phone, brought up my Smarter Agent branded web page, then displayed the current listings surrounding the house in list and map form. There were numerous homes less than 2 miles away with the vast majority of them being priced well in excess of not just my clients accepted price, but also the asking price. Then, with phone and surrounding market data in hand we got into the clients car and I drove them around past the other competitive listings (many of which they had already been through). Along the way we also past some multi-million dollar estates which the phone showed us were less than a mile away.

My clients were literally able to see the value of their purchase right in the palm of their hands. It was powerful. It was subtle. It literally saved my deal. The second deposit was Fed-Exed today. I never anticipated using this system for a situation like this. It was the cornerstone for this particular decision process.'

... 'Turnaround time for my "Go mobile" system set-up was only about 48 hours. That's branded website set-up, testing and all. Jennifer was highly customer service oriented, followed up and followed through. She was even double checking functionality for me this past Saturday moments before my meeting with these clients. I was nervous the application would not work in Sharon, CT - but it did!! She is a great asset to Smarter Agent and to our team.

In closing; Thank you Bill!! Thank you Kent!!! Thank you Joy and the Raveis Team behind the scenes!!! I truly appreciate the tools, the support, and the opportunities.

Jay Youmans
Broker Associate
Litchfield, CT Office

Congratulations Jay on a job well done! I can't wait to see what happens when you start distributing your branded application to your clients, and potential clients, putting yourself and all the listing information in their pockets, anytime anywhere! May your real estate knowledge and expertise, along with your branded Homes For Sale mobile application powered by Smarter Agent, bring you lots of "Call to See" action!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Smarter Agent at Inman Connect NYC 


Last week, Smarter Agent exhibited once again at Inman Connect, this time in NYC. And let me tell you, when they say New York is the ‘city that never sleeps’ they weren’t kidding! Every day was filled with exhibiting, mingling, networking, and of course having fun! While there, we had the chance to meet so many new agents, brokers, and social media gurus. This is a show where people really “get” technology which allows us to have more in-depth conversations about our applications.

I must say, I have never seen so many iPhones in one place than at this show. Did I mention we also got to show off our new free iPhone application? Hands down, it had to be the biggest hit of the show. Real Estate by Smarter Agent is so easy to download and use, and pictures just look great! Everyone that downloaded the application played with it for at least an hour after. I am not an iPhone user, but using the application is seamless, simple, and most importantly FAST. Within seconds I could locate the closest properties for sale and find price, beds, baths, details, and pictures. This has to be the most efficient home search I ever conducted, and all in under a minute. I could even refine my search to find properties with the exact amount of bedrooms and bathrooms I need. It was great to know that when I’m ready to look at a property I just have to hit “Call to See” and I am instantly connected with a knowledgeable agent ready to help.

Overall, the show was a great success. A great buzz around our new application was created, and we got to make great new relationships as well as strengthen existing ones. There is truly no other city like New York and with the great group of people we were surrounded with, it was definitely a trip to remember.

To see what all the buzz is about, click here to download our free iPhone application: http://www.smarteragent.com/mobile/att/iphone.php

Don’t wait. Experience the mobile revolution now and join in on the conversation by writing your own review.

P.S. - The Blackberry download is free too!
http://www.smarteragent.com/index_blackberry.php



Saturday, January 03, 2009

Smarter Agent starts off 2009 with a BANG on the iPhone! 

iPhone's Location-Aware Real Estate by Smarter Agent, the most comprehensive real estate mobile search, is now an approved iPhone application!

With Real Estate by Smarter Agent's iPhone application, you can find the closest properties for sale using GPS technology. No typing required! You can learn about the price, the number of beds and baths, read property descriptions, plot the property on an interactive map - even see multiple exterior and interior pictures!

Smarter Agent is much more detailed and comprehensive than other mobile applications. We are very proud of that.

Here's one reason why:

Because Smarter Agent has partnered with some of the top real estate brokers and agents around the country, you are able to see ALL of the publicly viewable local MLS listings in any market we cover. This is more information and listings than found in other mobile applications. And the information is updated at least once daily so you only see what's REALLY available.

Here's more information about the application and us:

Want to search somewhere you are not? Today you might be in Chicago and want to search for condos in Miami - no problem! You can customize your search to a specific area by entering in a neighborhood, address, city or zip code.

Don't take our word that this is a great application -- CTIA, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Aassociation, named Smarter Agent the best GPS application in the world, and we are happy to now make it available to you from the iPhone.

Mobile to human:

Let's say after months of tooling around, you are ready to actually take the next step and talk to a professional. With this application you can hit the "Call to See" button to reach a live real estate agent to ask questions or schedule an appointment to see inside the home.

Smarter Agent invented the GPS real estate search:

The application is so unique we've been granted 4 US patents: 6,385,541, 6,496,776, 7,072,665 and 7,457,628. No other mobile real estate application can claim that. Once you try it, you'll know why.

Try this version for free!

Download Real Estate by Smarter Agent's application now for instant access to all publically available MLS listing information directly from your personal iPhone.

Change the way you search for real estate as your iPhone becomes the ultimate search tool!

You can find the application in the iTunes store under Lifestyle or search for Smarter Agent.

Or simply download the location-aware Real Estate by Smarter Agent to your iPhone , by entering your information below:

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Happy New Year from Smarter Agent! 

Our New Year's resolution is to post more often. To start that off, here are some links to blogs some members of our team have started:

http://activerain.com/blogs/sa_blog
http://www.realtown.com/Bayrin/blog/mobilemarketing
http://activerain.com/blogs/sajlevine

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2009!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

The financial meltdown wrap-up 

Let's try to explain where we are:

For most of the last decade, this country could expect about 4.5-5.5 million existing homes sales, and 500k to 1 million new home sales by builders.

Call it 5.5 million homes sold in any given year.

Over the past 3 years that number went to almost 7.5 million, fueled in a large part by speculation, folks trading up faster, buying multiple properties.

Note: For real estate folks the end of 2008 is going to be a real bear, but we'll get back to 5M homes sold in 2009 - historical norms. With each year 1,000,000 new households are being formed, so the real estate market will have its sales. Homes p-r-i-c-e-s will be down 30% on average, but people have to move in the US and they will.

So let's keep tracking what happended to get us in financial turmoil.

In addition to housing speculation, put into the mix people using their new home equity - as homes prices rose - as piggy banks. Lines of credit to live beyound our means. Throw in all the credit card debt too and the american consumer has little in reserve to weather any slowdown in the economy-caused by that everyone has to slow down their own spending. Yes, that's how it works ;).

Now here's where it gets to become a crises:

Throw in lax mortgage underwriting, packaged as subprime, that fueled a large part of those extra 2 million housing sales.

Right there you have the making of an inflated housing market.

Add that Wall Street goosed returns by leveraging these subprime mortgages and sold them to investors as high yeld bonds, now selling for 30 cents on the dollar as the underlying fundamentals deteriorated. That was part of the Lehman blow-up.

Add more...that the government got involved in giving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a "social purpose" instead of a pure ecomomic one, and you have a failed securitization engine. That means if they got people into homes that couldn't really afford them, these securitization firms got more $ without penalty. They blew up next.

Here's one of the more damaging moves...then the government said that banks, who could in the past only could invest in US Treasuries, could now invest in preferred Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock. This also goosed bank returns. This is where additional banking pain is being felt. My own mid-sized regional bank has over $600 million in now worthless Fannie Mae stock. Now you have the duel real estate/banking crises - a nice chunk of GDP now whimpering.

ADD to all this... that corporate borrowing was propping up many of our "leading" firms, like the auto industry, and guess what, this 3 year party, built on over a decade of excess -- is now unravelling. And the insurance industry, tied to many of these ills through the wrongful investment of your premium payments (see the next section about credit derivatives to learn what brought down AIG) is being pulled in as well.

Is this a great country. Yes. We will get back in gear. Yes. Will it take 3 years. Maybe.

The interesting part is while everything is unwinding, there is still a leg wobbiling that could make things worse, yes worse in the next 1-6 months. Something I really just learned about - the credit derivative market.

Here is a summary from an AP story this week:

".....in a letter to shareholders, billionaire investor Warren Buffett followed with his own warning, calling derivatives “weapons of financial mass destruction” controlled by “madmen.” While financial experts were concerned with the housing bubble and mortgage-backed securities, Buffett was focused on what many now believe may be the next big shoe to drop - the credit derivatives market, better known as credit default swaps. What worries financial insiders most is the $54.6 trillion of risky credit derivatives concentrated among the few banks left standing. Credit default swaps (CDS) are the cornerstone of the credit derivatives market accounting for more than 98 percent of all credit derivatives. They are difficult to understand, ignored by regulators and poorly reported on balance sheets. In simplest terms, CDS are insurance policies on things like bonds, loans and corporate debt. But there are two big differences: the seller of a CDS doesn’t need to have the money to cover losses if the security defaults, and the buyer doesn’t need to own the asset it wants to protect. It’s as if hundreds of people could buy insurance policies on houses they didn’t own yet still collect the full value if it burns down. The danger comes when the company defaults and the seller - because he’s not required to - doesn’t have the money to pay out on the default. Investment firms that traded various derivatives, such as CDS, collected an average of $2 billion in fees each quarter over the past two years. And traders who spoke to CBS News said these transactions were the largest cash cows on Wall Street, even more profitable than mortgages. The newfangled transactions were seen as easy money and many traders had the attitude that when it blows up, it’s someone else’s problem. Today, the same commercial banking heavyweights thought to be the most safe, JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America, hold 92 percent of all the disclosed credit derivative contracts, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "

That does not seem like a happy ending in the short term. More bailouts, will equal more pain, slower recovery. But it all resolves over time, that you can bet on.

In the meantime, try Smarter Agent to look for your next home or apartment. A whole new real estate search and marketing channel will emerge in 2009 putting agents and consumers in touch via a new medium (mobile) in much the same way the Internet did starting in 1999. It's built by us, at www.smarteragent.com. We invented the mobile real estate location-aware (GPS) search and have 4 granted patents.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Homes for Sale by Smarter Agent, Mobile, Launches 

Smarter Agent starts the lauch of a multi-carrier, multi-device, multi-operating system roll-out of its Home for Sale application...we start with close to 100 cellphones, and soon Blackberry and iPhones, and other carriers.


Nation’s leading real estate brokers enter red-hot mobile space in a big way via Smarter Agent

Any consumer can turn their cell phone into a house-seeking real estate finder

Smarter Agent’s Homes for Sale mobile search launches today, accessible to over 50 million AT&T and Sprint customers on 80 different cell phone models.

Over 99% of all mobile location-aware real estate activity is now powered by Smarter Agent. Smarter Agent is the only carrier approved, on-deck mobile search – meaning it has gone through significant security and usability testing to be chosen to be on the carrier (AT&T, Sprint) deck.

Smarter Agent delivers accurate and up-to-the-minute home sale information to a consumer’s cell phone.

What is seismic for the real estate industry, and what differentiates Homes for Sale from other mobile real estate applications, is the comprehensive nature of Smarter Agent’s platform:

More listings: This information is delivered from the country’s top brokerage firms, including cooperative access to their multiple listing (IDX) data feeds. This means just about every home for sale in a particular market can now be viewed by any consumer.
Reaches more consumers: Smarter Agent is already on more cell phones than most mobile applications of any kind. It works, elegantly and simply. Smarter Agent invented and patented the location-aware mobile GPS real estate search. Over the next 100 days, Smarter Agent will launch on every carrier, operating system, and just about every mobile device including iPhones, Blackberries and Android.

Where to get it, now
Smarter Agent can be downloaded:
from a consumer’s cell phone via AT&T’s Media Mall,
from a consumer’s cell phone via Sprint’s Get New area,
from www.SmarterAgent.com

If GPS is available on the consumer’s cell phone, Smarter Agent instantly turns the cell phone into a GPS-triggered real estate finder. This means with just one click, all of the local listings are immediately returned—no typing required! Should the consumer’s cell phone not contain inherent GPS, Smarter Agent also works on all non-GPS enabled devices with a simple to use interface that initiates the search.

Smarter Agent instantly returns all publically allowable information on a property, such as sales price, taxes, beds/baths, square footage, interior and exterior property descriptions—even pictures! Mapping capabilities also let the user see where they are in relation to the homes. And a button reading “Call to See” routes the user directly to the Broker/Agent Partner, who can show the home.

To provide consumers with the best and most accurate home listing information, Smarter Agent has partnered with premier brokerages across the country, whose combined sales in the past twelve months exceeds $125 billion.

The following is a sampling of Partners:

Prudential Fox & Roach in Philadelphia
William Raveis Realty in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Prudential Georgia Realty in Atlanta
Prudential California Realty in Northern California
Real Estate One in Michigan
Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston in Raleigh, NC
Prudential Carolinas in North and South Carolina
Prudential Douglas Elliman in New York City, Long Island and the Hamptons
Prudential Network Realty in Jacksonville, FL
Weichert Lead Network in New Jersey
Luxury Realty Group in Las Vegas, NV
Laffey and Associates in Long Island, NY
Century 21 Sussex and Reilly in Chicago, IL
RE/MAX Professionals in Denver, CO
Prudential Palms Realty in Sarasota, FL
Prudential Preferred Realty PA in Pittsburgh, PA
RE/MAX Allegiance in Baltimore, MD, Washington D.C., Richmond, VA and Northern Virginia
Tomlinson Real Estate Group in Washington and Idaho
The Keyes Company in Southeastern Florida

Also adding to this tony real estate mix is RealEstate.com who will run a channel in the Smarter Agent Homes for Sale portal of nearly two million real estate listings in over 80 markets.

Dependent on your carrier, Homes for Sale costs between $2.99 and $4.99 per month for unlimited usage, billed directly to your carrier bill.

For more information, or to conduct interviews with leading local brokerage launch partners in your local market, please contact Carrie Johnson at (856) 614-5423.

# # #

About Smarter Agent (www.smarteragent.com)
Smarter Agent® combines mobile location technology, such as GPS, with information about real estate and neighborhoods around you. Smarter Agent is the inventor of the mobile location-triggered real estate search -- and has been granted four patents. By delivering location-relevant content to mobile devices, consumers can learn, interact and transact with the world around them as never before possible. Smarter Agent was named BEST GPS Application by the CTIA (Cellular Telecom Industry Association), BEST COMMERCE Application at Navteq Global GPS Challenges in the US and Europe, and has been featured as a leader in mobile innovation at Dow Jones and DEMO conferences.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Where to Find Us. 

Here are some conferences where we are exhibiting or are on panels -- if you want to catch up with us:

Wireless:
Stevens Institute, LBS Event, Hoboken NJ May 12
NJTC Mobile , Mt. Laurel, NJ May 15
Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic (Philadelphia), May 19
MIT LBS Forum, June
CTIA, April

Real Estate:
NAR MidYear, Washington DC May 13-16
June 25-28 The National Apartment Association Convention & Expo (Orlando, FL)
July 23-25 Inman Connect San Francisco '08
Sept 7-10 Maryland State Association Convention (Ocean City, MD)
Sept 8-11 Texas State Association Convention (San Antonio, TX)
Sept 24-25 Florida State Association Convention (Lake Buena Vista, FL)
Oct 5-7 North Carolina State Association (Charlotte, NC)
Oct 14-18 California State Association Convention (Long Beach, CA)
Nov 7-10 NAR Annual Convention & Expo (Orlando, FL)
Dec 9-11 Triple Play Convention (Atlantic City, NJ)

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pete Distler joins Smarter Agent as President of the Smarter Agent Media Network 

We are excited and proud that Pete Distler has become our partner. As we continue to build momentum in the mobile space, how we monetize our traffic for our real estate, distribution, carrier and local neighborhood partners is key. Pete is the best person in the country to lead this effort. Pete was the person behind creating and executing the first mobile media network while at Sprint.

We will announce this, with a release that goes something like this:

Mobile advertising gets focused on the $100 billion spent when people move.

Smarter Agent has developed the mobile industry’s first vertical search application focused on bringing a slice of the $11 billion real estate advertising market to mobile devices.

With Smarter Agent, brands can reach consumers when they are in a particular neighborhood searching for homes and apartments via Smarter Agent with GPS accuracy giving new meaning to the real estate maxim: location, location, location.

To lead this effort, Pete Distler joins Smarter Agent as its new President of the Smarter Agent Media Network. Pete Distler built and ran the first carrier mobile media network deployed in the United States.
# # #
In 2008, $11 billion in advertising will be spent to attract the attention of homebuyers and apartment renters. Surprised at the size of that number? Marketers aren’t. Even in a slow real estate market Americans are constantly on the move.

Many times a move surrounds a life changing event: a new job, marriage, growing families or that second vacation home. Indeed, 1 out of 3 renters and 1 out of 12 homeowners will move this year – and they will spend more than $100 billion on related goods and services.

Real estate is a huge market - where “location, location, location” still rules the day
Smarter Agent patented the GPS real estate search and operates carrier approved mobile real estate applications. With Smarter Agent, consumers can search anywhere in the United States for rentals using Apartments for Rent, past sales data using the Recent Sales application --- and next month for active listings using the Homes for Sale application from their cell phones – in many cases utilizing GPS!

Smarter Agent is now able to offer advertisers a hyper local channel to target movers.
More money is spent buying goods and services when a person moves than at any other period in their lifetime. Think about it: The last time you moved you probably visited a home improvement store, bought new furniture, changed banks, got insurance, picked a new cable and internet service -- and started new relationships with local businesses from restaurants to drugstores to supermarkets. With Smarter Agent, advertisers can already begin this relationship with their new neighbors.

Leading this advertising effort, Pete Distler joins Smarter Agent as President of its Media Network this week.
Mr. Distler created the first carrier advertising while working at Sprint, and introduced many brands and agencies to the new emerging world of mobile advertising. “In looking at the mobile advertising landscape, Smarter Agent offers one of the most thoughtful approaches to give brands the most bang for the buck in mobile advertising”, noted Mr. Distler.

Mr. Distler added, “While searching for what’s for sale or what’s for rent consumers can learn about local retailers - and offers from them - as they search in the neighborhood. When a person moves they spend more than they will on products and services than at any other time in their lives. Now they can get this information from a device they carry with them at all times – their cell phone. Because they are highly relevant, mobile location-aware ads are exciting and useful content for consumers as they review local home and apartment listings”.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Here's what we did January and February. 

Things are busy at Smarter Agent.
Here are some items that happened this month and last, January - February 2008.

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