CRM systems don’t meet Realtors’ needs
Real estate professionals cast a wide net for potentially thousands of prospects, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems simply aren’t geared to their needs, Transparent Real Estate’s Pat Kitano worries. "The problem with CRM systems is the laborious process of inputting contact data," Kitano says. "It’s simply not automated, and CRM systems aren’t updating themselves to automate the input process." He’d like to have the ability to "port in" user-generated contact information from LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media applications and also aggregate contact info from other applications like e-mail and IM conversations. Without such capabilities, Kitano argues, CRM systems "risk lying fallow from lazy maintenance."
Realseekr enters IDX search space
Search platform Realseekr this week joins Roost, Terabitz and Estately in the IDX listings search space, which is the "way to go if you can stomach the legal, political and data hassles," says Brian Boero on the 1000Watt Consulting blog. Boero likes Realseekr’s integration of chat and SMS, but says the site lacks focus. Like a Swiss Army knife, Realseekr "does many things but doesn’t do any one thing especially well," he says. The site offers "some home search, some local/social stuff, blogs, (and) agent search," but suffers from "bad information architecture" and an "extremely busy user interface." Boero says he wants "a home, a mortgage, an agent — not a half-satisfying taste of everything seasoned with a sprinkle of serendipity." The site’s lack of focus is only the most recent example of a larger trend in online real estate, Boero frets, urging developers to focus more on "making something complicated astonishingly simple."
Mortgage Implode-O-Meter sells premium newsletter, ads
The Mortgage Implode-O-Meter Web site has spent more than $50,000 defending itself from a libel suit, but its premium newsletter, Niche Report, goes out to 18,000 lenders and brokers a month. The site is "substantially involved" with advertiser Green Credit Solutions, a company that charges troubled borrowers $3,495 to help them get their loan terms modified. That’s according to Randall Marquis, senior editor of the Mortgage Implode-O-Meter, in an interview with Matthew Padilla, Orange County Register (Calif.) reporter and author of the Mortgage Insider blog.
The Mortgage Implode-O-Meter lists more than 260 mortgage companies that have gone bankrupt or run into other serious problems, and for every troubled company that makes the site’s list there are three others that don’t meet a minimum threshold of $20 million a month in loan fundings, Marquis says. Unique visitors to the site have declined from 100,000 a day to 70,000 ("Every time a company goes out of business we lose some readers," Marquis says), but they still get 100 tips a day via e-mail and are working with "a major media outlet" on an investigative story about what went wrong in mortgage lending.
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