A longtime real estate industry technologist and former eNeighborhoods manager, Dan Woolley co-founded W&R studios with colleague Greg Robertson and created the online real estate bookmarking tool Dwellicious (see Inman News).
Woolley will serve as a moderator during the ConnectTech technology workshop at the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs Aug. 5-7.
Woolley responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:
What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2009?
Buyers come out of hibernation to take advantage of historic low interest rates, tax incentives and low prices. Sellers are very confused about the current market conditions and need Realtors’ advice and guidance now more than ever, despite the availability of tons of data on the Internet.
What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?
During this slow time, reexamine all your business processes and make them more efficient. Get new technologies in place and operational now so that you can leverage them when the market picks back up. Don’t wait — you won’t have time to do it right when you’re busy again.
What made you join your current company?
I’ve been creating technology solutions in the real estate vertical since 1993. Listings availability on the Internet recently became a commodity — they are everywhere. More consumers are beginning their research online, using multiple sites, and waiting longer before ever contacting a Realtor. They need a way to organize, share and discuss their research. Agents and brokers need a way to add their value earlier in that process. Dwellicious is our first tool that attempts to address that situation.
What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?
The social Web, social bookmarking and Dwellicious are fairly new concepts. Consumers get it — they’ve been signing up and using the tool. Agents need to be educated how to use the tools to add value to the consumers’ search earlier in the process. Getting this education and training out to the agents has been a challenge.
What new features are in the pipeline?
Dwellicious Enterprise allows search portals and broker sites to add a private-label version of Dwellicious in place of a more traditional "save listing" functionality. Consumers get all the functionality of Dwellicious, including the "Cool Tools" for decision-making and the ability to bookmark listings on other sites. The broker or site administrators get metrics and insight into what the consumers are bookmarking through a real-time dashboard of charts, graphs and stats.
Can you share any future plans, goals?
Our goal as a company is to continue making new Web-based applications that make MLSs, brokers, and agents more efficient and productive. …CONTINUED
What lesson did you learn in the last year?
Many new social media channels can be tapped to effectively get the word out about your product and introduce it to customers much faster and cheaper than traditional advertising and PR methods of the past. There’s a lesson in this for Realtors when marketing properties for their sellers.
What would your second career choice be and why?
I enjoy the outdoors and the ocean, so I’ve always wanted to be a beach lifeguard. It looks great, especially when I see them driving home after a particularly stressful day, but I’d probably be bored after a month or two.
What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?
Listings are everywhere on the Internet, and consumers need help organizing all this information. Agents and brokers want to be more involved with these consumers earlier in their research process. The social Web shows promise in helping these two groups work together.
What do you most enjoy about working in the real estate industry?
I like the people, I like houses, and I like knowing that real estate is a big part of the American Dream.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you …
Despite growing up in California, and now living in Florida, I’ve been an avid ice hockey player for the past 36 years.
What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.