Technology

Jeffrey Vier: ‘Most important is the idea and its chief benefits to a user’

GPS and T.C. Boyle thoughts from a real estate hacker

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Jeffrey Vier is the director of new technology and business development at Ideas By Nature.

Describe what you do in one sentence: I work as a director for new clients and their digital products to bring the idea through scoping, design, development and launch.

Time at current company: 3 years

Age: 31

Degree, school: Nothing that has to do with what I actually do.

Social media: LinkedIn

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What do you do?

I work with tech entrepreneurs to bring their idea to fruition and ultimately market here at Ideas By Nature. That is done through a unique and new-tech-focused scoping process. The process is not only robust for assets, specs, product development and UI/UX it provides to development, but also branding, business development, monetization and marketing. Prevali.com is one of my clients.

It’s a game plan and investment in the technology we develop that many competitors wrongfully neglect. Beyond that, I manage actual development across a myriad of platforms and keep us at the forefront of trends, technology and learning.

What aspects of real estate are you trying to make better?

We are launching a search portal “upstream” of most others, “by agents, for agents,” which we hope will improve the real estate search experience both for agents and end users. We have a number of features that we believe improve upon current ways of doing things — for example, on prevali.com, the listing agent is the only agent appearing on their listing, meaning that they get all of the leads from their own listings. There is no charge for this.

Other agent-friendly features include a communication platform to improve upon the marketing of off-MLS listings, and we are providing leads on a referral basis. For the end user, we are providing improved search functionality allowing them to search for properties by architectural style and condition of property, a search that is more in line with how people actually search for a home rather than restricting them to bedrooms, bathrooms, location and price.

We are also providing the end user with access to the 40 percent of homes that sell before ever being entered into the MLS — access that the market has been demanding for some time now, but no search portal is effectively providing. Other search portals focus on what’s on the market now; prevali.com focuses on what’s on the market next.

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

The idea cultivation. At the core of every breakthrough digital product are a number of variables, but the most important is the idea and its chief benefits to a user. I love giving that idea a true place to live in the digital marketplace and arena.

What products have you had a part in developing in the past?

The execution is the most important part of an idea :) While most of our projects are protected under NDA, Prevali is an exceptional development. It is a “disruptive technology”; however, it’s a very transparent and open-source one.

Another application that we at Ideas By Nature developed is the WISE app, a mobile app that can grade and score entire classrooms of exams using an iPhone camera and processor. Pretty awesome to be a part of a technology that empowers teachers and challenges the education bureaucracies.

What are you working on right now? What are the challenges?

We are deep and heavy in mapping technologies right now. Prevali needs to handle a myriad of GPS queries and be scalable for more. We are developing what we feel are some of the more advanced mapping systems in play.

The challenges with mapping will always be the granular vs. broad-stroke result spectrum. That simply means when to show fewer results or less accuracy based on the product’s agendas. The GPS technologies put you in a control station — crazy amounts of control. The tricky part is how you use it.

Favorite food?

It comes down to Japanese vs. Thai.

Favorite video game? (Or book, if you don’t have a favorite game).

I don’t play games at all, really … I do read, however, and am a big fiction fan. T.C. Boyle is one of my favorites. Beyond that, way too much science fiction …

Favorite city?

Denver. I came from NYC, which is a cool place to visit, but I need to live near escapes.

Favorite band or singer?

Band = Saves the Day. Singer = Jeff Buckley (RIP).

What do you hate about technology?

The misuse of it.

What is one thing you would like to fix about the real estate industry?

The validity of the information and a better “fair play” arena for homeowners and buyers.

Do you think technology can change the industry?

Absolutely. Already has, and I’m sure it will a number of more times before I’ve moved away from it.

In or out of real estate, is there one problem, large or small, that you would like to solve?

Education paradigms are garbage and still based on industrialization models. I’d like to see a scrape of the grade system and advancement through subjects that young people actually were interested in before college — way before. We’d have many more brilliant ideas if we didn’t stifle so early.

What motivates you?

My peers and an opportunity to create cool stuff with them everyday. Never gets old.

Are you a real estate hacker who’d like to participate in our profile series? Email amber@inman.com.


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