Location Is Everywhere
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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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Why Do Real Estate Agents Take You to Houses You Don’t Want? Could it be You?

Why Do Real Estate Agents Take You to Houses You Don’t Want? Could it be You? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Why are you looking to buy a house? Is it an investment for the future? Are you getting married? Are you planning to have children or perhaps already have some? Are you really clear on what you want? Whether you are or aren't clear, there will be some important factors and if you can't explain…
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Time is limited and the cost of travel growing increasingly. I wonder how often an Agent helps a buyer fine tune why they are looking at houses and what features matter to them?
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MIT built a health-tracking sensor that can ‘see’ through walls

MIT built a health-tracking sensor that can ‘see’ through walls | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
An MIT professor has built a prototype device that can wirelessly track your health -- even through walls -- using a mix of radio signals and machin
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Could this help prevent outbreaks of Bird Flu? Did you know that Bird Flu is still around and in some countries in virulent forms? There are currently known cases of Bird Flu in California, in Bulgaria, Russia and Malaysia to name a few places. 

This technology which is currently on trial in 200 homes could be a game changer in many industries.

For example, rest homes and retirement villages could use technology like this to monitor the health and safety of ageing people.

It could be added to technologies being trialed or used in airports.

I was watching CNN recently and an 'expert' was saying that it was only a matter of time before the next pandemic hits. 

It is currently almost impossible to track people at risk, groups of people that arrive at an airport, although they do get lucky, for example when a large number of passengers are all coughing or showing flu symptoms after a long flight.

Easy access to international travel means that people with highly contagious diseases like Bird Flu could spread them very quickly. Using this technology at airports could potentially save countless lives by identifying and quarantining potential patients who display measurable symptoms.. 
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App gives Ohio State students peace of mind after several crime alerts

App gives Ohio State students peace of mind after several crime alerts | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
In the short time school has been in session, the Ohio State University has issued several crime alerts. Now, to add a level of security, the university is launching a new app on campus. The app, similar to a mobile blue emergency light, makes sure no one has to walk on campus alone. For some Ohio State students, walking alone on campus can be a frightening thought.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
It's very hard for this Kiwi to imagine a campus where it is potentially dangerous to walk around alone. I like the concept though and this could be used in other environments too.

For example there have been apps used in various US districts where parents have GPS access using an app to see where the school bus is that they are meeting.

There are of course free apps that people can use with friends and family, but most people find these a bit creepy and don't want to use them. 

The ability to report an incident is a good feature. I wonder if they have considered the other features of the phone. One of the things that I often forget when I see an incident, for example a bunch of cars running a red light, I ask myself why I didn't think of catching them on video. Capturing the GPS location of the phone is obviously part of this app.

Wouldn't it be cool for a safety feature, for example if someone is being attacked or harassed, that the microphone and camera are automatically activated and what is being filmed and recorded is being sent to the friend and could also be sent to local security or police in the same way as Facebook Live and other apps do, such that it can only be stopped with a password or fingerprint?

It would also dramatically reduce the number of phones that get stolen because they can easily be turned into cash.  
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Suffolk DA: Riverhead man on probation traced to 10 burglaries by GPS monitoring ankle bracelet

Suffolk DA: Riverhead man on probation traced to 10 burglaries by GPS monitoring ankle bracelet | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A Riverhead man is facing multiple felony burglary charges in connection with 10 burglaries of homes in Riverhead in 2017 and 2018 — while wearing a GPS ankle bracelet as a condition of his probation on a prior conviction.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is exactly what I was talking about in my previous post about tracking fishing vessels illegally fishing in the Great Barrier Marine Reserve.

This person is being charged for 10 home burglaries while wearing a GPS ankle bracelet. How come they didn't catch him on the first burglary or when he left the geofence around his home? 

Yes it is great that they caught him, but 10 families are probably highly stressed and emotionally distraught after what he did.

With today's technology, an alarm can be activated as soon as the wearer leaves the geofence, which is basically a virtual line placed around his home, or perhaps farther if he is allowed to go to a place of work. 

I have no idea of the technology that they are using in Suffolk County, but I do know that software can generate alerts that can reduce this offending. What's the point of allowing people to have home detention while on probation on the condition of using GPS anklets if they are not monitored 24:7?

You could site cost, but what was the cost of the 10 burglaries, the officers who had to visit all the crime scenes, interview victims, arrest the felon,. build the case and prepare for court?
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Can Gamifying Public Transit Change Commuters' Habits?

Can Gamifying Public Transit Change Commuters' Habits? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Old habits die hard, but researchers think with the right incentives, those who drive will get into the habit of taking public transit instead.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
People love games and they hate big sticks. This new AI based app Incentrip currently being trialed by 35,000 users in Washington DC and Baltimore, learns about your behaviour and also understands the transport options based on your planned trips.

The greener your trip, the more points you earn and it doesn't take long to earn an Amazon or other $50 gift card.

Doesn't that sound better than congestion tolling, especially in areas where people have few options? People love rewards and recognition. 

I hope they go a step further with this (pun intended) and combine it with other concepts, for example setting up teams, or competition among friends, family, colleagues or members of clubs or associations. 

At a conference I attended a couple of years ago, eRoad, a Fleet Management company shared how they have a safety system where people earn or lose points based on safe driving. It's not even about prizes or physical rewards as most people involved in gamification understand, its about appealing to our competitive nature and having bragging rights. Gaining or losing position on a ladder is huge. 

We are all inherently competitive whether it is against our own efforts or beating other people, that's why sport is so popular. Imagine getting the most points in your company, in your suburb or neighborhood. I'm sure many brands would get on board with something like this to be seen as good corporate citizens.

It could also be combined with programs such as 10,000 steps, which would be impossible to achieve if you drive your car to work, but could involve combinations of walking and public transport. We could even see health improvements as people get off a stop or two early and walk a little farther. 

Everyone benefits and ultimately the transport system benefits while citizens have fun doing it. Consider this versus paying a congestion tax that is a grudge payment. 

Campaigns such as those removing plastic bags from supermarkets are meeting phenomenal support from customers. We all want to do the right thing, but we also like to feel that we are doing so of our own volition. We also like recognition. 
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Work two jobs to buy a house says Real Estate Institute of Australia president Malcolm Gunning

Work two jobs to buy a house says Real Estate Institute of Australia president Malcolm Gunning | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A REAL estate lobbyist has offered some brutal advice to Australians struggling to buy a home which did not go down well on social media.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This won't be welcome advice for people who want to be first home buyers, but if you are serious about owning your own home, it might be something you want to consider.

I don't believe that people can't get the deposit and buy a house. It comes down to WHY you want it and HOW BADLY you want it. It might not be where you initially want to live, but you need to start somewhere. 

It's something you hear about in the US all the time but closer to home its an inconvenient truth too. I am seeing two types of people at the moment. One who say its just too hard to own a house and another that are working multiple jobs and are determined to make it happen. 

The irony is that it seems that often it is those that come from tough backgrounds who succeed because they want a better life for their families and those who don't sometimes come from middle class comfortable families where they have had an easy childhood, living in a nice neighborhood, with all the bells and whistles that come from it. Maybe they have a sense of entitlement. 

In a nutshell, the way I see it is that if you say you can, or you say you can't, you're right.

I have a serious back injury at the moment that is keeping me from work and I also can't drive until my condition improves. ACC Insurance is paying for me to get to and from physio and specialist appointments and I have chosen to use Uber to get me around because its cheaper than taxis, even though it's not directly my money.

Every time I get in I ask the driver if that is what they are doing full time and almost all of them are saying this is what they do before and after their other job. Often they are people with young families or wanting to start a family and the only way they can get a deposit is by driving for Uber as well. Effectively having two jobs.

The benefits are that they can get in their car and work whenever they have time. Within legal restrictions on driving they can work any time. 


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How to Cope With the Stress of Buying a Home

How to Cope With the Stress of Buying a Home | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

Buying a home can be a stressful process, but it doesn't have to be. A good agent can help alleviate your anxiety during this big decision.

Luigi Cappel's insight:
Good article. Once you've made an offer you are financially and more importantly emotionally involved and its hard to relax and wait. 

Sometimes you wait overnight, sometimes you might have to wait even longer. Knowing that this is going to happen, it is a good idea to have plans on how to distract yourself.

Plan ahead so you can relax and like a good poker player, have strategies in mind based on what you think the vendor will do and how you will respond based on whether they accept your offer or come back with a counter, then you won't be surprised either way and will be able to respond intellectually instead of emotionally.

Have you been in this situation? Were you prepared? Have you been in that situation more than once and still been unprepared?
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Is the car the next big marketing frontier?

Is the car the next big marketing frontier? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
It has been said that data is the lifeblood of digital advertising and if that's true, there could soon be a lot of life in the market for marketing to consumers through their vehicles.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
The big question is who benefits from this and who owns the data. If my car manufacturer is selling data about how and where I use my car, then I should benefit from it.

What if I have a problem, say with the brakes wearing out and they say it is the way I am driving based on the data coming from the braking system?

As to marketing to the driver, they can already do this using the mobile phone.

I hope the buttons like fuel offers and order food don't work while you are driving, or the distraction could cause accidents. 
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Why Homebuyers Walk Away From Closing

Why Homebuyers Walk Away From Closing | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

Sometimes buyers decide to walk away from closing and forfeit their earnest money deposit. What can sellers do if buyers don't show up at closing?

Luigi Cappel's insight:
So you paid a deposit with your offer in good faith to show the seller that you are serious and because the Real Estate Agent may have told you that if you don't, their client who might have another offer close to being made, might take that one instead.

It's pretty scary. You are committing yourself to a lot of money and maybe you aren't sure if you have made the right decision.

Maybe you've been offered another job in a different town or you met the neighbors and it looks like they are party animals and you wanted the quiet life.

Perhaps someone 'in the know' has told you that property values are going to drop in that town because a major employer is closing down. Imagine if Jack Daniels closed down their Lynchburg distillery! Not only would all the workers lose their jobs, but so would the tourist industry that goes with it, so would all the retailers. It could become a ghost town. Property could be almost worthless while you owe the bank hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This article was written for vendors, but both parties have risks and buyers remorse is something you don't want to experience after committing to many hundreds of thousands of dollars that you are borrowing. 

I recommend having a read of this article whether you are buying or selling. It may influence what you as a buyer are prepared to commit to, the clauses on the contract, the amount of deposit you will pay, or the amount of funds you might withhold pending agreed repairs are completed. 

It's always good to know what the other party is being coached or advised to do. 
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The Poor Strategy of Pricing a Home Above Market Value

The Poor Strategy of Pricing a Home Above Market Value | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Learn about the logic and rationale behind picking a sales price to list your home and the range of excess pricing known as overpricing to avoid.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
The question to me here is what is market value and how is it calculated? On my way home from hydrotherapy in the pool today I passed several houses for sale and looked at the billboards outside. They all looked a million bucks and of course that is the point of a billboard. But they aren't all worth a million bucks.

I get email from Agents and listing sites telling me about property sales in my neighborhood and what they estimate my property is worth.

That's well and good if I've got a house like my neighbors' houses and all things are relatively equal. What bugs me about this is that's not the case and their software can't differentiate.

I have two full size houses on a large site, on one title which is very rare and makes the property very attractive to people with extended families. 

On top of that, I have council approval to subdivide my property into three separate freehold titles of good size. That again is rare if not unique in my suburb, so going by 'market rates' is only an indicator of an average house.

Anyone that looked at my property on an email or online based on what these tools suggests is market value would get totally the wrong impression of it's value.

I wonder if what is more important is how your house is marketed so that people have an idea of why the price you are asking for is realistic.

I often get the impression that Agents trying to get people to lower their price expectations are also looking for an easy and quick sale for themselves. I've heard scare tactics of reduction in value if a house isn't sold within x amount of time because potential buyers will know and wonder if either it is a waste of time looking because you are too greedy or if there is something wrong with the property.

Ultimately market value is a good indicator, but any house is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it, timing, luck and how well the property is marketed.

It took us a year to find this property because one like it is so hard to find and others looking for something similar will find it just as hard. That impacts the value.
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Signs You're About to Hire the Wrong Real Estate Agent

Signs You're About to Hire the Wrong Real Estate Agent | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Picking the wrong realtor can put you in the wrong house. Watch out for these telltale signs you're working with the wrong agent.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This article is mostly about selling your house and has some great information, but much of what is in here is also equally related to buying a house.

When you contact an agent to look at buying a house, chances are they will want to show you several properties. Chances are that a poor agent will show you lots of properties you are not interested in. They may have a strategy to focus you on the one they show you last which is the one they want you to buy, or they may just be unprofessional. 

It's worth taking the time to read....
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Property Market Comment: Buying and selling in the summer

Property Market Comment: Buying and selling in the summer | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
SUMMER is now in full swing with schools having broken up for half term and many packing for, if not already on, their holidays and getaways.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I'd be interested in your feedback on this. I was sitting in a car a couple of days ago with an Uber driver discussing exactly this point, that most people feel that spring is the best time of the year to put your property on the market.

Yet according to this UK story, the average time it takes to sell a house is only one day different between summer and winter. 

One of the things that I have thought about is that if you look to buy a property in winter, for example when there is a lot of rain, those leaky roof drains and damp rooms, mold on the curtains or worse, poor insulation, will be much more visible than in summer. You might see a house at its worst. 

For example many of my friends have been discussing how their lawns are just like paddling pools at the moment and if you have dogs, that entails cleaning mud of their paws when they come inside. Not just dogs either, the dirty cat paws leave their mark on cars too. If they do that and you have a cat door, they will leave cute paw prints in your house as well.

I'm not saying that these are show stoppers and clearly statistically they are not. I haven't checked if the median prices in the different seasons vary. Will people pay more for the same house in summer? Will they look at as many houses in winter when its wet and horrible weather? 

As a buyer I'd certainly be keen to look at a property when it is at its worst. If it is still great, then I'm in. If its not and I really like it, I know what I'm up against and that may impact on a price differential to compensate for leaky gutters or down pipes. Who looks at things like that on a nice summer's day?

It's also a great time to look at related things like, commuting. What would it be like getting to work in the cold and rain? Is there a lot more traffic? How handy and warm is the public transport? How far do you have to walk in the cold and rain to a bus stop? 

Clearly there is no simple answer. People have to buy and sell for various reasons at any time of year. So according to this article the amount of stock available is roughly the same. I'd prefer to see a property and suburb in the worst time of year, but I'd prefer to move in the dry and warmth of summer. How about you?
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How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?

How Long Does It Take to Sell a House? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
When should you expect your house to sell? What factors affect the time it takes for a home to sell? Learn more about getting your property on and off the market as quickly as possible.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
If you are buying a house, you would do well to know the average time that a house is on the market in the location or area you are looking to purchase in.

If for example the house has been on the market for 6 weeks and the average sale time is a month, chances are the Real Estate Agent is telling the vendor they might want to consider dropping the price, doing some renovations, bringing in a staging company, or perhaps spending a lot more money on marketing. 

All of those increase the cost of sale, the hassle for the vendor and do not guarantee that the increased spend will result in a sale. 

They could do any or all of those things and still not sell. In fact in some cases it could make the situation worse. What if you painted the outside and people liked the house but not the color?

It's a very simple piece of information that any Realtor can tell you about the location you are buying in and if you are doing your homework, it will be easy to spot properties that have been on the market for a while. Its just not something that most home buyers, especially first time round would think of asking.
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What UK property professionals can learn from the Nordics

What UK property professionals can learn from the Nordics | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
With a whole raft of digital advances not only creeping in to UK industry but actually permeating through the very core of business processes, Ville Read More
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is all very true but it only tells half of the story. It's all very well for a real estate firm to have all the apps, websites, AI, chatbots and more, but the success is limited by the widespread usage and adoption of the technology by the agents themselves.

There is a people problem in the industry when it comes to this adoption and one of the reasons is that so many agents are part time, casual just not very technologically astute. I've been told that 90% of the top sales are made by 5% of the agents. Those agents will probably have personal coaches and will use every technology available to them. Not only will they learn about the tools, but they will have a strategy to make sure they are used to the fullest extent. 

Savvy house hunters (and there aren't many which is possibly fortunate for those agents who do not get into the game) will seek out those people and will see by the quality of their listings and their accessibility that they are consistent.

With today's technology, a home buyer should be able to come up with a shortlist of properties that meets their expectations, including video walkthroughs, plans, permits, information about the locality and much more from the comfort of their home or wherever they have their mobile as more apps become responsive. 

Then they can contact the agent and not be shown lots of properties that don't meet their criteria.Home buyers and real estate agents won't have to work so hard, a lot of time and money will be saved and the vendor who lists with one of the tech savvy realtors is likely to have a shorter wait for the sale of their property.

If Real Estate Agents don't embrace these technologies throughout their organisations, then more and more people will go to Zillow or other sites or even new sites opening up where people are able to sell their own home directly. 
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Dangerous child sex offenders to wear tracking devices for life under Queensland law change - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Dangerous child sex offenders to wear tracking devices for life under Queensland law change - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The Queensland Government is about to introduce amendments to allow dangerous and repeat child sexual offenders to be tracked for life, in response to a Supreme Court ruling to release notorious sex offender Robert John Fardon unmonitored into the community.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
It's always about the hardware. Systems like this can prove that a suspect or offender is or was at the scene of a crime, but using the data to prevent a crime is complex and rarely where the money and time is spent. It's great to get convictions after the crime has been committed, but what about the poor children and their families and focusing on prevention.

Knowledge based systems combining AI with geofences, learning about places where these people congregate and associate with similar criminals can make a significant difference. Monitoring the patterns of groups of offenders would very quickly create a powerful database. The technology is already being used in other industries. 

I would hope that systems like this aren't put together in isolation. They should be integrated country-wide. They don't have to be the same brands of technology, in fact they shouldn't, but they should be interoperable.

Technology itself doesn't solve these problems and the long term focus needs to be on prevention rather than cure. 

Some years ago a failed startup GPS system was set up to support people who might get themselves lost or need help, for example people on wheelchairs, vision impaired etc. They were able to summon a buddy or contact emergency services with the click of a button. 

If a sex offender were to find themselves within a geofence such as a perimeter of maybe half a mile around the school, the principal's office should be advised immediately as should the police. How often do we read about children being enticed into vehicles within yards of schools?


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With home buying process to be made simpler with robots, will property agents be phased out? | The Independent

With home buying process to be made simpler with robots, will property agents be phased out? | The Independent | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Latest Singapore News and Headlines, Top Stories and Alternative Perspectives.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I added this story only because it has a fantastic headline and no substance relative to it.

Apps that help with mortgage calculation to see how much you can borrow have been around for years as have video views.

Just one thought on using an AI to help people buy property, without using Real Estate Agents, a large percentage of properties wouldn't even get looked at, because they would fail on matching criteria of what buyers are looking for. 

Buying a house (or even commercial property) is an emotional decision. While an AI could be used to narrow down properties to view, it can't match the relationship and mediation between a buyer and a vendor. You can't compare that to a buy or sell order when a stock or currency reaches a certain level.

Great headline though....
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Fishing vessels offered rebate for tracking devices

Fishing vessels offered rebate for tracking devices | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The State Govt will offer up to $970 in rebates for the purchase and installation of approved vessel tracking units.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is a great idea, but it is only as good as the way it is monitored.

Several years ago I consulted to and supplied GPS tracking with route optimization for several hundred vehicles in the service industry. It was not about Big Brother, but about better managing the workload and being competitive in the market.

Within 2 weeks, certain vehicles started disappearing off the radar, they were not visible on the map, and some missing people  happened to be ones that Area Managers had been wondering about. I had my suspicions and at zero notice we had dispatch request vehicles to go to the auto electrician workshop where the systems had been installed immediately as they needed a software upgrade.

As I expected, the GPS antennas, hidden under the dashboard were wrapped in aluminium foil, their ability to communicate effectively blocked. The drivers of course had no knowledge of how that could have happened. This was interesting because they were permanently assigned to their vehicles, they weren't pool vans.

The same happened a few more times with the same result, so word had got around that this was how to go pick up the kids after school, go shopping or other things that were not work related in work time and not get caught. If they had been a bit brighter, they would have removed the foil as soon as they had made their non business visits, but we were too quick for them and some were just not very smart.

My guess is that if these systems are mandatory, the same thing will happen when fishing boats go to locations where it is illegal to fish. They will go off the radar, chances are no one will be any the wiser and when they are back in legal fishing grounds, their signal will appear again. 

It's a similar story with GPS anklets for offenders on bail or home detention. So often they are caught, not because there was no alert or alarm activation when they left their home or location, but after the event, when their anklet was proven to be at the scene of a new crime as the software created breadcrumb tracks on maps showing where they had been and when. The criminals were too thick or too desperate to think about being able to be tracked. 

Often Police or their agencies didn't have the budget to set up more sophisticated systems that would set of alarms whenever the person wearing the anklet was outside of their geofence so that they could be caught before they committed crimes, rather than afterwards.

I was interviewed on national radio after one such event and asked what the problem was with the GPS anklet technology. My answer was that there was nothing wrong with the technology. The systems were simply not in place to monitor alarm activation. 24-7 monitoring was not taking place.

I hope that the Queensland Government ensures that monitoring systems are in place and that swift action is taken by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority GBRMPA, Coastguard or whoever is responsible for monitoring infringements. 

Artificial Intelligence AI and machine learning systems combined with known suspects will allow for targeting of potential offenders. This knowledge is not widespread and confined to a small number of industry segments and players. 

With the right systems in place, offenders can be quickly caught and punishments such as impounding boats would very quickly reduce offending. I will be very impressed if these mitigation's have been budgeted for and put into place. Typically these solutions are based around hardware and the hardware is the simple part of the solution. It's the intelligence and resource applied to the technology that makes it effective.
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Interactive floor plans, virtual renovation tools: Barfoot & Thompson shakes up real estate market

Interactive floor plans, virtual renovation tools: Barfoot & Thompson shakes up real estate market | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Prospective buyers can ‘mentally move in’ and even ‘virtually renovate’ their next home...
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Barfoot & Thompson have long been innovators in Real Estate in New Zealand and this new service and application is going to be a real winner with home buyers.

They demonstrate their new Diakrit web app at this property https://www.barfoot.co.nz/758211 which features 360 views of locations that are almost like Google Street View but of the house. The only disappointing aspect for me was that I could not walk from room to room in the way you can walk down a street using Google's service, but I don't want to detract from a great service.

I've advised people to take panorama views of houses they are interested in. In this case Barfoot's do it for you, but not for every room, I guess they want to showcase the best bits. 

Another feature, similar to something that Resene Paint did a few years ago, is allow you to instantly visualize the house with different color palettes right down to cupboards, tiles and other elements. 

The challenge I have found with services like this, including Barfoot's own app in the past is that it requires an investment from the vendor to add the service, which I'm sure isn't free and for the Real Estate Agent to encourage vendors to use it and to then promote the feature. With the old app I found some Agents had many houses featured, while others might have only one or none at all.

If I was a Real Estate Agent, I'd probably also collaborate on deals with staging companies to make these panoramas look a million bucks. Even better I would also look at using Augmented Reality apps so that people can really visualize rooms with different furniture and fixtures, all technology that has been around for 5-10 years.

Anyway, Congratulations to Barfoot & Thompson  for continuing to innovate and for the recognition for ICT innovation. 
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Buying a Starter Home

Buying a Starter Home | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Tips for home buyers who are trying to find a starter home, and reasons why purchasing a starter home makes financial sense for most people.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Good advice in this article. So many people say it is impossible for young people to buy their first house. It's not easy, but it hasn't been easy in my lifetime.

One of the challenges is that people want a house like their parents have, perhaps conveniently forgetting that their parents probably had a 'starter house'. They might not even remember it.

One of my kids was even a little embarrassed and snobby about the area that we bought our first house in, the area we lived in when she was born. We didn't have any choice if we wanted to get our first step onto the property ladder and we were paying 18% interest! 

It did appreciate quite quickly, again as per this article, which was just as well because for the first few years we were barely touching the principal of the loan. That gave us the ability to buy in a better area a few years later. 

Unless you are born with a silver spoon, or earn a huge income, you have to start somewhere and this article provides some things that are worth considering before taking the leap, probably long before taking the leap. 
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A Tech Company Wants to Implant GPS Trackers in Dementia Patients

A Tech Company Wants to Implant GPS Trackers in Dementia Patients | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A Wisconsin vending machine company is developing a GPS implant for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I like the sentiment, but there seems to be a fatal flaw here. besides the fact that you have to cut it out of the mostly elderly dementia sufferer every 6 months to replace the battery, this implant only emits a radio signal.

External devices using similar technology can only be tracked by SAR people using portable YAGI directional antenna. That means they have to be pointing in the right direction to find the person and they have to be within at best, a km within line of sight and no significant metal objects between them.

The problem is that many people are already beyond the range of the Search and rescue people by the time the dementia patient has been identified as missing and with or without these systems, this can involve many people looking for each individual who has wandered off.

I have done considerable research in this space and whilst this concept some of the fatal flaws in GPS systems, particularly the size to accommodate batteries that need to be charged at best every couple of days, circuitry and a SIM card, and the fact that often dementia patients refuse to wear a bracelet, necklace or watch they don't relate to, they are of limited value unless there is something this company has not shared.


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Sea level rise is eroding home value, and owners might not even know it

Sea level rise is eroding home value, and owners might not even know it | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
She dropped the property price 11 times, but something prevented her from selling home.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
In locations around New Zealand water is lapping up to the back doors of homes and in some cases houses are slipping into the sea as extra high tides driven by stormy weather erodes the banks and cliffs they perch on. 

Last night I saw a clip on TVNZ https://bit.ly/2BEbPYO talking about areas where toxic algae has affected shellfish and its still winter here.

Climate change is something that is going to impact on coastal properties. As this article says, in many cases it doesn't mean that the value of coastal properties isn't going up, but not as quickly as other properties on a percentage basis, but sooner or later some of those are going to be at risk.

If I was looking at buying a property close to the water (which I'd love to to do) I would be asking serious questions of my insurance company first. They have geospatial risk assessment maps and there is potential that they will charge a high premium for the risk. 

I'd also ask the question as to whether, once they have insured a property, they can ever decide to stop insuring it. They might not have a legal right to do that, but they certainly have a right to increase the premiums to a point that it becomes really expensive to own a property.

Like the examples in the US in this story, and others that we see regularly on TV, sea levels may be rising at an imperceptive rate, but the rate of flooding is increasing. Changes in weather patterns play a role, but each year seems to be worse than the last and meteorologists are saying that these incidences are not isolated. 

Do you ever feel like you are watching a science fiction movie when you watch the news?

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HUD Files Housing Discrimination Complaint Against Facebook

HUD Files Housing Discrimination Complaint Against Facebook | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The complaint alleges that the social media giant allows "landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination." Click through to learn more.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Huddy Ledbetter sang "Land of the brave, home of the free, I don't wanna be mistreated by no bourgeoisie." According to HUD (The Department of Housing and Urban Development), that's what Facebook are doing with advertising options.

Different types of people are attracted to different living environments. For example, there is a suburb in Auckland which has the highest population of gay people. I might therefore (even though it's only half a percent of the population of the suburb) choose to select men of a certain age group as part of a market I am paying to advertise to. Flame me if you like, I'm just trying to give an example. 

We like to live near people that we feel are like us. I often hear people saying that they loved the house but not the neighbors. They might be in a totally different age bracket, income group, level of education and we complain today that in an urban environment often people don't even know the names of their neighbors. Is that how you want to live.

HUD claims targeting people with a disability is discriminatory. But what if you are selling a house that is one level and has great accessibility for people with poor mobility. Isn't it a good thing to make it easier for them to be able to find suitable properties to rent or buy?

Finally, national origin. I am an immigrant, albeit I was a minor at the time, but I know what discrimination was like when I was a kid, even in New Zealand. Neighbors threw stones on our corrugated iron roof and made my mother and I afraid as they taunted us for being foreign. We moved house. I'm a European and that was decades ago, but I never forgot it. 

People like living close to people who are like themselves and whilst I am 100% for integration and against enclaves, I get why they happen in cities all over the world. 

If you are selling a house and it is in a neighborhood full of Italian, Greek, Indian, South African or whatever ethnicity people are, do you think you would get a better chance of sale if you were able to target people of that ethnicity in your Facebook advertising? Why do Chinese Real Estate Agents advertise in Chinese language newspapers. Are HUD against that too, or is that embracing culture and ethnicity? 

It's interesting when you look at the two common definitions of discrimination. 

One is "the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex." 

The other is "recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another."

As someone who sometimes advertises on Facebook, my goal is to get the best value for money. Being able to advertise my product (blogs) to my target demographic audience costs money. 

Being able to discriminate as to the latter definition, is beneficial to me and my audience. It's not being unjust or prejudicial. 

We have laws to protect people from those who would cause harm or mistreat others and while I have a big problem with Facebook SELLING my personal data to anyone, EVER, I have no affiliation with them, but like most people on this planet I use their social media. 

As a landlord (in the past) and a home seller, I have the right to try to promote it to the type of people who would get the most enjoyment out of it and I believe Facebook offers me that opportunity. It makes it less expensive for me to sell and more likely that the type of person who would want it can be made aware of it  

I'm not sure that HUD has got this one right, unless I'm missing something.
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Buying a Home Without an Agent

Buying a Home Without an Agent | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
If you are buying your first home, find out whether you should hire your own agent or buy a home without having somebody represent you.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
There is some very interesting food for thought in this story. Thinking it through one of the questions is clearly how the Buyer's Agent is paid. If they get paid by sharing in the commission of the house sale, then you would have to wonder how often Buyer's Agents are in cahoots with the Real Estate Agent.

It would make sense given that if they work in similar areas, it potentially doubles the contacts that are being exposed to a property within a short space of time. Plus the buyers agent has buyers, whereas the Real Estate Agent may just have someone who wants to sell their property.

If it's about splitting the commission, the buyers agents are likely to focus on sole listings because the vendor's agent would have more commission to play with.

Many years ago when I read Tom Hopkins books, his idea of being an agent was that he would ask someone what they were looking for and then go looking for that type of property, whether or not it was on the market. Then he would go broker a deal.

Alternatively he would find a property that was on the market and would have a list of people he believed would be interested in investing in it. He would then prepare a portfolio or prospectus for the buyer who hadn't even been looking for a property, showing them the short and long term profit potential , or the reason why it would make a perfect fit for them. 

Of course he was a real estate champion and it would have taken some years of success before he was able to do that, to even call people like that. I suspect in each country or state their are only a few people of that ilk. As top Real Estate coaches told me, 80% of top sales are made by 5% of the Real Estate Agents. 

Interestingly the cold calling itself isn't much different, except that these days most of the calls are made by virtual assistants or call centers, not the actual Agents. 

I've had a few calls from agents even in the last few weeks saying they had buyers interested and asking if I was interested in selling my property. Ironically the one that they were asking about was one I sold 8 years ago, so clearly they are using an out of date database, like the online phone book.  I deliberately didn't give them a change of address. People who need me know how to find me. 

Have you used or considered using a Buyers Agent instead of looking for properties yourself? That must be a growth market. I think if I was going to get into the industry (which I'm not) I would look to be one of those instead of a vendor's agent. I would also look to earn a fee for finding the right property as well as a percentage. 
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Keep an eye of your petrol gauge: Three fuel stations closed on N3 Toll Route, motorists left stranded | Wheels24

Keep an eye of your petrol gauge: Three fuel stations closed on N3 Toll Route, motorists left stranded | Wheels24 | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
It might be long weekend as South Africans celebrate Women's Day but the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) warns travellers to keep their eyes on their vehicles’ fuel gauges before heading off on a road trip.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I don't know if it is still happening, but a few years ago New Zealand's Automobile Association said that one of their most common call outs was people running out of petrol. 

In recent times in Auckland the price of petrol has gone up significantly and I wonder if there has been a coincident increase in the number of people running out while they wait for their local gas stations to offer a special price.

I like the fact that the South African N3TC is making an effort to warn motorists about gas stations that have run out of fuel. Not as common a problem here, but not unheard of. 

I always try to keep plenty of fuel in the tank as you never know when there might be an emergency unplanned trip on the horizon when you don't want to be looking for somewhere to load up with petrol first.

Also a note to self and others. Sometimes the savings of driving to a gas station with a good discount costs more than the discount will provide. I use the Gaspy app myself.
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Fake house? Use Google Street View to travel through time and expose flippers

Fake house? Use Google Street View to travel through time and expose flippers | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
If you're house hunting, it's important to know all you can about any property you're considering. Here's how to use Google Street View to see what a seller might not want you to know.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is a great example of how to use the time travel feature on Google Street View to look at a house you might be considering buying.

Flipping is still pretty commonplace and its not unusual for people to do a quick and dirty upgrade to the look of a house and then sell it on for a nice profit. This is one of the reasons why properties go up in value so quickly, because of people profiteering.

I'm not saying that every person who does this is a shark and ripping people off, but some of them are and the attached article provides clear evidence and a way you can in some cases see the evidence without leaving the comfort of your home.

Google Street View is a wonderful resource and I have previously blogged about a trip I took to look at a potential rental property in Hamilton which was effectively an expensive day trip. If I had used Street View and seen the rusted car carcasses in the front lawn of the property next door, I would not have bothered making the trip. 

I guess when you see what appears to be a bargain, there is often a good reason for it. I recommend reading the article if you are planning on buying a new house. The view from the lens of a professional Real Estate photographer may be very different to the view of the Google car camera which has no skin in the game. 
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