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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How buyers use social media to narrow choices and save time house hunting

How buyers use social media to narrow choices and save time house hunting | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
"Social media is a great tool for sellers, buyers and Realtors who love the opportunity to be more informed about what’s out there,” says Bill McFalls, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I've said this before. What better place to learn about a suburb you're considering moving to, whether you are buying or even renting, is to check out social media, especially the community pages. 
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3 ways digital maps improve customer experiences | Retail Customer Experience

3 ways digital maps improve customer experiences | Retail Customer Experience | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Robert Szyngiel, who leads product management at DMTI Spatial, offers up three ways retailers can use digital maps to improve customer experiences.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
If your destination business is not on Google Maps, you are missing out on lots of business opportunities!

When I was Sales & Marketing Manager for GeoSmart, we were actively chasing companies to list for free on our map data. The free listing gave people the ability to have a free map with travel directions from anywhere in New Zealand to their location.

It also ensured that their business name could be searched and found on leading car navigation devices from brands like TomTom, Navman and HERE.

Today Google is probably the top go-to service for maps and directions and businesses are clearly visible when you zoom in on the map from SME to corporates. 

If you want new customers to come to your business, Google will help people who are near to you or going to be near to you and its totally free. 

There isn't much in this world that is free. It's quick and easy. Whether you are a greengrocer, a food outlet, selling fishing gear or pretty much any drop in business, it doesn't make sense for you not to be there. 

If you aren't and you had time to read this, you should stop whatever else you are doing and register your business no Google Maps NOW!
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These Five Offer Mistakes Could Cost You The House

These Five Offer Mistakes Could Cost You The House | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Writing an offer is the most important step you'll take towards buying a home. Make sure to avoid making these five offer mistakes.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This article reinforces an important subject that I wrote about in my latest book 5 Top Mistakes People Make When They Are Buying a House (available on Amazon in Kindle format or for FREE at www.firsthomebuyerstraining.com 

What it comes down to is that Real Estate Agents are trained in selling skills including negotiation techniques, Neuro Linguistic Programming, strategies on the whole sales process including, very importantly, how to win over one member of a couple and using them to help sell the other.

Once you make an offer, you are effectively signing a contract. If it is accepted, at best (if you realise you have made a mistake) you will lose your deposit, worst case scenario, you have now bought that property and if you have missed some due diligence steps, you may have bought yourself a whole lot of financial, health and emotional stress. This is also known as 'buyers remorse'. It's common enough to have a name!

No one trains buyers and if you aren't using a Buyer's Agent, then you have a significant amount of risk, because with your lack of experience, they can use your emotional attachment to features, your weariness in having looked at so many homes that you no longer recall what belonged with which house and you are so over the whole process, that you are at risk of making a big mistake.

The book offers ways that you can reduce the risk and be in control. It doesn;t and can't have all the answers, but it has enough answers that if you follow them through, you will be closer to having an equal seat at the negotiation table. 

It's not hard to improve the odds to getting it right and it does involve doing some work. But think back to how much time it cost you to get the deposit together. How many hours of work does that represent? Do the sums. How many hours of work are you going to have to do to pay off the entire mortgage (if ever)?

Do you think maybe it is worth spending a couple of hours reading this FREE book at www.firsthomebuyerstraining.com because the time cost is probably less time than you will spend in your first couple of Open Home visits.

You have worked way too hard to get to the point of making an offer on a home, that could end up being a disaster for you and your family. Just one of the 'secrets' in this book could offer you a powerful way of getting the information you need in order to make a confident decision. Why do I call it a secret? Because despite it being hugely important. Over 90% of people I polled including people who have purchased several homes, didn't think of it. Most wished they had.

Good luck with your home buying. Be smarter in your approach and you will have a good chance of living in that first home and eventually your dream home. Don't be smart and you can still buy a house, but it could become a massive noose around your neck that could cost you dearly. 
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Having online orders delivered to work causes traffic jams, says Sadiq Khan | London

Having online orders delivered to work causes traffic jams, says Sadiq Khan | London | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Sadiq Khan is discouraging Londoners from having online purchases delivered to their workplace in a bid to reduce traffic congestion in central London. The number of vans being driven in the capital is up two per cent year-on-year and the Mayor blames them — and the soaring number of minicabs — for road delays.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Who would have thought that online purchases would increase traffic congestion in central London. Ultimately it doesn't surprise me although I didn't predict it.

I did suggest in one of my blogs that sites like Wish, AliExpress and Amazon would keep posties in a job despite the fact that most people don't send letters or even Christmas cards in the mail any more.

I have to admit that I buy quite a lot of things I don't need from some of these suppliers, but I do have a Post Office Box, so I'm not having them delivered to work.

I do understand though, that many people may feel that the goods they are buying online will disappear before they get home from work, which might explain the number that of people that have goods sent to their place of employment, apparently contributing to a 2% increase in London traffic congestion in the last year. If that is the case, expect it to get worse.

It is interesting to see that the City is setting up collection points, such as at train stations, that people can have their purchases sent to, picking them up on the way home. 

I think it is a great idea, however, given the volume, they will have to get very creative in the way they give people access to them. If they have to wait in line for any length of time, (which would be highly likely given that the volume is having such an impact on London traffic) when they are eager to get home, this idea is likely to lose its attraction. 

However if they get really smart, using location based technologies, smartphones and automation, there may be a way to get around this, but it would be a system the likes of which I have yet to see.

This could be a great opportunity for a mobile developer, or perhaps a distribution company like DPD to come up with a pickup model. 

Imagine a model similar to that used by supermarkets where you order your groceries online and then advics at what time you will collect them, picked and packed. 

If a company, with the blessing or investment from London City, came up with an automated warehouse and invested in that rather than electric vehicles and people to ride/drive them, there might be a good outcome. 

Other cities around the world must be facing the same problem, but just don't realise it yet.
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Zillow Best Cities Homes for Sale Winter Study

Zillow Best Cities Homes for Sale Winter Study | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Snowstorms and cold temperatures aren't necessarily terms you want to hear when moving… but you may want to put on your parka and get your moving truck.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
If you are following me in the Northern Hemisphere, Zillow, who should have the resources to know what they are talking about are saying that this could be a great time to buy a house.

It may not be the best time to look at real estate from the perspective that it might be cold and wet, but as I outlined in my new book '5 Top Mistakes People Make When They are Buying a House', do you want to see a property at its best or in the worst conditions?

I find it interesting that some of the places they list as being good buying, don't truly have a winter as we know it, like Miami. I remember going from a conference in Chicago to another one in Miami. Chicago was bitterly cold and Miami was beach weather. I then went back to the cold of Europe. It wasn't easy packing for 3 weeks in multiple climates, I can tell you.

Well that's from my point of view anyway, I did notice that while the bars and restaurants were really busy, the only way you could park a car was by valet, but North Beach was almost empty other than the odd tourist like myself.

I've been getting my exercise walking around the block daily in New Zealand and just about every house and yard is being spruced up for the summer and when the dry period finally settles in, most houses are going to look a million bucks and you won't see the mould, mildew, leaks and damp. 

Just as a footnote, I read recently that the best day of the year to close a sale is Boxing Day. They didn't say why exactly, but I can guess that vendors, especially those who have already bought are likely to be totally over it and wanting to go on holiday. The Boxing day sales may not be limited to retailers. 

If you wanted to take advantage of that, you should probably be using the information from www.firsthomebuyerstraining.com today.
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Report: Young People Offended by Hasbro's 'Monopoly for Millennials'

Report: Young People Offended by Hasbro's 'Monopoly for Millennials' | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Hasbro, the toy and game company, recently launched a new edition of board game Monopoly which is targeted at millennials. The company's target audience of young people does not seem to be reacting to Monopoly for Millennials as intended.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I think Hasbro is pointing out issues, which is great for a games company. They are staying relevant and it's a great conversation starter. I want the # token.

I think it illustrates the choices that millennials have and sometimes I wonder if we Baby Boomers are partly responsible by trying to compensate for what we didn't have as children. The 'now' generations feel that they are entitled not only to overseas travel to tropical islands and resorts, nice cars rather than the one they can afford, paying $200+ to go to a concert and loving the night life drinking and catching Ubers. 

I had envelopes and saved up for weeks to by the record, doing work like delivering newspapers up and down steep hills on a second hand bike! The chain which also provided my brakes would come off once a day, usually on a steep hill in the rain and send me and some of the newspapers flying.

Wow! Most of the concerts I went to in my teens were purchased by providing security guards with bottles of beer at the back fence of Western Springs and then crawling like marines down to the standing area as though we had paid to get in. It was pretty exciting too, especially when someone got caught (probably because they hadn't bribed security. Aucklanders who grew up in the 70's will relate to that.

Then we went without to get the deposit for our first home. We lost touch with friends who were not starting families because we couldn't afford their lifestyle and we spent loads of money on our kids once we got over the crippling 21%+ mortgage rates, you know, back when it was easy.

When we grew up and wanted something we got "Money doesn't grow on trees you know!" When we tried that with our kids (around 4 years of age) it was "You can always go down to the hole in the wall and get some more". 

It all comes down to your why and your timing. We got our trips and luxuries after we had provided ourselves and our kids with security. We waited for our third house and career success to get the swimming pool and spa pool, but many of the younger people think they are entitled to that in their first home. 

Maybe this is a good game to get people thinking. Instead of sending a postcard from New York saying how it is now impossible. If I have helped make young people think they can have it all without doing it tough, I'm sorry. I just didn't want you to feel like one of the poor kids like I did. 
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Property Brothers: Don't make 3 renovation mistakes homeowners regret

Property Brothers: Don't make 3 renovation mistakes homeowners regret | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of the HGTV show "Property Brothers," share some of the biggest home renovation mistakes buyers make and how to avoid them.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Buyers remorse. Have you heard of it? According to this story around 34% of Baby Boomers experience it and double that amount of millennials, almost 70% feel this. Is that scary or what?

It's not that they are necessarily sorry they bought a house, although it may feel that way to them. But they made mistakes and those mistakes can be very costly.

That's why I wrote the book 5 Top Mistakes People Make When They Buy a House. The book will be launching on Amazon in a few weeks for around US$38. You could wait and buy it for Christmas, or you get a FREE PDF of the book now at www.firsthomebuyerstraining.com 

Buying a home in my humble opinion is something that everyone should aim to do and the sooner the better, but you need to be smart and get it right, first time. 
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Waste management issues bugging you? Know how can you solve with GPS

Waste management issues bugging you? Know how can you solve with GPS | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Today GPS technology is not just limited to tracking the exact location of vehicles or find different routes but can be extensively used in waste management.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
When I read this headline I was thinking about how in some countries it's quite normal to illegally dump garbage and where domestic recycled rubbish doesn't get recycled. Putting a PGS detector into a sealed plastic container for example, might be an idea to see where less scrupulous operators dump their waste to save on time or perhaps dumping fees..

I recently bought a $14 rechargeable GPS Tracker for my Corvette on AliExpress, which I have yet to test because it requires a full sized SIM card and I only have a micro SIM, but it was way cheaper than any fitted product and most of the time my car is securely in a car park, and because I already use the OBD2 port for my Navdy.

But what got me excited about the article was a mobile app called Black Spot Mobile Application in the state of Goa in India which allows people to identify the sites of illegal dumps of rubbish so they can subsequently be cleared.

There are probably public apps around the world that do that. There are lazy, thoughtless people all over the world and yes even in clean green New Zealand, who feel that if you can get away with it, it is OK to dump all your rubbish over the side of banks off highways and country roads.

Often people spot them as they drive, or stop for lunch and a free app that lets people report waste using the GPS in their mobile phone would be great in the same way as they tell Waze and Google that there has been a motor accident, a traffic jam, or the location of a speed camera (not such a fan of that last feature), it's a bit like a radar detector, if you weren't going to break the law, you wouldn't need one.

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Seattle's 'Amageddon' crisis should terrify the city Amazon chooses for HQ2

Seattle's 'Amageddon' crisis should terrify the city Amazon chooses for HQ2 | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Amazon has been blamed for Seattle's astronomical hikes in real estate costs, traffic gridlock, and homelessness.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is really interesting and something I hadn't really considered, but it appears that having Amazon in your city could mean increased traffic congestion, increased real estate costs and trouble surviving for local retailers.

I wonder if Melbourne is going to experience any of this with the establishment of a major warehouse that will deliver product to Australia and New Zealand. The sheer volume of freight between freight hubs including to and from international and domestic airports alone will be huge and could add to traffic congestion.

In Seattle the average commuter now spends 55 hours a week in traffic. If you consider you work a 40 hour week, that's double the time you are away from home.

Could be a good time to buy real estate in Melbourne right now if that is also going to be a business hub. Maybe some capital gain in the wind, if they don't tax it off you. I don't know what the laws are over there. 

Whatever happens, it is going to be really interesting. A quick Google search suggests that what was expected and promoted in Seattle is pretty much word for word what what suggested in Melbourne https://bit.ly/2F6rZvE. ;
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Location is top factor for job hunters faced with steep housing costs | CBC News

Location is top factor for job hunters faced with steep housing costs | CBC News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Sky-high real estate prices are making location-based career decisions increasingly common.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Location is so important today when it comes to matching where you live with where you work. It has become a major dilemma for people in Canada and is the same in many other countries.

People starting out in their careers, people studying, people in service industries on or near minimum wages are critical to the life-blood of any city or town. If they can't afford to buy in the area they work in, sooner or later they are either going to be looking for remote telecommuting work or another town.

The problem is that cities need someone for every job, whether it is cleaning tables in a food court or leading a management team in a large corporate or Government department. 

I've heard people talking about property slumps but population keeps growing and people have to live somewhere. I'm hearing many people say they are happy moving to smaller towns and doing less skilled work in return for lower costs and improved lifestyles. That is a huge loss to businesses, especially the Baby Boomers who have so much business and life experience.

Some years ago (and it wouldn't have been for me anyway) I thought to myself that storage facilities would be a great business to be in, with so many people downsizing their homes but not wanting to part with their treasures. I still believe that but it would bore me to tears. 

I predict a next boom growth sector ripe for investment and franchising will be work hubs in smaller towns and outer suburbs, with serviced, shared office spaces, computers, meeting rooms, high speed internet, video conferencing and social eating and networking spaces will be huge. Again, it's not for me, but what a great way for small business and large business to collaborate. 

I believe that companies that can employ remote workers are going to find it easier to get key people working for them. However a lot of people also need the social contact of working with other people and being able to share resources. 

Urban businesses such as hospitality are going to struggle to survive, like the Vancouver bagel shop in this article that had to close for weeks because people couldn't afford to live near the shop and work for low wages.

The research in this article is really interesting and something that town planners and companies are going to have to consider. They found that 68% of people surveyed were influenced in their employment decisions based on location. 
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Survey: 52% of millennials want to buy home in next two years

Survey: 52% of millennials want to buy home in next two years | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Buyers appear undeterred by the lack of inventory and rising home prices. Search the latest Fall House Hunt listings at realestate.boston.com.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I was reading a lengthy full page advertisement in Auckland's Channel Magazine https://bit.ly/2JfI7tg by Geraldine Zareian a REal Estate Agent from Barfoot & Thompson which didn't mention millennials specifically but suggested a significant increase in property prices and also potentially interest rates post 2020. 

Interesting that I remembered it because I felt that it had too much information for a single ad, even in a full page, but on the other hand, the information was valuable.

She also wrote an article which has only been published online at this stage about the relevance of what is happening in other parts of the world. 

When it comes to trends, it would make sense if millennials in the US decide that buying property is on their priority list, chances are that this will become a phenomenon in a wider region.

The main difference that I see in New Zealand is that in many areas our real estate is much more expensive than buying properties in many US cities, which is crazy. It's not showing any signs of letting up that I can see. 

Even in small towns, baby boomers leaving the city are raising regional prices because they have greater buying power because of the high value of properties they are selling.

I think that as long as you are buying for the long term and confident that you will not be selling for several years, then any time is a good time. Whilst there are short term drops in prices, they still seem to pretty much double every 10 years. 
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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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Many of the apps tracking their users’ locations aren’t keeping those data secret

Many of the apps tracking their users’ locations aren’t keeping those data secret | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Luigi Cappel's insight:
So you agreed to allow your app developers to have your location in order for the app to work well, or for research purposes and it's anonymised, so no one knows WHO you are.

Think again and read this article. Selling our location data, just in the US is predicted to be worth around a quarter of a billion dollars in two years time.

It's funny isn't it. In order to use subscribers email address so I can send them email newsletters, I have to provide all sorts of assurances that the data is only used for the purpose that you subscribed for. I even have to provide a physical address in my emails. Yet, companies can anonymously buy your real time and historical location data. 

So how safe is it? I doubt anyone really knows to be sure, however your mobile has to be identified by something, because that data is sold, in many cases as a monthly subscription.

It can be combined with search data from your mobile device's search engine, so if you are looking for children's toys and then visit a toy shop, you must be interested in toys. It won't be long, (I predicted it over 10 years ago, so it's due) before things change dramatically and we start getting bombarded in the car, on the bus, in the mall, being offered deals if we go to a retailer based on our 'interests'.

Now don't get me wrong, I have evangelized some of these opportunities, but based on trust and informed consent. 

We are almost there now. Have you noticed how when you last used your browser to look for an item, let's say a pair of headphones, that Google, Facebook and others all start showing you ads for headphones? It happens all the time right? Usually for something that you have already bought, which makes it annoying, but when they get to the point of knowing what you bought through Artificial Intelligence, they will start offering you companion items.

There's something missing here. We know that we use Freemium apps like Facebook, or Weather Forecasts, or Health Apps in return for something. But how much is OK?

I doubt that many of us are aware, when we approve an app to collect information about us, that we knowingly approved it to be sold to anyone prepared to pay for it.

On top of that, the people who have our data for the app, know who we are, where we live, work and play. They may not sell the personal data, BUT

Have you had a message recently that your personal information, complete with where you live, your contact details and much more may have been compromised? I use Dashlane to manage my passwords and app security. When Quora recently got hacked to the tune of complete details, right down to what we discussed, from memory I think that was around 50 million people's information. That's just one instance and Dashlane told me I needed to change dozens of passwords. 

Even if some companies only got your anonymised data, if they want to and have the resources, whether for commercial purposes or national security, they can not only find out who you are, but identify your family, your friends, your work colleagues, when you are at home, when you are on holiday, at work and pretty much anything in between. 

It's no wonder there is such a big market for burner phones, Did you hear about the Phantom Secure raid recently? https://bit.ly/2C6i1Hc They are just one of many companies who sell encrypted smartphones to people like drug cartels so that they can't be traced. I wonder if those companies track their own customers?

Would it stand to reason that some of the sophisticated crime 'businesses' might also be interested in being able to track future victims? 

It seems that some of the code used for tracking is supplied to app developers so they don't have to 'recreate the wheel'. With a backdoor what's to stop that data being shared with the tracking software code cutters, in return for a bit of freemium code?

I suspect that for now we have passed the point of no return and I don't think it matters how respectable the app company is. I doubt there is much, if any data is secure any more. Even if you only had a shoe phone, with no smarts and no apps, it could still be tracked. In urban areas they don't even need GPS.

What is the answer? I think it comes down to our Governments, but do they even have any serious capability to protects us? I don't think so. When organisations like Google and Facebook can't fully protect us, because they can't fully protect themselves and many companies, corporates and Government departments use their freemium software internally, I suspect the days of privacy are long gone. 

Who has your data? Anyone who is prepared to pay for access to it. With an estimated value coming up of a quarter of a billion dollars a year, this is a massive growth industry. Thanks for sharing.
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New Auto Vehicle GPS tracker with ignition kill switch is helping to cut down on vehicle crime - Press Release - Digital Journal

New Auto Vehicle GPS tracker with ignition kill switch is helping to cut down on vehicle crime - Press Release - Digital Journal | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The TK119-W 3G Vehicle GPS tracker comes with a kill switch which can be used by individuals to safeguard their vehicles or commercial outlets to protect their fleet. The device which comes with a long battery life is also being used by car lenders.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
WARNING! This could be extremely dangerous. In some countries or states it will actually be illegal. 

By the look of the image on the article, this appears to be what it says, a GPS tracker with a kill switch. 

Imagine your car is stolen and you see on Google Maps that it is traveling on the freeway at speed. If you were to then remotely kill the ignition, you potentially have a major accident on your hands that you caused. You could potentially be responsible for death or serious injury. 

Likewise imagine that you have no idea where it is, because you don't have access to a map at the time, but you just shut it down.

If the kill switch can only work when the ignition is already off, or the vehicle is already stationary, that's one thing, you can go and collect, or ask Police to follow up on your stolen vehicle. If it's moving, this is highly dangerous.

Imagine killing the engine of a motorcycle traveling at speed, in gear and suddenly you stop it. What if it was in the middle of an overtaking manoevre? What if it was being chased? What if it was being leaned over going into a corner?

Imagine if it was a misunderstanding and that person on the bike or in your pickup is a friend, colleague or family member. How would you feel if you stopped them all of a sudden and this cause an accident?

I get the anger and frustration of having your vehicle stolen. However, hopefully no one thinks a vehicle is worth risking a life over.

I have a GPS tracker for my car and it will locate my car anywhere that there is a mobile signal. Hopefully it will never be stolen, but if it is I will be able to guide the Police directly to it. The GPS is not physically connected to the car, which means it will still work if the battery is disconnected and it will be hidden so that no one knows it is even being tracked. 

If you are considering purchasing a device like this, please make sure that you check the legality with the Police. You could end up being a victim with a conviction. As I said, if it only prevents the vehicle from starting when it is activated, that's fine, anything more and I would steer away from any device like this. 
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State seizes €530k from firm that sold smartphones to drugs gangs

State seizes €530k from firm that sold smartphones to drugs gangs | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
CAB granted court order after FBI tip-off on company that remotely wiped seized devices
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I've heard of burner phones, you see them on TV, but you'd probably have to be a criminal to know about this business. Or perhaps the sales person who supplied tens of thousands of mobiles to this company. Or the people who physically modified the more than 20,000 mobiles believed to be out in the wild earlier this year.

Maybe this is why Blackberry still exists. I still remember the sigh of relief when I stopped having to use corporate Blackberry phones. If these were exclusively Blackberrys then that must have been a nice boost to their sales.

Supplying mobiles to people all over the world Phantom Secure apparently disabled cameras and GPS and wiped everything from mobiles' memory remotely if they were taken by police, for a subscription of $3,000 every 6 months. 

I wonder how they maintained their records in order to ensure they were paid their subscriptions. That list would be a real treasure trove to Police, even if they can't track the devices. 

I guess there must be many more companies who provide a service like this, including to Government agencies I would suspect. 

This is the sort of thing that you see in movies, but don't really think about in the real world. Fascinating. Probably better of not knowing about some businesses. I'm big on location based services and never thought of an enterprise tasked with ensuring location based services don't work. 

I believe GPS jamming is also a big business, but that's another story.

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You Are Not Stuck In Traffic, You Are Traffic

You Are Not Stuck In Traffic, You Are Traffic | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
“Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.” That quote from the 1950s is often attributed to the great U.S. urbanist Lewis Mumford. It's a truncation of what he actually wrote but the concept remains valid. When will planners catch up?
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Carlton Reid has obviously been writing about traffic for some time now and having been part of the team that provided TomTom with maps and real time traffic information for New Zealand and Australia I am passionate about this space and in fact very fond of their product.

I have also been saying for years, WE ARE THE TRAFFIC and we choose how we participate. The problem is that we think we are more equal than others and quick to point the finger of blame anywhere other than ourselves.  We have known forever that the more roads you build, the more traffic you accommodate, but to be fair, we are not in a static environment. 

Our cities are growing at a rapid pace. According to Auckland City, where I live, the population growth for Auckland for the year to March 2018 was 34,458, that's 8 new people per hour. Now that might not be much by a Super City's standards, but its a lot to deal with from a transport perspective. It's also a need for around 2-3 additional houses or apartments per hour!

We are constructing many outlying subdivisions with very little commercial employment opportunities ,and we are building large suburbs everywhere that we can find space. Just in my neighbourhood they are building 3,000 new houses and similar plots are carving out the countryside to be inhabited by people who will work in Auckland. Many of them are currently over an hour's drive to the city and Public Transport planners are doing their best to work out how to get them into the CBD which is also growing in all areas of commercial, residential and corporate.

Part of the plan for new urban construction is that people can live, work and play in the same buildings and a new rail link will connect them to other parts of the CBD and to other PT services.

Those numbers above are net growth by the way. There is anecdotally a large proportion of Baby Boomers moving into country towns and smaller cities, largely because the cost of real estate is so high (amongst the highest in the world), that they can downsize, pay off the mortgage, have some money in the bank and maybe find a part time job, relaxed in the knowledge that their cost of living will decrease so they no longer need the income they required to hold their head up in the city.

We have some great real time travel information provided by the NZTA, Auckland Transport and also other providers like the Automobile Association and services like Time Saver Traffic and Accurate Traffic, provided by broadcast radio.

Traffic information regarding accidents, unplanned events, maintenance closures and other causes are also provided to the car navigation companies as well as to Waze which passes it on to Google. 

This information includes things like time, delays, possible detours, cause and how serious the event is, so that customers can make informed decisions. If they are smart and reference the freely available information, they can and should act on it, if possible.

There is travel information on social media, with Twitter and Facebook and it is also sent to freight and distribution companies and other commercial road users via a variety of media. 

Unfortunately a lot of the messages are 'expect delays', 'take an alternative route', 'avoid the area'. The good news is that if you are looking for the information, use notifications or check online before you go, you can avoid getting stuck in it, even if it means cancelling an appointment. Traffic is frequently cited as a cause for being late and it is understood providing you can show that you tried to avoid it by detour, leaving earlier, or whatever you had to do. 

It's not that people don't know what to do. If you were traveling to the airport for a European vacation, you would check the traffic and perhaps check or change your route and leave earlier. So why wouldn't you do it when you go to work? How does this sit with your values? If you choose to travel at the worst time, you are the traffic you are complaining about. You do have an equal right to be stuck in the traffic jam, but you have a responsibility to understand that you also contributed to creating it!

With apps like Google and Waze, car navigation like TomTom, HERE, Navman and Garmin all having real time traffic information, it is possible to identify alternate routes, but most people don't use them, citing experiences where the alternate route didn't improve the situation. Google also offers alternatives in many cities including public transport timetables and routes, in many cases even the costs, some locations like Christchurch City Council also provide a cost comparison between public transport and a car.

More and more, these apps for car navigation are using arterial routes, like capillaries though residential roads in the suburbs, they push motorists into rat runs where the main roads are full. The cars that divert off the main roads have to get back onto the main roads again, having gained 10-15 car lengths if they are lucky and face often angry motorists who begrudgingly let them back into the main bunch, or not. 

This happens through algorithms, partly on the settings you enter into your navigation, for example shortest route versus fastest route, main roads only or no main roads. It also happens because the way car navigation calculates you route is by working its way back from your destination and if it sees less congested roads. In the case of car navigation systems, they understand the hierarchy of the roads, however I'm not sure that apps like Waze and Google are as aware of the more detailed information. They probably do in large cities around the world where they have strong commercial relationships with DOT's, but otherwise its more like supporting the flow of water.

The travel information is very powerful as an tool to inform travelers before they leave as well as during their journey, however despite the fact that tools like Google Maps and Waze are FREE as are services like HERE (complete with real time traffic), most people don't use them. I often hear people say, "I tried it once but it made things worse. It's just the price you pay for living in the city." 

As long as people en masse don't recognise that they are the traffic and that they can improve the situation, not much is going to change. It's much easier to blame 'THE SYSTEM'. I remember as a teenager, blaming 'the system' for things but I rapidly learned that I am / we are the system. Unfortunately there remain a lot of people who think it is someone else's fault or responsibility. 

Everything we do impacts on our community. We think we work for pay, so we can eat, be safe, enjoy a lifestyle and higher things as per Maslow's Hierarchy Pyramid of Needs. In reality we are contributing to society or detracting from it if we don't make smart decisions. We all perform important tasks, whether it is cleaning tables in a food court or representing citizens in Government. The same with volunteer services, some people leave their rubbish on the beach, local communities come along and clean it up.

It just seems we are better at recognising that responsibility or need (where it gives us the warm fuzzies) when it comes to helping out a charity like Cancer, Feeding Children, supporting people in need, perhaps even in other countries. 

But sometimes we forget that most decisions we make impact on others somehow. If you decide to drive to the Sushi shop 1km up the road from work for lunch instead if walking and 2 other people see what you brought back and decide to do the same, you have traffic. If you decide to drive in your car, by yourself everyday instead of using public transport or offering other people a lift, you are the traffic that slows you down and causes the stressed out headspace you arrive at work in. What a great way to position yourself for a great day's productivity, don't you think? You chose to do that as did most of the other people. 

When you sit in the traffic at rush hour that isn't moving. Count how many people in your car. Look at how many cars only have one person in each of them. They chose to be the traffic.

My 12.5km commute would take me over an hour by motorway, even longer by bus and a good 45 minutes via the arterial routes and is getting slower. When I first was told about this route it took me about 20 minutes, but others caught on. Fortunately in my role I can choose to start earlier and leave earlier and avoid some of that traffic and of course in doing so, I am reducing the pressure by 1 car space at peak.

I'd ride a bike, but there is no bike lane along most of the route, it is hilly, windy and often very little room for bikes between the parked cars on the side of the road and drivers who are stressed out and worried about getting to work on time barely see them, in short, its too dangerous.

We can't build houses fast enough to meet the demand.

We can't increase the road capacity quick enough to meet the demand.

We struggle to keep up with the demand for Public Transport apart from a few bus only lanes, they are stuck in the same traffic as the commuters. 

Perhaps it's a little cheaper and more relaxing to take public transport, but you have to get to it first. To get to a bus stop to go to my office, is a 20 minute walk half of it through a bush track, which in a rainy city can be pretty unpleasant.

So back to Carlton Reid and the TomTom statement of You Are The Traffic. This is not an infrastructure problem perse, it is a people problem. I don't have the space here to go into detail, but employers and staff need to consider teleworking where possible IMHO. That could be from home or from regional business hubs which are starting to prove popular on the fringes of cities or even in other towns as some people now work hundreds of miles from their office. Chattanooga is a great example of this. I believe it grew initially out of innovation hubs. Many startups built hub environments where they could share costs of building, utilities, meeting rooms, kitchens, computer networks etc. Now we are seeing corporates starting to do something similar. 

4.3 million Americans telecommute today, up 11.7% on 2017. 

People can consider the hours they work. Our hours still go back to the 9 to 5 which is so last century. Why not work from 6am till 1 PM and have the afternoon free? Others might be night people and would like to sleep in and start work at 1PM and be able to sleep in. That's a perfect opportunity to halve the number of work spaces in their office. Some companies have started going to 10-hour days four days a week. They are talking about productivity gains by being able to put more focused attention on activities as well as the work life balance that comes from 3-day weekends.

In Auckland we now have 3 peak travel times during the work week now. Morning Peak is around 6AM to 10:30 AM, we have an Interpeak from about 11:30 to 1:30 and then the PM Peak goes from around 3PM through to 7:30 at night at best. That leaves about 2-3 hours during the day when traffic flows reasonably well, but like me, many people plan around that and that gap is rapidly filling in too.

Like the frog in the pan of warm water, we react slowly. Many vote with their feet and leave town, but as the statistics show, for every person leaving town, 2 take their place. This isn't a local phenomenon, it is happening in cities around the world. A lot of the growth is millennials who are more happy living in apartments and like to live in the city where 'the action' is. The Baby Boomers came from the Kiwi Quarter Acre promise and like their space. Those spaces are disappearing as demand and opportunity to harvest some banked land, result in infill housing.

Some claim that driverless cars will make all the difference, I wonder if, at least in the first decade or so, they will make matters worse, especially when cities (to encourage CBD dwellers and the use of public transport) consciously reduce the requirement for buildings to provide parking space, it will become worse. People will send their empty driverless cars to somewhere nearby where parking is free, or back home, especially if they are solar powered. 

So it ultimately comes down to people. If everyone who realistically has a job that can be completed outside of the office and has the maturity, skills and tools to spend at least part of their week working from home or from a shared workspace, that's the way to accommodate urban growth and improve transport congestion. 

We should start with the largest corporations and Government departments, because of the volume of people in their offices. 

This is a massive change offensive and requires a huge culture shift and training from the top to the bottom. It's not going to be easy, but, companies have so many benefits  from these changes.

1. Improved staff satisfaction and reduced stress from being in the traffic.
2. Increased productivity.
3. Reduced office space requirement in the most expensive areas. If the number of people in the office at any given time was halved, they could reduce building costs by maybe a third. That's not just CapEx, it's also a major OpEx reduction.
4. Less traffic means that JIT movement of goods and services can return, which leads to increased profit and productivity and prices of food and consumer essentials won't have to keep increasing as they are today. 

These are just some of the benefits. There are health benefits to staff, evidence of reduced time of sick. The improved work life balance would also be improved.

Staff retention would increase. Many people take a year or more to become commercially productive. So having them stay longer is great. People will love working for companies that support teleworking. 80-90% of people surveyed in the US, say they would prefer to work remotely at least part of the time. 

The question is how do we get this from a small movement to a groundswell? I'd certainly love to see us develop a plan in this direction, rather than big sticks like congestion taxes. Of course these additional taxes also increase the cost of any goods and services transported across impacted routes making it even more expensive to live in the city. 

Change will come and as a community, we can impact it.

So where do you think the change will come from?
Flexible Working Hours
Remote Working
More Roads
More adoption of travel information
A larger Public Transport Fleet
Congestion Tax
Smarter people using traffic information to inform decisions
People sharing information with each other
Car pooling
Ride Share programs

Or will we choose to grind to a halt and point fingers?
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The Real Estate Corner

The Real Estate Corner | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

 Do's and Don't When Viewing a House according to The Shawangunk Journal which is a weekly newspaper serving the Towns of Wawarsing, Crawford, Mamakating, Rochester and Shawangunk, and everything in between.

Luigi Cappel's insight:
There were some surprises in this article for me. Did you know that in some States while it is legal for the vendor to have discreet video cameras monitoring you when you view a house you are interested in buying, it may be illegal for you to take any photos or video without express permission.

That's a bit frustrating given that my advice is that you do take photos and notes and one way of killing two birds with one stone is to take video and talk to it. If they are videoing you off course that means that they would have access to everything you said.

The article also recommends not taking an entourage into the Open Home. I totally agree with that. I recommend going even farther than that and keeping your discussions as private as possible from anyone other than yourselves, including the agent. 

It's confusing enough without extra opinions. It's different if they are experts in the trade, perhaps real estate, maybe a builder, but otherwise leave that for a future visit if you are still keen.

Back to the discussion while viewing. You can decide what you do or don't want to share with the agent. By all means ask questions but don't appear over eager because this could go against you in a price negotiation (remember that is their trade, not yours). 

Don't pretend you are not interested either (when you are) but by all means you can discuss flaws or problems that need to be rectified. Be fair and realistic, if you get carried away in your cleverness to talk the value down but you really want it and they have other interested parties, they might discount you and next thing you know the 'Sold' sign is up and you're not the happy new owners.

I've recommended before you start looking seriously, visit at least one or two open homes and maybe even an auction where you are not considering buying, so that you can get a feel for the experience. Then you can discuss how you will interact with each other and the agent during future viewings where you are interested. 
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How to Ensure You’re Buying the Perfect Home

How to Ensure You’re Buying the Perfect Home | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
For most people, buying a home is the biggest investment they'll make in their life. Not only is it a huge financial undertaking, but your final choice is a decision you'll be living with for the foreseeable future.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
If you haven't got the message from me yet, maybe someone else's words will resonate better. Do your homework before you make an offer!

What's the traffic like at rush hour? What's the neighbourhood like? Take a drive around all the neighbouring streets.

How does it match up to the prioritised list of 20 things you want in your house that match up with why you are buying a house? You did make one right?

How much fat are you allowing for things that go wrong in 6-12 months time? When the guttering leaks or the heating fails, do you have money left for emergencies or will you borrow to the max and have nothing to fall back on?

I love that they say what I have been saying so many times, knock on the neighbours doors and find out how compatible you are and get the real dirt on the area. It's in your mutual interest that you are happy there. I'll best most people you know have done nothing more than nod at the people checking you out as you visit the open home.

Want some more ideas? My new eBook The 5 Top Mistakes People Make When They Buy a House will be on Amazon in December for $38. Or you could get a PDF copy for free by going to www.firsthomebuyerstraining.com

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What do we ask a lawyer when buying a house? | Stuff.co.nz

What do we ask a lawyer when buying a house? | Stuff.co.nz | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
OPINION: We're buying a house but not sure what we need a lawyer for.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Kevin makes a very good point in this article about talking to your lawyer before buying a house. Many people don't talk to their lawyers until the last minute, some might not even think about the lawyer at all, because they are focused on finance, beating other people who might also be interested in the property and the million and one other factors that you are considering.

If it's your first house and your lawyer is experienced in property, he or she is probably one of the first people you should see. They are busy people and if you leave it until after you have made an offer, they might not be able to meet your deadlines and you could already have made some commitments that will cost you dearly.

Yes, lawyers are expensive, but your choice is the ambulance at the top of the cliff or the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. You are signing a legally binding contract if your offer is accepted by the vendor. Get it wrong and you could find yourself in an expensive jam.

The way I've worked with my lawyer is that I catch up with him and let him know what I'm considering, that might be on the phone or in person. He then gives me advice on all the little hooks I need to be aware of, including as Kevin says in the article, any clauses I would need to include in the contract.

You might also want to consider things like whether you should own the house or whether it should go into a trust, so that you can look after your children in the future as beneficiaries. 

He will then assign a junior legal assistant or similar to work through the mechanics of the process and they will liaise with both of us. He knows what is going on and can oversee the process, but he doesn't have to do the legwork. That reduces the cost considerably, but still ensures that things will go smoothly.

Laws and council regulations change frequently so even if you have bought a property previously, don't assume you know it all. I'm a firm believer in doing what I'm good at and paying other people to do what they are good at. 

If you haven't caught up with my news, I have just published my latest eBook called 5 Top Mistakes People Make When Buying a House. You can get it for free at www.firsthomebuyerstraining.com or wait a few weeks and buy it from Amazon where it will probably sell for around US$38. 
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House Hunting in Auckland with the Barfoot & Thompson Real Estate App

House Hunting in Auckland with the Barfoot & Thompson Real Estate App | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
It's been 5 years since I last looked at the Barfoot & Thompson Real Estate App. I did a brief review of it back in 2013. That version was a finalist in the Designers Institute Best Designers Award and they continue to impress. Now I must say that I tried the new app on the…
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Virtual Reality glasses let you walk through Auckland houses for sale with the Barfoot & Thompson mobile app.

When I bought my VR Box glasses, I checked out a few demo apps, played around with some scenic views and then put them in the cupboard. I haven't looked at them for 6 months and then I noticed that the latest version of this app lets you take a VR walk through Auckland houses for sale and I had to get them out for a look.

It feels like Barfoots are the ASB of the Real Estate industry in Auckland with this app and as I often discuss,  today there is no excuse to be led around aimlessly from one property to the next, that you have no interest in. You can do some serious viewing and research from the comfort of your home and only go looking when you have lots of information. This app makes it easy.

Of course there are similar apps in other countries, but this one is in my city, so holds a little more interest for me. 
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Old me doesn’t need the house young me did

Old me doesn’t need the house young me did | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I always thought that smaller houses would have significantly less value than bigger houses, after all everyone seems to want 5-7 bedroom houses with 3 bathrooms going by the new suburb of Long Bay being developed a km away from my home.

But that seems to be changing and more Baby Boomers and Empty Nesters are looking to downsize and based on supply and demand economics, the more people that want smaller homes and the less that are available because so many people felt the same as me and built bigger homes, they are increasing in value.

After all, a house is worth what the highest bidder is prepared to pay for it, It's as simple as that.

After many months of writing and proofreading I have completed a FREE eBook called 5 Top Mistakes People Make When They Are Buying a House. If you or anyone you know are considering buying a house at the moment, this book could save you or them a lot of time and money. I'll give you a money back guarantee on the FREE book. 

Where to get it? Just go to www.firsthomebuyerstraining.com I welcome feedback. 
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Urban Planning Guru Says Driverless Cars Won’t Fix Congestion - The New York Times

Urban Planning Guru Says Driverless Cars Won’t Fix Congestion - The New York Times | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Tech companies claim that autonomous vehicles could reduce traffic. But skeptics argue that they’ll add to gridlock if people are still taking solo trips.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
People are always looking for technology to fix a problem. This is a good article and Peter Calthorpe is difficult to argue with. The big problem is single occupancy vehicles, not whether humans are driving them or not.

Once we have driverless vehicles at a critical mass, not only are we likely to have a similar number of cars with only one person in them, we will also see all sorts of disruptors launched where empty cars do pickups of goods and services as well as empty cars driving back home having dropped someone at work or school, because of availability and cost of parking.  

The total cost of ownership can also be much reduced if cars are powered by solar energy. The car can go home and recharge itself and be fully charged ready to arrive on time to pick up the owner again. If the owner isn't ready, the car would probably add to the traffic circling the pick up point if there was no handy free parking. Not a problem for the empty car, but a big problem for the people sitting in other cars driverless or not.

So autonomous cars would probably significantly increase the number of vehicles on the road at any given point in time. 

Those are just a couple of examples. I think I'm leaning towards the skeptic side of the debate, especially because new disruptive services that we haven't even thought of will exist once there are enough driverless cars on the road to sustain them. This may be another case perhaps, of technology not being the solution to the problem. It's never as simple as people think it is.

Often people look at a technology in isolation. A lot of people also only have a short term focus, especially those that haven't been around long enough to experience the consequences of other technologies. 

I mean, who would have thought 20 years ago that a large number of car crashes, injuries and fatalities would have been caused by people being on the phone. What people discussed was how great it was to be able to talk to people any time, anywhere. Then it was using apps to kill dead time (like while waiting at red traffic lights or stop start commuter traffic), for example listening to eBooks and podcasts. 

Who would have thought that lots of crashes happened because of Pokemon even 5 years ago. After all, everyone behind the wheel is a mature adult right? Otherwise they wouldn't be granted a drivers license. 

You still have to look hard to find an electric car on the road today. The majority of hybrid cars are taxis or seats for hire. So how can we even imagine much about the new disruptive things that will happen when autonomous cars reach critical mass, which could be 20 or 30 years from now. 

Think I'm wrong? Here are some facts. The first all electric Nissan Leaf cars were launched commercially on the market in 2010. We now have many brands of electric cars available. In September of this year, 8 years later, 10,000 electric cars have been registered in New Zealand. That is 0.25% of the 4 million cars in the country, 8 years after the first ones became available. That's almost a rounding error statistically. 

So why would the adoption of very expensive and yet unproven driverless cars be faster given the immense additional complexity of real time data required. After all electricity is just a power source. Autonomy requires massive computational power and high quality data and communications anywhere, all of the time.
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We shouldn’t market to people’s past — we need real-time, location-based strategies

We shouldn’t market to people’s past — we need real-time, location-based strategies | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
We need to stop marketing to people's past and realize that people's hobbies, interests, and lifestyles change as time goes on.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I often wonder how much money major brands waste on marketing to people who have already bought the item they are promoting. Whenever I buy something from an online retailer like AliExpress or Amazon, my Facebook and other media such as local newspaper apps through Google Play show me ads for the thing that I have already bought. It's too late, I've already got it. What an incredible waste of money!

Give me ads for something I am looking for right now or give me a mechanism to say what I am looking at, like the example in this article.

Proximity is great. But imagine if I purchased a present for a friend's child from a toy shop. Now I am near a toy shop and I start getting ads for toys. I'm actually not interested, it was a random purchase. I don't have young kids. 

If however a location based system had smart algorithms that knows that I go to, or check-in to a location regularly, then by all means offer me deals based on the trend. 

Offer me a genuine loyalty program with proximity based deals. I notice since I have stopped driving because of my back injury,  Mobil has stopped sending me marketing messages even though I am a member of Mobil Smiles. They don't know why I have stopped using their card. That's the other extreme, I could be going somewhere else for petrol for all they know. Odds are that I haven't gone to an EV, just based on Electric Vehicle sales vs petrol and diesel.

So many  companies just get sucked into simple thoughtless 'loyalty programs' that do nothing to induce customers to buy from them. The winners are the ad agencies, the delivery companies, virtual and physical. Not the advertiser nor the customer. 

Using web history that I was looking at LED torches online last week, doesn't mean that I want more. I probably bought one at the time, when I had a need.

The advertiser gets told that their ad for torches got 3,000 views today. If 2,900 of them were to people that have already bought, at best it is a waste of money, but their brand still gets seen. At worst, it annoys people so they will develop negative emotions towards  that brand.

If I frequently go to a retailer, like when I was driving, I used to often go to Super Cheap Auto. Offer me a deal when I'm within a kilometer of the store. 

There's a good possibility that a free bag off microfibre cloth offcuts will get me to buy polish, car wash, tyre black or other things because I am close by, even if I don't need them right now. 

That's using location and being smart, especially given I am a loyalty program member. The ROI would probably be 10x that of the junk mail, even if that is subsidised or paid for by the brands. 

It's not rocket science, but it's not how retailers think. The most frustrating thing is I've been saying this for over 10 years and when people finally start doing it and it works, they'll be saying "Why didn't we think of this before?"
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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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