Find & view all Saskatoon MLS listings within 1KM of your iPhone or Android

If you’re a real estate geek with an iPhone or an Android device you’re going to flip over this terrific little application.

It uses your device’s GPS to position you on a map and it plots all Saskatoon MLS listings within one kilometer of your current location.

Have you ever driven by a real estate for sale sign and thought to yourself, “Hey, I wonder what the deal is on that place?” Well, wonder no more my friend, wonder no more. Just pull out your phone, open the bookmark and browse the listing details including all of the MLS photos and dozens of data fields.

It will continue to search nearby listings as you “pan” the map and it can “follow” you as you walk or drive and automatically update the search results.

If you see something you’d like to visit, you can call us or send us a text message directly from the listing.

It’s a web-based application so it requires no installation and it takes up virtually no room on your phone’s hard disk.

Simply open this link with your iPhone or your Android, bookmark it, and you’re experiencing the magic, now and forever.

But please, don’t keep this gem to yourself. Email it to all of your iPhone and Android friends (you can use that little blue email icon at the bottom of this post to forward it on). They’ll love you for it.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

This application is brought to me by MyRealPage, the most kick-ass home search tool for MLS listings on planet earth, perhaps in the solar system.

You could actually know more about Saskatoon real estate, faster.

Maybe I’m getting old, but I’m not sure I get the “Twitter” thing.

I first signed up to use this “social media” tool a little more than a year ago. I think I gave it a fair shot (96 tweets and a lot of listening) but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I’m not that comfortable sharing the minor details of my life with others.

On the other hand, I am kinda crazy about sharing real estate stuff with those who are into it. If you’re into that, and you’re into Twitter, well, you might want to check out my Twitter stream here.

You probably won’t find out where I am, or what I had for dinner, but if you were checkin’ it out you’d know how many Saskatoon homes sold today, and what the average selling price was. You’d know that a property sold above a million bucks yesterday, and that another one picked up a sold sign today at just shy of a million. Heck, you’d even already know the average selling price of a Saskatoon home for March 2009.

So, hit me up on Twitter, won’t ya?

I’m over here, by myself, at the moment. ☺

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Free wireless hot spots coming soon to Saskatoon

Free wireless hot spots coming soon to Saskatoon

The Calvert government announced another election year carrot yesterday unveiling its plan to create the “largest free wireless Internet network in Canada.” The province will invest approximately $1.3 million dollars to install wireless transmitters in various “hot spots” through Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert. They’ll also foot the bill for the service costs which are estimated to be around $340,000 a year. The “Saskatchewan Connected” initiative should be up and running by May of this year.

Saskatoon residents can expect free wireless service in a number of locations including the downtown Saskatoon area, the University of Saskatchewan, SIAST and the Broadway business district. There is some possibility that wireless zones may be expanded in the future.

At the announcement Premier Calvert said, “We need to keep Saskatchewan in the forefront…of information technology” and added that the initiative will “contribute significantly to the progressive image of our communities.”

Andrew Thomson, the minister responsible for information technology suggested that you may not want to move too quickly in dumping your current Internet service provider. He promised that the service would be superior to dial-up, but it won’t meet high-speed specifications. Secure transactions are not recommended. Porn and gambling sites will not be accessible.

Personally, I think it’s long overdue and a pretty cool move but I expect that the Calvert government’s hope that it will “attract and retain” young people in the province is a bit of a stretch.

A compelling case for more photos on your home listing

Saskatoon real estate agents have known for years that home buyers who are shopping for homes online are very interested in viewing photos. As far as they’re concerned, the more photos an online ad offers the better. Survey after survey places photos at the very top of the “what’s important to you” list. It makes sense. Life is busy for all of us and the more information we can receive in advance of making an inquiry, the greater our ability to qualify properties saving ourselves time in the process.

However, until now, most of the evidence has been purely anecdotal without any solid statistical support. I suppose that’s why I found a recent post titled, “The Most Important Number in Listing Marketing,” by Point2’s COO Brendan King so interesting. Point2 is the largest real estate network in the world hosting hundreds of thousands of property listings in their database which are displayed to millions of viewers at Point2Homes each month. They are in a position to deliver definitive answers on the viewing habits of home buyers and that’s exactly what they’ve done with this fascinating study.

Over a thirty day period, Point2 observed the viewing habits of people that visited their website and concluded that “views” of listings and “leads” generated by those listings increased significantly as the number of photos available on a listing increased. On the following graph, the vertical axis represents the number of photos on a listing and the bars represent the number of viewings on a listing, followed by the number of leads which were generated as a result of those views. Clearly, we see properties which feature just one photo generating approximately 5 views and 1.37 leads, while listings displaying 21 or more images received over 77 views and close to 11 leads.

Brendan King's Graph on Photos

One serious question remains unanswered in this study; in spite of overwhelming evidence that listing photos are a major benefit to both buyers and sellers, why do agents typically under deliver in this area? With today’s technology it costs nothing to capture more images. Granted, there is a time investment required in capturing, processing and posting the images but it seems marginal to me in light of the potential benefits for both the seller and the seller’s agent.

If you’re thinking of selling your Saskatoon home, why not make the number and the quality of photos part of your selection criteria when choosing an agent? It will pay dividends.

Related Posts: If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, What Are the Photos of Your Home Saying to Prospective Buyers?

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate