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Product Review

HouseFront Mobile Info Tool



You’re out and about all the time, you drive the town and the neighborhoods as you work your market.  You see a house that’s for sale by owner or notice a vacant property and want to know more about it.  You use to write down the address and go back to the office to look up details.  Maybe you even Jotted yourself a note to remember to do it later.  But just like every other consumer, you want your information NOW!


Wouldn’t the information be more valuable to you if you had access to it when you wanted it?  Maybe you could knock on the door armed with information?  Maybe you could tell your client in the car with you some details about the property?  Maybe you could log comparables as you see perfect matches to your listing?  Maybe HouseFront can help you make more money?  Certainly HouseFront will give you information when and where you need it most!

Receive accurate, immediate, house values to your mobile phone with HouseFront’s mobile text service!


1. Enter the address as a text message. Example: 4310 Sutton Pl, Sherman Oaks, CA, 91403

2. Send the messages to the 5-digit phone number “HOUSE” (46873)

3. Receive up to 2 text messages with information on value, characteristics and sales history about the house you sent.

4. Visit for a history of your text message property searches and more info.


Now you have mobile access to a wealth of public facts about real properties straight from your tax assessors records. How many bedrooms, baths, approx. square footage, last sale price, owner name, estimated value range are only a text message away. This is not a replacement for a true market analysis, but every agent should be armed with basic info and now you have no excuse not to be. Try HouseFront today and let me know how you will be using this tool to enhance your market dominance.

p.s. This is not a p/a.  Just a cool tool me and my agents use all the time.

Chaotic Good adventurer on a quest to optimize the lives of others. Husband & Father to Wolverines. Founder of RETSO + Managing Director at Path & Post.

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  1. Jason Sandquist

    October 4, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I have tried this before, it works well for what you need it for and when. I totally forgot about it, thanks for reminding me to save that text address again.

    If only everybody had as much energy as Jim Hellwig when they showed homes. 😉

  2. Teresa Boardman

    October 4, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Realtors in MN have access to a mobile MLS, which includes tax records. Are house fronts values accurate?

  3. Brad Nix

    October 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    @Teresa We have mobile MLS here in Atlanta as well, but I’m talking mainly about properties that are not in an MLS. For Sale By Owner or Unlisted properties are hard to find out about on short notice (like when you drive by), so HouseFront allows you to gain some basic info without having to go back to a computer. Plus, sending a simple text message is usually easier than accessing a mobile mls, especially when you factor most agents don’t use smartphones yet. I would never say tax record data is very accurate for property values, but it’s better than nothing when you are on the road.

  4. Jonathan Bentz

    October 6, 2008 at 10:43 am

    More and more people seem to have smart phones, IMO, but the mobile web is still not very easy to navigate, in my opinion. Getting information by text message seems to be the best way to get info on a cell phone. Sounds like a cool tool for RE’s to use. Love the Ultimate Warrior pic – my favorite wrestler from back in the day. Thanks.

  5. Amy Chorew

    October 21, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Brad, thanks found it. Can I link to this post on my techbyte blog? Thanks – of course give you ALL the CREDIT

  6. Brad Nix

    October 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    @Amy Of course, link your head off.

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Housing News

Avoid Blah-Blah Conversation With This Voicemail Cloaking Device



Please Dear Lord, Don’t Let Them Pick Up, So I Can Leave A Voice Mail and Make A Quick Get Away.

You know those times when you have to return a phone call, share an update, remind someone about something?  And those times where there’s no getting around it, you have to make the call and deliver your message, but you’re short on time, patience, courage, or ___________?

Guess What? I Have Good News For You.

There’s an App. for that, and it’s called SlyDial.  At the Inman Reboot event in HoustonChris with TechSavvyAgent dropped this cloaking device on us.  Basically, SlyDial is a clever smart phone tool.

SlyDial allows you to make a call from your cell phone to their cell phone, but their cell phone won’t ring. Instead of their phone ringing, SlyDial lets you dial directly into their voice mail, and leave a message. Yeah, that’s right, call directly into their voice mail, and their phone doesn’t ring. Check it out, it probably works on your smart phone.

You can get more details and info here.  The App. is free and straight forward.  It looks like the picture below when it’s launched on the iPhone4.

It’s that simple.  Good luck with it.  I was wondering in which situations you’d use something like this?

Thanks for reading.  Cheers.

Photo Credit

PS.  fyi, I don’t work for, nor am I in any way associated with, employed by, or even know anyone at SlyDial.  In other words, there’s nothing in for me by saying nice things about SlyDial, except the pleasure of telling you about a tool you might find handy.

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Product Review

New iPhone App


on launched their new iPhone application and gave a few of us the chance to play with it and tear it to pieces before the launch (maybe they didn’t quite put it that way, but it’s the way I’m approaching it).

When I first open these new apps, I always think of the intent and this one is pretty obvious.  The iphone app iss totally and completely designed with the end consumer in mind (sorry Realtors if you thought it could be about you).  It’s about providing the latest property information in the quickest, easiest and most user friendly fashion possible.

When you open the app, a home screen gives you several options, including searching for nearby homes for sale, nearby open houses or perform a new search by location or MLS ID.  You can allow for the app to use your current location and it actually gives you nearby listings currently for sale (also giving you the option to narrow down your criteria).  This can be really cool if you are driving in a neighborhood and just want to get property information without having to even get out of the car or make a phone call.  (Bad for agents that rely on the client to actually make that call to capture their business). iphone app screen shot

You can view a map option or a list option of properties and are able to actually click on any given one and get detailed information, not only on the property, but also the listing agent and the brokerage (very similar to what you see on  You can scroll through photos of the listing and turn the phone to get bigger photos and you can save the property and include notes to go with it. iPhone app screenshot

What’s even more fascinating is the option to contact the listing agent on the spot.  You can call them by clicking on their telephone number, you can email them,  visit their site and add them to your contacts.  (I know I’m an over achiever, but wouldn’t it be cool if you could tweet or facebook them as well?). iphone application
My favorite feature is the “drive around and use your location” to find listings – but you can also enter an address for a particular listing and/or its surrounding competitors and even enter the MLS number.

Great move on to empower the consumer.  Personally, an educated consumer is the best one in my book, but here’s the beef many will have…You can now say “Buh Bye” to Buyers’ Agents, with this app, listing agents will have the upper hand – this will give quick and easy information to the local consumer (not the end for those buyers agents that work with absentee and relocating clients).


I can now see me getting bombarded by calls from people who “forget” to tell me they are working with another agent and just wanted quick info.  I can also see my clients calling other agents just because their information was handy.  We’ll just have to see how this extra communication tool will evolve….it could be detrimental for many.

The question of who does work for will inevitably come up.  Many will criticize this as a tool of disintermediation, but if we are smart, we will not only know how to use this information in our favor, but we will welcome it with open arms.  I do wonder if it could be possible to personalize this particular iphone app for a fee so that Realtors can offer it to their clients (of course I would try to come up with a win-win for everyone).

For now it’s time for everyone to make sure their contact information is correct on their listings, and especially  Listing agents will have the ability to answer inquiries on the spot, staying above the competition with customer service always at the top of the priority list.

And for the record, I’m not associated with, so feel free to kill it if you have the itch.

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Product Review

Desktop Analytics – Polaris



Keeping Track

polaris2 I’m a big fan of keeping a pulse on the health of my blogs and sites.  Polaris has released a desktop application that allows you to keep track of your Google Analytics, on your desktop. 

The free version only allows monitoring from one account, while the $15/year version will allow multiple accounts.

The system features are very easy to setup and it works on the AIR installation system, which most of us already have with the Twitter apps.  It was quick to download and install. 


Polaris shows total visits, pageviews, activities by date, visits statistics and tons more.  Essentially anything that you would benefit from in Google Analytics, but on the desktop.


The current product is cool, but the company is also advertising some interesting upcoming products.

    • Dopac
      • Dopac is our flagship web analytics solution that brings Google Analytics to your desktop with a host of new features and possibilities. Based on the success and experience of our previously released beta product, the “Google Analytics Reporting Suite”, Dopac takes the original experience to the next level and brings a lot of new concepts to the table.
    • Rayet
      • Rayet is our strange kid on the block. It’s experimental, funky and fun!
        With Rayet we are aiming to make web analytics reporting smarter. Instead of generating a lot of good looking graphs and charts Rayet will cut to the chase and analyze your data for you. Rayet will give you suggestions on how to improve your website experience based on the analytical data available. By comparing different time samples it will tell what works and what doesn’t. Being in very early development there’s currently no release date planned yet.
    • Phobia
      • Phobia is made for one single purpose; impress your boss, client or anyone else you need to suck up to. It gives you data ownership by allowing you to export or synchronize your data in any given format. Anything from smart looking spreadsheets, pretty PDF’s or entertaining presentations is entirely possible! More info on features and release will be up here soon.


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