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Do You Want to Know Where I Am?

Buddy Beacon

We’ve been hearing about tracking devices and GPS systems for your cell phone, but I am so glad to see these take off for very selfish reasons (can keep track of my kids and my hubby…..not that I have to) 😉

Seriously…. for all of us that do the social networking thing, it could be cool to know where we are and can see people already using systems like brightkite to “check in” – it could also be annoying, depends if you are OCD or not.



But interestingly enough, I started thinking about Real Estate Applications for Buddy Beacon that can benefit a lot of us:

  • Real Estate Teams staying connected
  • Big office applications for broker’s opens or caravans (yes a lot of office still do those)
  • When showing properties to clients
  • To see how far away a colleague is from a particular appointment

I’m sure you can come up with a lot more applications. This whole GPS thing can be a little scary and you have to be careful who you let “in” to check your location but it is all a matter of CONTROL.

Buddy Beacon is not a tracking application. Your location is only updated when you set your location. Buddy Beacon is currently available on select mobile phones

Now HERE’s where it gets interesting – uLocate (the maker of Buddy Beacon) has teamed up with Garmin (The GPS company) to make this application take off and really be a useful tool. According to our friends at Mashable,

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As Garmin creates standalone GPS devices, there is some overlap between Garmin’s capabilities and those found on other devices like the iPhone, so integrating with social networking and providing ways in which people can use Garmin’sGPS devices to connect with each other offline means that Garmin is increasing its value and moving towards the support of a more inclusive ecosystem for the use of its devices.

Integration is the key, especially when using different systems that we are all into. Now to figure out how else to apply it to our real estate business to make our lives easier and more productive.

Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Todd

    August 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hooray for Location Based Services ( Yes I am a huge LBS geek ). I do want to point out that you can use Fire Eagle and just the mobile phone you already have, no dedicated GPS hardware needed. Fire Eagle is free and they address your concern:

    “…This whole GPS thing can be a little scary and you have to be careful who you let “in” to check your location but it is all a matter of CONTROL..”

    I could not agree more, and the Fire Eagle folks have built some awesome user controls into the service. You can set your location in seven different levels of detail, from “none” to “zip code” all the way down to three meter resolution accuracy. Highly recommended!

    fireeagle.com

  2. Ines

    August 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Todd – looks like another interesting application – I’m guessing it’s a lot like brightkite? I’d love to know the technical differences between all these sites and what advantages some have over others.

  3. James Boyer

    August 20, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    So here is a tracking question. Why is agentgenius not allowing the search engines (Google/Yahoo/MSN) to follow the links to the commentors. After all we come to your site as trackable traffic, spend our valuable time reading your posts, and then spend even more time commenting, and then we get no-followed.

  4. Karen Goodman

    August 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I didn’t realize there was something out there like this. I can see it as being a huge plus for keeping agents safe that are showing property. If you could enter the data each time you get to the next house, and someone at the office or your home can track where you are…it could be a lifesaver if you didn’t check in when expected.

    Is anyone using one of these services along these lines?

  5. Todd

    August 21, 2008 at 7:31 am

    @Ines

    “..I’d love to know the technical differences between all these sites and what advantages some have over others..”

    That may be beyond the scope of what I can write in a blog post comment. If you or anyone else here wants a Bright Kite invitation ( I have a bunch of them ) or a crash course on Fire Eagle ( I was one of the first beta testers ) just ask. Direct Message me via Twitter or write to me directly Lani has both of those.

    And “yes” Location Based Services are inherently tied to the practice of real estate – “location, location, location!”

  6. Ines

    August 21, 2008 at 9:23 am

    James – that’s a question for Lani and Benn – no follow tags are common now in the blogosphere but I am no SEO techie, so can’t answer your question. I do believe the comment should come because you feel like being part of the conversation, not because you’re looking for a backlink though. (not implying that’s what you’re after either)

    Karen – THAT’s exactly what I was looking for, ideas for applications and SAFETY is a huge issue – especially in this industry that we find ourselves alone so often with people we don’t know. Great point!

    Todd – I’m in Bright Kite and see several people like Kristal Kraft and Jeff Turner “checking in” to different locations through Twitter – I just want to know the difference between all the systems and would love to see how Garmin is making a difference with all the pre-existing systems. (Thanks for your help)

  7. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    August 21, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Karen, you make a great great point! This is not only great for parents with new teen drivers, but in a real estate application, this would be really helpful like you said for the office admin to be able to figure out where everyone is, kind of like central dispatch.

    Because it’s opt in/ opt out, it seems like it could also be useful for the hyperconnected meaning many people are already on Twitter announcing their whereabouts and if they chose to have their Buddy Beacon on and their selected Twit friends knew about it, it would serve as a supplement to Twitter and possibly lead to more meetups in person. This sounds crazy but it’s already happening! 🙂

  8. Paula Henry

    August 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I have mixed feeling about location devices. There are some great ideas here for their use. I just don’t want everyone knowing where I am at all times. Of course there is the safety factor having such a system in place among certain people.

    @Lani – I can see the value in meet-ups, if I want to be met. Otherwise, I don’t want people to know where I am. That’s just me.

  9. Todd

    August 22, 2008 at 7:52 am

    @Paula

    “…I just don’t want everyone knowing where I am at all times.”

    That is a common and justifiable concern. I want to stress ( software based ) Location Based Services are completely under the user’s control – just click “OFF”. When and where your mobile phone to Bright Kite or the Fire Eagle API allows you to define exactly who sees what at will, including “no one” and “nothing” – it is entirely up to you. There is also the means to delete the stored information from earlier location updates, leaving no trail at all.

    FYI

  10. Thomas Johnson

    August 22, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Mrs. Eliot Spitzer and Mrs. John Edwards are wondering where these devices were a year and a half ago. It could have added millions to their divorce settlements.

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