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Put Your Data On The Map

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My day job is currently with a title company and we send our customers lists several times a week of for sale by owner lists and foreclosure lists.  These typically come in a CSV (Excel-readable) file format.  I’m the lucky one to generate these TPS reports and when I look at them, I think, “Drat! If only these spreadsheets weren’t so ugly and non user friendly and organized in a way that made sense.  Maybe if I could easily see these FSBO’s on a map or show an investor where the foreclosures are so we don’t waste gas driving around aimlessly!”  Okay, fine, I don’t say “Drat”.

Mapalist to the Rescue!

I’ll forewarn you, they just got some great publicity, so the site is taking a little bit of a hit at the moment.  But basically, you put your addresses into a Google Docs spreadsheet (you know how to copy and paste, right?)  Below is a map of all of the homes in various states of foreclosure in my county.  Click on the map to see all of the details.  Depressing, yet easy to look at!

It’s SO Easy

It literally took me less than 5 minutes to find the report on our terribly disorganized corporate share drive, copy the data to Google Docs, wait for Mapalist to load, register and go through the whole process.  So simple!  Now I can plan my driving route, see which neighborhoods are busiest, plan my stops during the weekly brokers tour or just look at a pretty map.

What uses can you imagine for this tool in your real estate business?

Nick runs a new media marketing consulting company helping real estate professionals learn how to implement new media tools into their marketing arsenal. He frequently gives presentations on generational marketing, green marketing and advanced online promotion. Nick is active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Paula Henry

    August 14, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Nick – Cool Tool – great for determining the best areas to check out at a glance.

  2. Kim Wood

    August 14, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    I have been waiting and waiting for something like this! The map our MLS prints is less than desirable – so I look forward to checking this out.

    I don’t think I’ll use it to send out FSBO lists, but arranging Buyer Tours would be great!

    Now if I could input addresses into my GPS and *it* determine the best route to take…I’d be a happier camper! Can you help?

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    August 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I *love* this!!! How easy is this! I almost wish this was kept secret!!! lol

    It’s always been complicated mentally organizing addresses and data points and even MORE complicated when having to do data entry. I’ll be tinkering with this, thanks!!!!

  4. Jamey Bridges

    August 14, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Ok, this is pretty sweet! I have been a big fan of Google Maps, but this really makes it easy to integrate data with their application, thanks for sharing.

    I think this will be cool for listing agents too, who want to quickly show all the listings they have in a neighborhood 🙂

  5. Todd

    August 15, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Maplist is cool, but just regular Google Maps supports this too. If you already have a Gmail account, sign in and click “My Maps”. You can even create custom icons for the push pins. After adding all your listings, just copy past the embed code into the side bar of your WordPress blog and that’s it.

  6. Vicki Moore

    August 15, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Way cool. Thanks. I’m definitely going to use this.

  7. Nick Bostic

    August 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Paula & Lani – I totally agree, to me the best part is the easy visualization of data.

    Kim – sorry, not sure how to import into the GPS yet 🙁

    Jamey – good idea! Maybe have one map of current listings and one of sold?

    Todd – I’m not sure how you can get regular Google Maps to do this, I just spent some time looking into it and didn’t see an option to upload a spreadsheet of addresses directly into Google Maps. The only way I can see to do it is manually, which definitely isn’t very efficient IMHO.

  8. Todd

    August 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    No need to import from Excel! Just type your listing’s address into Gmaps then edit in My Maps. You can also upload GPS data into My Maps ( Take GPS device with you in the car as you drive through neighborhoods where your listings are ) and make a sharable “driving tour”:

    Importing KML or GeoRSS to Your Map

    Once you have created a map, you can import KML, KMZ or GeoRSS data into your map. To do this, create or open a map and click Import.

    https://local.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=68480#import

  9. Rod Rebello

    August 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve used a similar free capability at http://www.zeemaps.com. They import a csv file with addresses and related info to create a google map with code to insert into your web page. I’ll have to check out Mapalist too.

  10. Matthew Rathbun

    August 16, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Very cool! One more idea I can still from Nick… I love AG, it makes me look like a great instructor 🙂

  11. Michelle

    August 17, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I dinked with this a bit, and I was able to open the title company xls file directly to google docs from gmail, save it and then access it easily from mapalist. but I do know how to copy and paste, just didn’t need to ; ).

  12. Doug Devitre

    August 19, 2008 at 7:42 am

    This is more for those that educate than sell real estate.

    Here is what I did for the top 50 REALTOR Associations in membership: https://www.retechtraining.com/custompages_reports.php?key=g228387

    Forgive the link back to the site… more importantly I wanted to show you how it can work across the country too for real estate educators.

    Has anyone else tried the translation gadget on Google Docs for international clients?. It rocks!!

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Social Media

Facebook wants your nudes now to protect you from revenge porn later

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook, attempting to get in front of revenge porn, is requesting that users send in all of their nudes.

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In a heroic and totally innovative attempt to combat revenge porn, Facebook has come up with the following solution: “PM US UR NUDEZ.”

No seriously. They want your nudes.

But don’t worry, they’re only going to be viewed by a small group of people for manual confirmation of said nudes, and then stored temporarily… for reasons.

That part gets a little fuzzy. Some sources report that Facebook isn’t actually storing the images, just the links. This is meant to convert the image to a digital footprint, known as a hash, which is supposed to prevent the content from being upload to Facebook again.

Others say Facebook only stores the images for a short period of time and then deletes them.

What we do know, is this is a new program being tested in Australia where Facebook has partnered with a small government agency known as e-Safety and is requesting intimate or nude photos that could potentially be used for revenge porn in an effort to pre-emptively prevent such an incident.

Revenge porn is basically when someone uploads your personal and private photos online without your consent. Rather than address the issue of whether or not it’s such a good idea to take photos on a mobile, hackable device, it’s better to just send a large corporation all your nudes… through their Messenger app. /sarcasm

For your protection.

According to the commissioner of the e-Safety office, Julie Inman Grant, however, they’re using artificial intelligence and photo-matching technologies… and storing the links!

If this isn’t convincing enough, British law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP wrote in a statement to Newsweek, “We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counter-intuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient.”

Oh, she wasn’t joking.

I’m not sure how many people still hold onto old intimate photos of themselves, but I am doubtful that it’s enough for this to really be effective as it only prevents intimate photos from being shared on Facebook. At least that’s the plan.

Reactions to this announcement have largely been met with amusement and criticism ranging from commentary on Mark Zuckerberg and Co. being total pervs, and theories of shared Facebook memories: “”Happy Memories: It’s been 1 Year since you uploaded 47 pictures of you in your birthday suit”!

Either way, I can only imagine someone’s inbox is flooded with crotch shots right now, and Zuckerberg has a potential new industry in the works.

Just sayin’.

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Twitter might make a profit for the first time… ever

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter seems to be very popular but it may surprise you to know that this is the very first time they might make a profit.

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Twitter reports that after a year of slashing expenses and putting itself in a position to sell data to other companies, it’s expected to be profitable. What’s surprising (considering how #huge Twitter is) is that this the first time that it will be profitable based on “generally accepted accounting principles” – #GAAP!.

In the 11 years since Twitter took to the field, it has never once met this standard, operating at a loss of nearly 2.5 billion dollars since its inception.

Twitter has struggled of a number of reasons, but particularly after going public in 2013 it suffered declining user growth, the rise of the #twittertrolls (coincidentally, Troll’s are discussed in my favorite TIME piece about the internet – located here), and competition from Facebook for the tough realm of advertising.

Since 2013, shares fell steadily, but things have increased thanks to some optimistic changes – the promise to crack down on harassment and abuse, a feed arranged by algorithm instead of time, and Twitter’s most vocal fan of late, President Donald Trump.

For the numbers fans, Reuters provides some input: Twitter’s loss narrowed to about 21 million down from 103 million this year. They have worked to cut a great deal of expenses -16 percent across the board broadly impacting sales, marketing, and R&D.

This kind of focused core improvement (can) help tip the balance sheet on the expenses side – but generating revenues remains a challenge due to slow growth. Twitter hopes to relieve this by working out some deals to sell data – the currency of the 21st century.

Several months ago, TechCrunch made perhaps the most important observation – that despite the fact Twitter has changed the world, changed our marketing, and empowered us to connect with other people, it has remained unprofitable. Many small and large businesses profit from Twitter, but in these 11 years the company hasn’t #sharedinthewealth.

Twitter is touching every realm of business and for American’s, is touching every aspect of their lives given its new form as the preferred medium of the political sphere. Given that, they have much to do to change.

Facebook commands an audience five times the size of Twitter – and their ability to reach success for the future seems #questionable. And how Twitter’s success changes the scape of influence, outreach, and entrepreneurship is something else to be seen.

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Is Facebook a potential Slack killer?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook’s steady ascent from social networking into the business world is giving Slack a run for their money.

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When it comes to the business realm, Facebook has steadily been increasing their reputation. Though Facebook is pinned as the social network, they are now proving to everyone that they can dominate in the professional sector as well.

Last year, Facebook launched an ad-free version of the site meant for the office called Workplace. Initially, 1,000 companies were signed on to try out this “Facebook for the office” in its starter phase.

As of last week, Facebook announced that 30,000 organizations currently use Workplace. These aren’t just small time companies. Some of Workplace’s users include Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Delta and most recently Walmart.

It seems that overnight it grew from another side project to a valid rival for other professional communication tools like Slack.

Slack is the go-to site for business professionals. With over 6 million users and acquiring more every day, Slack is the place for teams to collaborate in real-time. It has virtually replaced email and external software when it comes to internal communication.

Slack has been successful at acquiring small corporations to use their service.

The problem is that Slack has yet to join forces with larger clients that have now turned to other applications. Just last year, Uber left Slack because they could not handle their large-scale communication needs.

In addition to being able to handle the needs of large companies, Facebook also offers cheaper services than Slack. A premium account with Workplace costs $3 per user each month while Slack charges double at $6.67 per user each month.

With the rapid growth and major reputation of Facebook behind it, many predict that Workplace will replace Slack, and other sites like it, in the not so distant future.

Recently, Facebook also launched the Workplace desktop app and plan to include group video chat. The biggest obstacle Workplace faces is the association with Facebook. It is ironic, since it is also their greatest strength.

The truth remains that many people think of Facebook solely as a social media network. Many companies forbid the use of it at work so the transition from the personal to the professional realm is still an uphill battle.

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