RMIUG Meeting Minutes - Real Estate on the
The 27th meeting of the Rocky Mountain
Internet User Group started at 7:00 PM on
Tuesday, July 9th with Dan Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
as moderator. There were about 60 people
in attendance. The person traveling the
furthest to reach the meeting received a
free RMIUG T-shirt.
Incidentally, this RMIUG meeting was covered
in the Boulder Daily Camera's Business Plus
section on Tuesday, July 16, in an article
about local computer user groups.
Some personalized news/email services
were mentioned at the start of the RMIUG
meeting. Per a request from the audience,
here are the URLs for these services.
Individual, Inc. personal news service:
Pointcast free news via screensaver: http://www.pointcast.com
Mercury Mail free news/weather/sports by
Juno free email service: http://www.juno.com
Freemark Communications free email service:
The following were announcements from
- Carroll Blend (email@example.com),
the RMIUG librarian, announced the addition
of books from several publishers. Please
send Carroll an email if you have an overdue
- Computer Edge is looking for a weekly
columnist. If interested, please contact
Kevin Farrel (email KBFarrel@aol.com)
- Paul Tenorio of P3Co (firstname.lastname@example.org)
offers discounts to RMIUG members both
for purchases of the Colorado Internet
Business Directory and for advertisers.
Just mention your RMIUG membership during
- The Boulder Chamber of Commerce announced
the "Telecommunications Reform & Competition
Symposium" Wednesday, July 24, 7:00 a.m.
- 9:30 a.m. NIST Auditorium, 325 Broadway
Boulder. Cost: $10 members/$15 non-members.
On-line registration: http://www.indra.com/misc/telecom/
Dan introduced the first of our featured
panel of speakers for the evening. Craig
Plantz (email@example.com) Craig
brings 8 years of real estate experience
to Corealty. Corealty started in 1995 employs
10 people, has grown to 9000 listings. That's
60% of the listings in Colorado, and 39%
of the Real Estate offices participating.
The goal of Corealty is to provide the consumer
means to make educated decision in buying
a house and choosing an agent. Corealty
provides access to expanded MLS listings
through their search engine using keys such
as price range and city. There is no cost
to the consumer.
Corealty contracts with individual offices,
helping agents understand the benefits of
using the Internet, and bringing offices
on line. This activity coupled with individual
real estate agents contracting with Corealty
for an individual web page funds the consumer
portion of the web site. The keys to Corealty's
success include: 8 years of real estate
experience, educating the real estate companies
on how to use and the benefits of the Internet,
ease of use of the web site, and their customer
Craig answers our Member's questions:
Complete mapping is available for locating
houses. Working on adding sub-division section
to help identify neighborhoods. The return
on investment depends on how offices use
their page. Working on transaction based
operations - appraisals and mortgage purchases.
4000 Realtors are on-line and Corealty charges
a flat fee to offices, not a cost per listing.
We suggest Realtors put their URL on all
advertisements where phone numbers appear.
"Virtual Realtor" email alert service will
be added soon to notify people of available
properties. Realtors kick and fight, but
for most part they realize the marketing
benefit and see results. We provide the
Realtors some analyses of web page activity
and email activity.
Our second speaker, DB Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is foreign to the Internet. DB talked about
he early days when land passed down within
the family. It was the railroads that first
employed agents to purchase land for the
right away of their tracks. The practice
passed to the public sector, first within
a town or city then across country. The
early days of the modern real estate agency
saw agents keeping the listings to themselves.
The move to the MLS was a result of trying
to provide better customer service. The
current phase, putting the listing on the
web page, is just the latest in the knowledge
sharing between the agent and consumer.
DB shared his favorite real estate related
-- half the US with over 300,00 listings
-- ERA realty member only site
- ERA on-line listings for consumers
- large conglomeration of sites in Florida,
mostly vacation type homes
- Great location for what to think about
when buying a home
- Register with this site and there is
demographics available for many markets.
They also send a newsletter. http://reinet.com/
- leasing and sales worldwide.
- Information provider of public records
- alliance with 38 of 50 states. Limited
public record information with assessor
and foreclosure information
- address mapping
-- 100 different locations in California
- San Francisco bay area information
- northwest and Canada
- Colorado listing and Realtor information
- homes and land magazine
- Boulder ReMax
- Bringing real estate transactions together
- real estate listings for fifty states
with links to state home pages
-- searches of selected cities
-- Over 300,000 homes from 122 different
real estate web sites.
-- International real estate directory
-- For sale by owner site
-- For sale by owner site
DB shared some of the success stories
about his office and the Internet. One Realtor
completed two transactions in first two
months. One transaction actually initiated
prior to posting a sign in the seller's
yard. Another positive for the Realtors
is the ability to receive email during he
day while traveling. This is more efficient
that retrieving phone messages. Another
success was the ability to keep the on-line
listing up to date rather than having old,
possible sold listings, in some of the magazines
DB answers our Member's questions:
MLS will still exist in five years, in
one form or another. There will always be
room for a third party to help the buyers
and sellers, and many people need to touch,
feel and smell a house prior to purchasing.
Virtual reality will be most helpful in
new homes where model is not available.
ISDN and telecommunication information are
currently not available as part of listing.
Buyers' agents will soon are currently taking
advantage of the net. There are currently
for sale by owner sites, but DB could not
remember the locations. DB is trying to
get everyone at his office to use email,
because he feels is important to have consistency.
It is difficult as some people will never
change, and in some cases people are quitting
rather than join the electronic age. DB
is currently not tracking the number of
sales resulting from network access. In
most cases it is difficult, however; when
a home sells without an MLS listing or a
sign posted in the yard, it is quite obvious
where the contact initiated. The office
attempts to migrate Realtors by offering
classes, performing presentations, building
satellite network and arranging discounts
at local computer stores. Six or so Realtors
work virtually. Colorado real estate commission
is struggling with how to make sure licensed
brokers are providing guidance required
by law in a virtual setting. Soon he hopes
more of his agents are carrying laptops
to be able to show what listings are available.
In order for the Internet to be more effective,
it needs to be faster. It takes too long
to perform transactions and to bring down
images on a 28.8 modem. The mentality of
the agents is "full speed ahead" and waiting
for Internet speed is an issue. The MLS
is the database to use when kept up to date
and the Internet is what the consumers can
use as a selling tool.
Dan introduced our third speaker, Jamal
Pilgers (email@example.com). Jamal's
background in real estate is in the periphery.
Jamal set up Photoad to address automobile
sales and went into real estate in 1994
and took it on-line in 1995. Photoad print
media went well and in 1995 he realized
the place to be was in web site development.
Part of the reason Jamal entered the real
estate arena was because when he went looking
for a house, he could not find any on-line
resources. He decided to develop a site
built on the consumer's perspective. The
key to Jamal's web site is that every listing
has a photograph. One agent in particular
was quite successful using Photoad.
Photoad is the official web site for the
Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association (CMLA).
This is a major feather in Photoad's cap
as they are now working with the mortgage
lenders to build sites and helping develop
business for companies wanting to join the
CMLA. The key, in Jamal's view, is to make
the web business a win-win situation for
Photoad and the mortgage companies. The
objective is to provide information to consumers
and put the different CMLA companies in
the public eye. There will soon be an interactive
mortgage calculator available on Photoad's
Jamal answers our Member's questions:
Photoad does not list mortgage rates.
The CMLA decided they did not want to post
that information. Ten clients have developed
web sites and Photoad is working with others.
Photoad will charge about $100 to setup
a web site and $50 per month maintenance.
Photoad will link to a mortgage company's
existing site, for a fee. Photoad uses "Web
Site Pro" and "Windows NT".
All three speakers entered the stage and
the following is the Q&A session.
How long before the shift is complete
within the Real Estate office?
Some are converting now, and some are getting
out of the business rather than convert.
The real issue is there are so many other
things to do; there is just not enough time
to focus on converting.
Is there fear of people losing their
Many people go the other way and see more
possibilities for leads. There is becoming
more reliance on buyers' agents.
Is commercial real estate moving as
quickly to the Internet?
They are moving much slower because they
do business differently.
Can you list directly through the Internet?
There is still the need for an agent to
come and meet with sellers and help asses
Since stock pricing and trading is
available over the Internet, removing the
broker from the transaction, how long does
the real estate broker have?
The Internet is putting pressure on the
broker to become more knowledgeable. As
long as people need a third party and as
long as the agents are knowledgeable, there
will be agents. There will be a reduction
in agents and more for sale by owners.
Dan closed the meeting and drew business
cards for a giveaway of eight copies of
the "Internet Business Directory"
The Tuesday, August 13 meeting of the
Rocky Mountain Internet Users Group (RMIUG)
will feature a presentation by William Horton
on "The Good, the Bad and the Bleeding Edge
in Web Page Design." Mr. Horton is an internationally-known
author, teacher and consultant to Fortune
500 companies and high technology firms.
The meeting will be Tuesday, August 13;
7-9 PM; Department of Commerce in Boulder.
RMIUG wishes to thank XOR Network Engineering
for maintenance of RMIUG's WWW site and
email lists, Internet One of Boulder for
continued sponsorship of refreshments and
NIST for the use of their meeting room.
Suggestions/comments/feedback are always
welcome -- please email these to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Send an Email to email@example.com
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