Browsing the archives for the Technology category

Mike Andruff, YouTube, You did what?(Dominelli Carnevale)

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Flash Video, News, Photography, Vancouver
  • We recently completed a project for Mike Andruff of Re/Max Crest Realty Westside. Mike is the leader of Team Andruff and he wanted a video that expressed his winning attitude and commitment to service. This video and others by Mike will be posted on YouTube.

  • On Friday we had the opportunity to be the official photographers and videographers for the Dominelli Carnivale. The Carnevale featured body painting by some world class make-up artists, a superb dinner, art auction and dancing. It was quite an event, hopefully we will have a chance to attend again next year! I recomend the event to anyone interested in seeing something truly unique.

    Dominelli Carnivale
    What? You expected a picture of the models? vs. the Rise of Other Listing Sites (or Let Them Eat Cake)

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News, Real-Estate, Technology

After a night of investigating some new website stuff, a new spam filter for the blog, some interesting new prospects for playing flash video, an overall assessment of website performance… I got to thinking about a common thread in many different real estate blogs. Articles with titles like:

I got to wondering WHY seems to have lost in real estate searches to Google and others. So I did a little looking around, I went over to do do a little checking. Now I realize real estate agents do not use to do searches, and that may be why nothing has been done about it. Here are a few of the website atrocities I noticed:

  1. Load time from the time I typed “” into my browser, until the time I had relevant search results for properties in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver was an astounding 40 seconds. As a reference, I typed “Kitsilano Real Estate” into google and was presented 109,000 search results in less than 1 second.
  2. Ease of use Count them, 5 maps I had to click on!
    • The British Columbia portion of a map of Canada.
    • Then click on “Vancouver – Lower Mainland” on a map of BC.
    • Next (when it loaded), I got to choose “Greater Vancouver”, I thought “Great! finally the area I want!”.
    • Wrong! Assuming that I am immigrating to Vancouver from say, Toronto (some say escaping rather than immigrating) I needed to determine if Kitsilano is in VW, VE, BU or RI.
    • Example map from

    • That aside, after choosing VW, I finally get to choose between KT, FA, AR or gag me now…

    I feel sorry I had to write all that. You probably didn’t read this far! I wouldn’t.

    So Why did I have to click on 5 maps, then select my property search criteria just to see listings!

Before someone points out the “Advanced Search” page on would have been quicker, I will try to recall the the last time I clicked on the advanced search link in google. Never! Why? Because I don’t have to.

It is not too late, some basic site redesign, speed enhancements and a proper marketing effort could save The call for change might have to come from the people who don’t use it, the Real Estate Agents.

Canadian New Housing Site (Forums & Websites & Blogs, oh my!)

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Helpful Tips, Real-Estate, Technology

I recently came across a website that claimed to list new houses & condos Canada wide. This site had listings in Ontario, Alberta & BC. I wanted to learn more so I entered their forum area to see what people were saying. To my dismay, the forums were littered with spam, I could not count a single legitimate post.

Real Estate Blogs & Forums can be a great addition to a real estate website. If you are thinking of starting or maintaining a blog or forum, I would suggest getting advice from someone who can help you maximize the benefits. Dara Sklar of Realty Support can assist you with all of your website needs & questions.

Are you Sirius?

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News, Technology, Vancouver

While we were out today, we found a Sirius Satellite Radio handset on the ground. We called Sirius Customer Service when we got back to the office, told them what had happened and gave them the serial number of the handset. The customer service rep I spoke to was very helpful, even though he had never been asked to help return a lost handset before. He looked up the users account and is supposed to contact the original owner tomorrow to arrange its return.

While I was in school I spent some time as a customer service rep for a large company, I know it can be a thankless job. I was impressed by the Sirius rep so I wanted to say thank you. I wonder if this is par for the course?

Sirius Satellite Radio Handset

Video Openhouse Blog and Google AdSense

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News, Technology

We share an office with the Chief Technology Officer, Theo Wong, of UberJobs ( UberJobs is a free site for job postings, resume postings, and employment searches. A couple of weeks ago, we started talking about revenue models for our two companies. Theo spoke about the enormous potential for ad revenue on websites with significant amounts of traffic. UberJobs plans to attract thousands of users with its free listings and clean interface and in return, generate income through the use of Google AdSense.

AdSense is a simple method to generate income from a website by displaying ads that are “deemed” relevant, “matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts”. We decided to experiment with AdSense on our blog. Our clients can rest assured that advertising will not be appearing on their custom webpages. Nor will you find ads on any other part of our website. I was just wondering if I could use the proceeds to buy a Tim Horton’s coffee.

Feel like advertising on our blog? Contact us or

VIDEO Tab Now Available For Ubertor Websites

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News, Technology

For months, I have been reminding our clients to refer to their videos as VIDEO TOURS and not VIRTUAL TOURS in all of their marketing material. In a previous blog post, I urged realtors to ensure that they wrote VIDEO TOUR directly in their mls descriptions since there is no way to differentiate the various types of virtual tours, photo gallery, 360 or panoramic tour from the vastly superior video tour on the mls website. There is so much excitement about video on the Internet and the ever growing demand from users. I want to ensure that our clients are capitalizing on this demand.

Today, on Steve Jagger’s Ubertor Blog, they have announced that the VIRTUAL TOUR tab is now customizable. Ubertor clients are now able to correctly label the tab to read VIDEO TOUR! Finally, there is a way to differentiate VIDEO from the also-rans. Has anyone ever heard of the growing demand for 360 Tours? I didn’t think so.

Want To Know What Your Neighbours Paid For Their House?

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News, Real-Estate, Technology

I have heard a lot about assessments these days. It is my understanding that they had not been kept up to date and with skyrocketing housing prices in the Lower Mainland, some homeowners are going to be hit with a big increase in the taxes. To help residents determine if their assessment is fair, BC Assessment has opened up their online database for free to the general public until March 15th. Type in your address and the query will return the last sale price and the value of your assessment for you and other residences on your street. Want to know what your neighbours paid for their house last year? Check it out on the BC Assessment website – Assessments and Sales by Address 2007.

Another great feature, if you are looking to buy or sell a home, is their Sales Select Sysytem 2007. The system allows you to specify a neighbourhood and property type and returns the selling price of the first 100 sales closest to July 1st, 2006 are returned. These services are always available to the general public but are free of any fees for the next 2 months.