Got Bob?For my first post I am going to review a new gadget…danger, danger!  This requires the opinion of me.  That’s pretty darn scary. Have you ever heard what comes out of my mouth?

First about me, I don’t want to just jump into the VARbuzz with out a little bit about myself.  Not sure Virginia is really ready for what I have to offer…wait, sure they are.  They already have Frank LlosaI am safe. And plus this is where all the cool kids hang out.  MAR (that’s where I pay my dues) doesn’t have anything like this. NOPE, nada, not yet!  I would love to have a counterpart like Ben Martin (VAR) and Kim Shindle (PAR) to promote today’s technology needs in MAR.  (Our convention doesn’t even have a technology related class or seminar on the agenda…but it is at least in our state :) )

Back to me…it is all about me right?  I have been a technology addict since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  My first computer was the TRS-80 with a 2400 baud modem and a cassette tape back up.  Does that make me a trained professional?  Yep, I can make a certificate on Photoshop and own a domain/website that says I am.  I have spent endless hours on the internet researching/stalking information about anything real estate related.

I have been stalking Teresa Boardman, because she really gets it.  My blog is a direct result of her outstanding blog.  I have been selling real estate for the past three years.  Lucky me, I came in at just the right time…at the end of the boom.  This has done a few things for me:  educate and understand.  If you aren’t learning you aren’t earning.  In our industry, knowledge is power.  That is the ONLY thing we have to offer our clients.  Unless your name is on the deed, you are not buying and selling real estate.  After learning, you really have to understand how it all works together.

If you are reading this, you are part of the four percent of the agents that understand technology.  (and probably connected to me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on…we flock together.)  But you have to realize that it’s truly about mastering on how to make technology connect with real people. (Jeff Turner really understands this part with YEO) After all, they are the ones that buy and sell houses.  So, that’s me. I have been stalking people around using technology to sell real estate.  So far, it has been working…and pretty darn good.

OK, my first homework assignment.  N-Play.  I went online and viewed the videos and gave it a road test.

DisclaimerThe opinions expressed by Bob Carney are just that…opinions…his alone. He was not compensated for his opinion (however, wouldn’t mind getting paid for this gig)  Also, he is a licensed real estate agent in Maryland and Pennsylvania, not Virginia (yet.)  Even if he was, always run your ideas past your broker for the correct answer…they can send you packing if you do something wrong.

N-Play is basically offering a very innovative idea to assist in generating offer traffic on your listings.  Take a look for yourself.  They offer a patent-pending system designed to help buyers and sellers arrive at a mutually agreeable selling price by allowing home shoppers to make anonymous, non-binding offers online. Sellers can review all offers to see if her asking price is in line with buyers’ expectations. Prospective buyers can make non-binding offers quickly and anonymously over the web, without (N-Play claims) the stress associated with making a “real” offer. Interesting, eh? Give it a test drive and come back and tell us what you think.

Here’s my take:

  1. First thing I noticed is that it is live in Florida and nowhere else.  Florida is a transactional state and plays by different rules.  We all have a level of fiduciary responsibilities and also some disclosure rules/laws/policies.  I not sure this will fly past our legal department.
  2. Doesn’t work on Internet Explorer 6.  (Issues with some real estate software prevent us, the technology early adopters, from using Internet Explorer 7)  Plus, you are assuming the general public is ready to upgrade to IE7.  Just my thought.  It does work with FireFox 3.
  3. The user interface was easy to use. I just have concerns for the questions asked about what you want on the offer.  This area should be adaptable to what is normal in the area in which is used.  Buyers and sellers have no idea what a binder is used for in these parts.  The lack of understanding might reduce their chances of winning the bid.
  4. Does this have any legal ramifications in any other states?  Have you done your homework anywhere other than Florida?
  5. This feels a little like eBay for homes.  What systems are in place to prevent fraudulent bids?  If I am happy homeowner and I see the bids are low, what would stop me from creating a fictitious account to up the bids? I think there needs to be more information required during registration to prevent fake bidders.

VARbuzz readers, please use the comment section to express your thoughts. I like the concept, but could this possibly be a cookie cutter site for every state?