Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Briefs: GPS Safety, Facebook App, Affordability....

Personal Security Locator: Often when I do the buying guides guides I’ve been writing for Realtor since the early 1990s, I’ll hear from companies about relevant products not included. Sometimes it’s purely an editorial decision,there’s only so much space. And sometimes, despite my relentless search for relevant items to include in the chart , things just don’t bubble to the cyber syrface. Case in point the September personal safety guide,

After the story appeared, the maker contacted me about his Personal Protection Locator. At $299 and $99/year for the service it’s may seem a little price little to some, but can you put a price on safety? The key-sized KeySmart transceiver is easily concealed. When activated, it sends out a signal to the response service pinpointing your location. The service then calls the desigated contact and guides them to wehre you are. It’s a new applicaiton for GPS, and a safety service/feature that could eventually find its way into other GPS devices.

ATT Facebook Users: Another reader contacted me to spread the word about a facebook app developed specifically for Realtors called CenterStage for Real Estate Agents from Clientopoly. It simplifies the process of adding info—text, price and pix—of current listings and home’s you’ve sold to your facebook profile. You can sample CenterStage with a 30-day free trial, after which it costs $8 per month with a year-long commitment.

Affordability Index: Want an idea how how your market racks up nationally, in terms of affordability? In Late September Coldwell Banker released the results of its annual home price comaprison index.The survey reviews pricing on comparable 2,200-square foot four bedroom homes in 310 U.S. housing markets, then ranks them from most expensive(La Jolla, CA) to most afforable(Grayling, MI).National average: $363,460.

Location means everything: a similar home would cost the buyer $2.125 million in La Jolla, but just $112,675. Click here to see this year’s home price comparison index for the U.S. and Canada. There’s a two-minute infomercial about the index on ColdWell Banker’s YouTube channel.