Location, location, location…

Carpenter Realtors is the first to bring location-aware home searches to smartphones.  It’s pretty slick – If you’re standing in front of a house for sale and, for example, you want to see what else is for sale in the area, Carpenter Realtor’s callcarpenter.com mobile-aware website will allow you to see other homes for sale starting with the closest on down in a one mile radius.  Nice.

The search depends on the GPS chip sitting in your smartphone – your iPhone, Android device, Blackberry, Windows phone, etc.  The only caveat is that you have to have your GPS turned on and you have to allow our app to access your location.

If you’re like me, running a high-powered, large-screened, battery sucking hog of a smartphone, you leave non-essential services turned off to conserve battery.  When I’m not at the office or at home I leave my wifi off for example and almost all of the time I leave my GPS off.  So before performing a location-based search such as ours you must turn your GPS back on.  OK, that’s pretty obvious.  The next step isn’t so obvious and it does trip some folks up.

As a security measure you have to give applications permission to access your location.  The reasons for this may or may not be obvious to you but think of an app that can follow you wherever you go and know exactly where you are at any given time without you knowing it is doing that.  Not cool.  So as a security measure, you have to give those apps requesting to know your location permission to do so.  So if Google Maps or Foursquare want to access your GPS coordinates, you know they need those to work and probably aren’t doing so for any insidious purposes.

There are so many variations of smartphones these days and variations within them that I would have to write a Tolstoy-esque novel to cover them all.  (Here is what Apple has to say about location services for the iPhone.)  Basically you will either get a prompt telling you the app wants access to your location – tell it yes.  On some phones, however, you may have to go into the phone’s settings and tell it to allow applications to access your location first.  And, of course, have the GPS turned on when you do the search.  I don’t mean to make this all sound complicated.  Most people, including myself, haven’t had trouble and the search just worked.  If you’re one of the unfortunate few, however, I didn’t want you left out of this cool and very useful new feature.

And then use the new search function at callcarpenter.com.  It will tell where all the homes for sale are in the area you’re looking.  No map drawing, no townships to look up, no coordinates to enter.  Just, “Hey, what’s for sale around here?”.  Slick.


Posted by: George Christodoulou

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