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Archive for February, 2006

LandlordMax Property Management Software v2.12 Status Update

Great news!!! We’re almost ready to release LandlordMax v2.12. The official release date is going to be March 20, 2006 (only a little later than expected). We’re currently in testing mode ironing out the last details and preparing for the release.

LandlordMax v2.12 Table Sorting Feature

As a reminder, everyone who purchased LandlordMax between Jan 2005 and now is eligible for the free upgrade (if you remember from a previous entry, we’re releasing this version as though it’s December 2005 rather than March 2006). And everyone who already owns LandlordMax but has purchased it over a year ago is also eligible for to a significant upgrade discount of 50% from the purchase price! If you’re unsure if want to upgrade, don’t worry, you try the new LandlordMax v2.12 for free for 30 days before deciding to purchase the upgrade. And for those of you who are hesitant to wait for the new release you don’t need to be, remember that you get 1 year of free upgrades with your purchase so you’ll also get the new release.

LandlordMax v2.12 Picture Feature

LandlordMax v2.12 has a lot of new exciting features! As a teaser, here’s a short list of just some of the new features you can expect:

  • You can store an unlimited number of images for any building, unit, and tenant.
  • Almost all tables can be sorted by any column.
  • The database engine has been upgraded to Derby to be ACID compliant.
  • The table sorted orders (and column lengths) are remembered when coming back to the table (even when restarting).
  • You can enter in a logo/letterhead and customize the titles of all the reports.
  • LandlordMax will automatically checks for updates when started and notify you if one is available.
  • You can find an “All” reports section to view the complete list if all the reports in one big list.
  • There are many new reports. Here’s a partial list:
    • Four new vacancy reports.
    • List tenants grouped by building for one landlord.
    • List all buildings for one landlord.
    • Rent roll.
    • Etc.

LandlordMax v2.12 Custom Report Title Feature

And many smaller enhancements such as:

  • The building combo box is alphabetically sorted.
  • Unit lists are first sorted numerically and then alphabetically.
  • The splashscreen give a better indication of what’s happening as the software is starting up.
  • You can optionally and anonymously report back to LandlordMax when an unexpected error occured (to help us increase the quality of the software).
  • The reports are generated quicker (and now consume about half the RAM).
  • And so on…

I hope you’re just as excited as we are to release for this new version to be released!






LandlordMax v2.12 Update

As you can imagine, we’re very busy here at LandlordMax Property Management Software with the new major release of version 2.12 coming out very soon! Because of this I’ve had to take a short hiatus on this blog and focus all my energies on this release. I’ll try and post a more updated entry of our progress in the next few days, but if not, please bear with me until LandlordMax v2.12 is released.






New Affordable Aerial High Resolution Photography

I recently talked with the founder of a very interesting company, FlyByPictures.com, a company that specializes in aerial photography. Although not entirely a new idea, they’ve gone about it very differently than what most would expect. Actually, this is the first time that I’ve personally seen anything like it before.

 

Normally if you want to take aerial photographs of your property for advertising purposes, inspections, etc. you would hire a pilot and rent an airplane (often owned by the pilot) to go out and circle your property. Because of the flight laws and regulations, most pilots can’t get closer than 1000 feet, the lowest allowed fly zone in most cities. They will take a picture of your property as they fly by with a decent zoom and that’s what you get. As you can imagine, hiring a pilot for this can be quite expensive, often well over $1000. They will guarantee you a picture of your property, but remember this is from at least 1000 feet or more so it’s not very detailed.

Another method Yves, the founder of FlyByPictures.com, described to me is that you can take aerial photographs from someone who owns a gas powered RC (Remote Controlled) helicopter. These RC helicopters however also have limitations and restrictions because they are considered gas powered flying vehicles. Although cheaper than hiring a pilot and renting a plane, their still costly because of the price of the helicopters (generally several thousands), the fuel, the maintenance, the skills required to fly them, and especially they are bound by many rules and regulations which limit their photographing abilities.

 

Which leads us to Yves’ company’s new method of aerial photography. What he’s discovered is that people generally want closer images, more detailed, and don’t want to spend as much money, which makes a lot of sense. To do this, he’s taken a battery powered helicopter and modified it to take high resolution photographs as these (I won’t go into the details of his helicopter as these are his trade secrets). The advantage of using this system is multi-fold. First, because of the type of helicopter and modifications it isn’t subject to the rules and regulations of a gas powered RC helicopter. He can fly it up to 300 feet without any issues. Secondly, the costs are much lower than a gas powered RC helicopter. And thirdly, because he can fly closer as well as fly virtually anywhere, he can get some very amazing aerial photographs as you can see in the pictures (as well as with this video of an aerial flyby).

Because of all of these advantages he can offer a superior quality service for a lower price than his competitors. This is great news because it’s now become feasible to use aerial photography for many purposes that were cost prohibitive before. Yves’ informed me that the main intention of his company is to generate pictures for advertising purposes, such as aerial photographs of commercial buildings, golf course pictures of golfing holes, MLS listings to show the full property, flybys of new developments, etc. You can just imagine all the possible applications! It opens up whole new markets!

 

I might make it seem simpler than it is here, but I can tell you Yves definitely put some time learning how to correctly modify and fly his specialty helicopter. I personally saw him maneuver it with ease that seemed like second nature to him, which I’m sure came with a lot of trial and error. The good news is that for us, because of his investments into this new technology, we now have new tools that were before only accessible to richer clients.

All in all I can say I was thoroughly impressed with Yves’ company FlyByPictures.com. I suspect he will get very far and demand will grow quite rapidly.






Great Real Estate, Business, and Marketing Websites

This week’s article will be different than usual. Instead of talking about a specific topic, rather I’ll post a bunch of links to great real estate and business websites and resources. These are sites that I’ve come across over time that I’ve personally found very beneficial. You’ll notice most these sites are mostly blog style and that I’ve avoid all the major common websites like cnn.com, yahoo finance, etc. These are specific sites about specific topics.

Real Estate and Finance

Three Pennies This is a fairly new blog about financial freedom. I’ve gotten to know the author through my company LandlordMax Property Management Software, she was one of the first customers. I suspect that she’ll have a great blog. It’s already off to a good start!

Patrick.net Realty Parser – This site is focused on the real estate market crash. It’s been around for a while (he’s been predicting the crash for several years already). I’ve been in contact with the author and he seems to be on the ball. Lots of great news and he updates the real estate housing crash section on a regular basis with the latest and greatest news.

Oakland Real Estate – Although local to Oakland, I find there’s lots of interesting articles in this blog. Also, he’s got a page that has loads of links to other real estate related websites (including FollowSteph.com).

Counter Intelligence – Another real estate web blog with lots of interesting articles.

Business

Joel On Software (including the Business of Software discussion forum) – Probably the best site for small businesses. Loads of great articles! Although more oriented towards software companies, it provides lots of interesting information that can be used in any type of business. I can’t say enough about the discussion forums there, especially Business of Software. It’s quite a community with lots of activity. Lots of good tidbits and a great place to discuss business issues.

Paul Graham – Another great source to compliment Joel On Software. Both of these authors know each other fairly well but think from a different perspective. Although he doesn’t update his blog very often, almost every one of his articles are thought provoking. Probably my favorite is “How to Start a Startup“.

Erik Sink – Another blog from the founder of a software company (SourceGear). This one is much more technical but it does bring forward a lot of issues software companies need to deal with. For example he has an article that I found particularly interesting on how he decides which bugs/features will be in the next version and to what extent

Userscape Blog – This is written by Ian Landsman who recently started his own technical support software company. Again, lots of great information for startup companies.

MicroISV.com – Another website focused on smaller businesses with lots of good articles.

SoftwareCEO.com – This is a site for small to medium sized companies. Again, many great articles. If you become a paid member they also have lots of additional benefits. I’d recommend this site as you’re transitioning from small to medium size.

Marketing and SEO

ProBlogger.net – Darren writes several times a day on his blog. Loads of great information and tidbits on enhancing blogs, getting better search engine results, design, and of course monetizing. And of course he’s posted a link to one of my articles on FollowSteph.com

Performancing.com – Several different authors got together for this site and write about all aspects of blogging. Lots of articles from different viewpoints and perspectives.

Seo Chat – Great site for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) information. They also have amazing forums with lots of great debates on the latest SEO trends. If you want to optimize your website for the search engines, or find out the latest news, definitely visit this site.

Marketing Sherpa – Mostly a marketing related website. Again, lots of great articles, focused on marketing and sales. More often than not, I use this site as a spring board for new marketing and sales ideas.






 
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