BLOODHOUNDBLOG.COM

There’s always something to howl about

Get potent ping power for the price of a promo . . .

I read about realPING on the Zillow.com weblog’s coverage of Real Estate Connect in San Francisco. I never think about something until I do. This morning Cathy mentioned the idea of having something on our web pages that would induce prospects to contact us. We have a big phone number on the BloodhoundRealty.com website, but she was looking for something at once sexier and more hi-tech. I did my best not to think about this all day, and then, when my thoughts should have lightly turned to thoughts of slumber, I saw the realPING page.

This is really dumb technology. I never know for sure how much other people understand of software, but I can reverse engineer just about anything I see running — in the abstract, anyway. Understanding an algorithm is a lot easier than replicating it — unless it’s something really dumb like realPING.

I just wrote the basic functionality. The “Get Tracking!” button in the sidebar took longer to make than did GetTracking.php. All I have right now is the basic paging function, not the on-and-off for business hours business, but that’s simple to mimic, also. What I have is a clean-room perfect clone, reverse engineered solely from the descriptive promotional material made available on realPING’s home page. (I didn’t even drill down to sub-pages.)

Here’s my offer:

I will make my PHP files for this function available to you as PromoWare: You put me in your blogroll and the software is yours. No cost, no further obligation, no contracts, no monthly fees, no salesman will call. However: You hold your own hand for installation and support.

To take advantage of this offer, you need two things:

  1. The site this runs from must have PHP installed on it with the mail functions turned on
  2. You need a mobile phone or other device that can receive email or epages sent as email from PHP

Ninety percent of everybody reading this will have both of these things, but if you don’t know, the person you check with is the one who should do the installation and support hand-holding.

I wish I had more time to write software. The other week, Cathy and I wrote the spec for a killer IDX + Google Maps mash-up, stunningly better than anything else we’ve seen. Meanwhile, I’m guessing the realPING people are going to wish I had gone to bed early tonight…

Update: Added the on-the-job stuff: If you’re on vacation or taking a day off, if it’s not a work-day as defined by you, if it’s not during the hours of the working day defined by you, the button doesn’t show up. If yes, then yes. I need to add more-rigorous error trapping for the form and I’m done.

Further notice: I just read the realPING web page. What they have is cooler than what I built. On the other hand, they’re charging $17 a month and I’m free…

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7 comments

7 Comments so far

  1. […] As with realPING, we’re pinching the best ninety percent of SureClose, too: SureClose delivers every listing, sale, closing and/or loan file — and every document — online and on CD-ROM at closing. Your staff simply faxes or scans your files & documents to your secure, branded SureClose? web site. Files are then available 24/7 for review and management enterprise-wide. […]

  2. Brad Thompson August 15th, 2006 8:02 am

    Even with the “Update” and “Further Notice” comments added, I beleive you have grossly mis-represented both our product and the ability to reverse engineer the technology.

    RealPing is a Voice Over IP (VOIP) telephany system, not a simple e-mail-to-cell phone SMS capability as you represented. Immediately connecting a prospect (web visitor, email recipient, virtual tour viewer, etc.) with an agent (person to person live conversation) is 100 times more powerful and valuable businesswise than an email that may or may not be answered.

    Additionally, RealPing’s unique Page Push feature provides the ability (while speaking with the prospect) to press a couple keys on your cell phone and open new web content on the caller’s computer – taking them directly to conversion/action pages.

    I would be more than happy to explain the technology in greater detail to help you understand its true capabilities.

  3. […] His point is to take exception to my detailing of the reverse-engineered version I made of the realPING product. Have at it, Brad: Even with the “Update” and “Further Notice” comments added, I believe you have grossly mis-represented both our product and the ability to reverse engineer the technology. […]

  4. Brad Thompson August 15th, 2006 9:59 am

    Greg,
    That was one point addressed. The second is what the product actually does.

    Is there a link to your version that we can see working?

  5. Greg Swann August 15th, 2006 10:02 am

    > Is there a link to your version that we can see working?

    Only if you have eyes.

  6. Brad Thompson August 15th, 2006 10:15 am

    Greg,
    An online form that sends and e-mail(even to a cell phone text address) is only that – an e-mail.

    It is not a real person on the phone immediately, ready to assist me and make me their customer.

  7. Greg Swann August 15th, 2006 10:28 am

    > An online form that sends and e-mail(even to a cell phone text address) is only that – an e-mail.

    Stipulated. The pinged agents have to return the call. The benefit of dong things my way is that agents can coordiante who will call and take a moment to do the research necessary to deliver value with the call.

    > It is not a real person on the phone immediately, ready to assist me and make me their customer.

    I agree with this. I just think it’s stupid. Realtors who drop the bird in the hand for the one in the tree don’t understand salesmanship. I built what I thought was worthwhile in your product, ignoring everything I thought was cheesy, stupid or wrong-headed. I agree completely that what you’re selling is more than what I built. I just don’t care, that’s all.

    I think you should quit while you’re behind.