We have been saying for some time now that there is more to our sluggish economy than real estate and mortgage woes.  Two of the non-obvious factors are the disruption of technology and the “Free Effect” that can render entire product or service categories obsolete, overnight.  We have all seen the tables quickly turn in the field of luxury real estate marketing due to both of these factors.

For example, an incumbent market leader is being besieged by a challenger who is “out-technologizing” them on the internet and is capturing the lion’s share of the buyer leads in their market place. An example of the “Free Effect” became apparent when MLS search, previously the exclusive domain of agents, was offered as a free commodity to consumers on agent and broker websites without even having to register on the site. The combination of disruptive technology plus zero cost to consumers can have significant ripple effects on the economy in general as well as your personal economy.

We recently read a blog post by Kathy Schowe in La Quinta, CA, about a new iPhone App that does everything a business card scanner does and more. Kathy is also on the Language of Luxury Team of Experts (Desert Homes & Golf Communities).  Card Munch is a FREE app that uses the phone’s camera to scan a business card and then sends it to a data center where, drum roll… a live person creates a digital version of the card.  Minutes later you are notified that the digital version is ready for use with 100% guaranteed accuracy.  If you have Mobile Me (Apple) it syncs with all of your contacts on all of your devices. You can also email the card to your desktop and save it in Outlook, or send it to anyone. 

There are even more features that are well worth your investigation of this fine app. Card Munch was purchased by Linked In and they have integrated it with their social media platform as an optional feature. But, what is most amazing is that it can replace business card scanners that sell for up to $400, for free! We have been interested in purchasing one of these devises for years but could not justify the cost. Now, it is a must-have app!

What is more, through blogs like Kathy Schowe’s and the Language of Luxury, we are giving Card Munch free advertising because we are raving fans!  No longer are there a handful of journalists that cover new tech products. With spontaneous reviews like ours, the immediacy of social media can literally make a hit out of an app overnight.

Take full advantage of disruptive technology and the “Free Effect”. Better to turn the tables on your competition than vice versa.  As a luxury real estate marketing professional, reducing your overhead with the combination of new technology and free apps can lead to a stronger bottom line and a happier disposition.



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