Blog

Our Latest Updates

1st

December 2012

What's New in v1.1 - Out Now!

Find Homes, the real estate part of the app has had major improvements and additions. In the rating a home part of the app we have added a new feature we’ve wanted to do from the beginning but we put it aside to let it all soak in, as there were a lot of features already. So let me tell you a bit about the top 3 new features and enhancements.

1. Find Homes

Now, you can search property listings via maps spatially. Type a suburb into search window or just tap onto “the locate” me button to find properties around you. The green bar at the top holds your property filters and our unique property orientation filter. We wanted these to be only a tap away so you spend most of your time focused on the area of the map you’re searching. Tapping the list view button shows only properties that are in map view. So if you zoom into particular area you will only see the details of those properties and not have to go through properties that aren’t you area of focus. Also new here is the addition of property listings from LJ Hooker. Coupled with the new Find Homes is the new Sort Order feature.

2. Sort Order

Most people who have seen this say how smooth this feature is. To sort is typical but we thought it much better to sort and order your priorities when searching through properties. You drag each sort priority to get the order you want and here’s the really smooth part; tap on one of the priorities and it it will change from first to last. i.e. Date (Oldest last) changes to Date (Oldest first).

Sorting by EER & Orientation

At the top of the list is an option you may not be familiar with - the EER rating. It stands for Energy Efficiency Rating and is mandatory for properties sold in ACT. It’s an assessment of thermal performance of a house a bit like the Passive Solar design section of Eco Easy Home Rating. The other sorting option that is unique to only our app is the sorting by orientation. Where we’ve been able to gain the orientation of a home you can sort by which way a property faces away from True North in degrees. i.e. From 0° True North to +90°East or -90°West. And if you used the orientation filter it will go as far as the range you have selected.

3. Photos With Direction

To help speed up when rating a home at open home inspections we have added compass readings to the photo camera feature. That way you can go through open homes take photos of which way a house is facing or particular rooms are facing and do your assessment later when you’re sitting down with a cup of coffee. It should also help you with gather information on the windows in each room.

We first came up with Photos with direction idea back in January this year as we were nearing complete of v1.0. I’m really glad that we held back as we have expanded this feature to become it’s own app “Solocator”. Visit the Solocator website for more information or just download it from the App Store or Google Play.


1-31

August 2012

Eco Easy in the press

We’ve been busy doing work on the next version of the app but meanwhile we got a story into Sold Magazine and Sanctuary Magazine did a short review of the app. Sold Magazine supports real estate agents and property managers in improving and growing their businesses. Sanctuary magazine shows off beautiful green homes and the detailed stories behind them.


24th

July 2012

Liveability in Canberra

Now back from Cool Canberra after the Liveability seminar over the weekend. Well done LJ Hooker for the initiative and putting on a great event.

Also met up with a good friend David Baggs that I hadn’t seen for some time. David is the founder of Ecospecifier and Green Tag. Also great energy efficient and sustainability ideas shared by Dr Chris Reardon.

It was awesome to hear how Tim from LJ Hooker Kaleen is using the app with new listings. It really made my day, as it’s how I always thought it would be used.

Got to show participants some of the new features and interface we have been working on soon to be in version 1.1 of the app.


5th

June 2012

Talk, Talk & More Talk @ Sydney HIA Home Show

Got the opportunity to tag along with Hebel at the HIA Home Show over the weekend. Friday was a big day meeting 100’s of people and sharing the story about Eco Easy Home while sharing our experiences with using Hebel products. Thanks Hebel for the opportunity to assist on your stand.
We’d also like to thank our friends at Spantec, Ideal Foundations and Enduro Shield for sharing Eco Easy Home app cards on their stands.

Mini Stand

Gareth and Maria on the Ecologie Group Architects mini stand.

Show & Tell

John chatting with potential homebuyers and showing how the app can help.


19th

May 2012

Tools For Property Investors

This week saw our first news story about our app by the Property Observer website. Thanks PO for also showcasing our app in your webinar “10 Top Online Research Tools for the Property Investor”.
Click to see the article; How green is my home? Eco Easy Home app has the answer.


9th

May 2012

For Architects Too

Last night Gareth and I did presentations to 50 Architects & ESD consultants who are part of the ANSR (Architects' Network Southern Region) at Kogarah, NSW. Talk was on eco sustainability principles and how those concepts were used in the new sustainable CSR display home that Gareth designed, which is soon to be completed. Here are some links to the teaser and the first episode of the videos filmed during the construction process.

As for me I probably talked too much but I can’t help it. I didn’t tell anyone about the Eco Easy Home app for a year so now it’s hard to shut up. I pointed out key features and how architects can use the app to help the design process with clients by showing before and after eco differences. Also they can easily show their clients how much solar gain their existing home and proposed design will achieve. Definitely a lively bunch with many questions and suggestions for future app features. I hope to hear your experiences with the app in the near future.

One architect (sorry I didn’t get your name) saw me at the end to share her experience of finding a home and how long it took to find one with good orientation and the methods she used. She wished she had the app back then as she could see that it would have saved a lot of time. And thanks in advance for gifting the app to your friends via iTunes.

I also met John Caley from Ecological Design doing a revealing talk on his and his family’s journey into a sustainable life. It’s nice to hear how others have tackled issues of energy efficiency and water management and minimising waste. I think his wife let him get away with a lot more than mine. Good one John.

Both Gareth and myself want to thank Paul Fiegel and all the architects from ANSR for the invitation to speak and also Rylock Windows and Doors who sponsored the night. Oh, both my wife and I are enjoying the bottle of red as I type this. Thank you.


19th

April 2012

Spreading The Word

Today eco architect Gareth Cole and I did a presentation at the MBA (Master Builders Association) in Sydney to building consultants and inspectors. Big thanks to the excited gentleman at the back who bought the app during my presentation!.

Gareth spoke on ecological sustainable design overall but his main focus was on insulation. I connected Gareth’s talk to the Eco Easy Home app and showed how easy it is to find homes facing North and then rate them. We also talked about potential solar gain through solar panels.

Thanks to John Worthington for the invitation to speak and thanks to the building consultants. Hope to do another one in the future – bigger and better! Gareth and I love to talk and share our knowledge. Maybe you are a real estate group or home building group - we would love to hear from you.

Loved John Worthington’s summary that the eco easy home app reminded him of when pre-inspection reports were coming in to the marketplace 25 years ago for home sales.


24th

February 2012

Submitting The App

Last Friday in the early hours of the morning I submitted the app to the app store. What a great feeling to have it completed. Well … I think it’s never completed, as there are always things we can improve. Along the way I came up with some great features, which we are working on, and when they are ready we will update the app with them. I had read stories of other app developers and was also told by friends about this thing called ‘Feature creep’. It’s hard to cut off and say this is what I’m going to go live with, the rest will have to wait for now.

Although coming up with the idea of the app myself and creating most of the interface and content I’ve still needed a team to get to this point. I’d like to thank Gareth Cole for his knowledge and guidance and John Dalgliesh and Scott Richardson for their efforts. I would also like to thank David Sheerman for the photography and the models Jason & Tina Lee.

One of the last things I did was to update the About section which is a place for users to find more detailed information on use of the app.


7th

February 2012

The Home Stretch

After coming up with the general idea for the app back in September 2010 and then cementing how an app could work in March 2011, we are now in the home stretch finishing off the Eco Easy Home app. It's been virtually 12 months of designing, planing, thinking, very little sleep and 100's of little Turkish coffees so it's great to be able to show people how the app works.

Really though it's been a lot longer. 10 years ago I ran version 1.0 of the Eco Easy website selling eco products along with a tonne of information to help people make better informed choices. I was happy I could help people back then but it was way too early for the market. At the time I wrote a book and looked at self publishing "Eco Easy Home" (A natural way to energy efficiency) talk about a long term project. Now as an app on the iPhone the benefits for users are far greater than the book would have ever been.

Tonight we finished the glazing calculator - yipee. I think it's a cool simple tool that allows users who want to do the detailed approach in calculating how much glazing is in the house without using a tape measure. It works out what percentage of overall glazing is on what side of the house.

Anyway still more work to be done but I can't wait to unleash it and hear people's thoughts on this and the rest of the app.


Solocator App