About This Blog

A blog for those who believe in the smart use of Internet in the real estate industry. Learn more here.

About Me


My name is Magnus Svantegård (LinkedIn), live in Sweden, and is the Product Manager for Datscha and Partner in Stronghold Invest. I believe in smart use of Internet in the Real Estate industry.

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"Cloud computing has fantastic potential to increase operational efficiency and, in times of cost pressure, to save money. For those bold enough to embrace it, reduced costs and increased agility will almost certainly bring competitive advantage."   /Remit Consulting  

RICS paper on the 'cloud' 

Last week, at a breakfast meeting in London, the RICS paper on 'The role of cloud computing in Commercial Property' was released. A paper written by my friends Andrew Waller and Bob Thompson at the real estate management consulting firm Remit Consulting


The focus

The writers aim to both give a background, potential but also the 'dark clouds' of the cloud based services and at the same time give 'real' examples of cloud services used within the UK property market. 

For example, did you know that CB Richard Ellis has deployed Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform to create their own management platform in order to simplify the management of a construction project? 




The launch

Unfortunately I didn't have the time to travel to London to be part of the conversation (I'm located in Stockholm...) but thankfully, there was a hastag for the event on Twitter! 

Great work @EEPaul

Read the paper

Take the opportunity to read the paper. Even if you're aware of the cloud trend, since the most interesting part is the examples. By the way The Financial Times write a piece on it.



Event: 'Cloud Computing in Commercial Property'

On the 24th of February RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) arranges an event in London on the topic of 'Cloud Computing in Commercial Property'.

This free event at RICS at 0830 on Thursday 24th February will consider how property advice will take account of how clients will change working styles and the property they use to reflect Cloud computing. 

Read more here.



The new Hemnet is in Beta

The largest residential listing service in Sweden, Hemnet, has their new version in Beta since a few days. Try it out here http://beta.hemnet.se/ (This is the second major overhaul within 18 months.)

New design & interface

The entire site has a much more modern look. Compare with the existing version (www.hemnet.se) or my post about it with its release last summer.


When start writing in the search box additional parameters are displayed.

As marketed before, one is now able to search multiple cities or streets in one search.


The list of results is cleaner.


The new object information page.

For more details, the user is redirected to the brokers main page for the listing.   

New functionality

As far as I am concerned Hemnet has added following new functionality.

Search multiple addresses
Direct in the search box, see above.  

Displays the number of days on the market

Total cost of ownership
For apartments (Co-ops) a total cost, including a potential financing set up, is displayed.

My thoughts

For sure a more modern feeling using the service and it's more user friendly. However, I was hoping for more features, especially after been looking at the earlier mock-ups. Hopefully, there is more to come. 

There is soo much more that could be done to making the process of home searching more efficient. More on that topic in a later post.

On the other hand, I'm a bit impressed that Hemnet, having the biggest agent associations as largest owners, has started to display the number of days a listing has been on the market. I guess there were some discussions regaring that...  (It's has been done for some while by http://www.booli.se/



Hemnet launches iPAD app & focus on entertainment

Yesterday at the SIME conference (hyped Internet event in Stockholm with focus on media) Hemnet announced that they are developing an iPAD application to be released in spring. Hemnet is the largest residential listing service in Sweden.

Screenshot is from DagensMedia


The development firm Apegroup will build the app (they've also built the iPhone and Android app for Hemnet over the last year).

"Focus will be on maps, large attractive photos, inspiration and to have all information accessible in the easiest way possible" says Anders Graffman, CEO Apegroup   (my translation)

An additional feature is that it will be possible to save photos on the iPad for inspiration for future decoration projects. 

Carl-Henric Borg, CEO of Hemnet, also points out that the iPad app will:  (my translation)

"... the iPAD app could also be used as a tool for the brokers/agents to present alternative listings during an open house" 

More about Hemnet

Following the SIME event over Twitter also gave some additional insights to the Hemnet business case:

  • 1,4 million unique visitors per week    (15% of all inhabitants in Sweden!) 
  • The growth of visitors per week has been +27% over the last year 
  • 220 000 downloads of the iPhone App  
  • 3rd largest referrer is Facebook
  • 30% of the visitors use Hemnet for 'entertainment'  
  • 150 000 listings per year 
  • to list is free for the brokers
  • fee to banks for referrals for loan 

And the final news item; a new version of Hemnet's website is to be launched "later this autumn"(?). Isn't that snow in the streets of Stockholm?   ;-)   

My thoughts

Having tried US based real estate iPAD apps like Zillow (residential) and Loopnet (commercial) I believe this move by Hemnet is a clever one. 

My suggestion would be to create a specialised version of the iPAD app for the brokers/agents in order to give them a great presentation tool in their meetings/open house with the clients. Take a look at this video for Zillows iPAD app (CEO Rich Bartons blog post about it) and read this success story and you will see the benefits.

At my day job as Product Manager at Datscha, I've used iPADs extensively over the last couple of months running short sales presentations at different events/conferences and it is working brilliantly. It's easy and almost invisible to bring with you, starts in a second and you can quickly flip through a presentation (mostly used PDF over Dropbox). 

I could just imagine how great it would be for a real estate agent with a dedicated iPAD app like above. 



Great use of Silverlight PivotViewer for residential listings

What a coincidence, the same week as a debate started on the blog Future of Real Estate Marketing (an Inman company) why (or if) 'the map based search was dead' an absolute stunning new search tool was launched on the Swedish market called BostadsPivot ('RealEstatePivot').

The service 

A software developer named Magnus Ohlsson has used the Silverlight control PivotViewer combined with listings data from the Booli API (a Swedish residential listing service) to create this tool

Hard to explain the tool in one picture but each photo represents one listing the different columns are in this case the representing different price intervals. 

Try it

It's for sure worth trying. And for all non Swedish speaking here is the short manual.  

 In the panel to the left one decides how to limit the search. In the drop down menu in the upper right corner one choose how to 'group' the listings. And finally there are two icons (upper right corner) for how to view the result.

Read more about the tool at the developers blog (in English). Where you also find more information about the PivotViewer, including a great TED presentation on the topic.

My thoughts

First of all, the PivotViewer technology is impressive and this example for sure takes advantage of it. It gives a new way to browse the listings. The downside is to make it as user friendly as needed for the average user. Furthermore, the integration of a map could be better. However, the use of technology is brilliant. Other listing services will hopefully be inspired by this.