Turns Out, the iPhone IS the Perfect Phone for REALTORS

Not just a great phone, but a bug approved by the CIA!

Well, at least if you’re the manager of an office, or the broker in charge. It appears the iPhone doubles as a time-stamped tracking device:

Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, a pair of security researchers, recently discovered that iPhones — as well as 3G-enabled iPads — running iOS 4 constantly record and store their users’ locations in unencrypted files. These files are basically very long lists of latitude-longitude coordinates and timestamps, and they can be found on the devices themselves as well as within the software backups saved on users’ computers.


So let’s say you’re the broker or manager, and you have a team of agents who are supposedly hard at work at listing appointments, showing houses, meeting with prospects, and the like. If they own a Blackberry or an Android phone, then you’ll just have to trust that they’re in fact out doing productive things, instead of just improving their golf handicap or something. But if they own an iPhone, then you can install this handy little iPhone Tracker on your computer, ask them for the phone, plug it in, and voila! Confirmation of where they were and at what time.

Yes, this is creepy. Yes, real estate agents are independent contractors, at least in theory, and can set their own schedule. But if you suspect any one of goofing off, or not doing what she told you she was doing that afternoon, then you can check out the story very easily.

So, brokers, buy your agent an iPhone 4 today! They’ll love you for it, and you can track their movements. 😀


PS: In case you were wondering, yes, this is very much tongue-in-cheek. I know it’s hard to tell sometimes…

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Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

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6 thoughts on “Turns Out, the iPhone IS the Perfect Phone for REALTORS”

  1. Is there any way to remotely activate the web camera? It’d be even better if we could see what they are doing;-)

    I do know people who post a little yellow sticky over the computer webcam – just in case.

  2. From a safety point of view this could be used as a device for Agents showing homes. Especially when they have questionable clients. If used right, could be life saving some day.

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