Today, NAI Wisinski of West Michigan announces the launch of their free mobile application for the iPhone and iPad. Their app, found in the App Store by searching NAI Wisinski, has multiple features on it that will appeal to many types of users. “This app is not only about getting our listings out in front of people, but also being able to add value for our customers,” says Jim Decker, President of NAI Wisinski. “These features and tools allow users to do some really cool things and you don’t necessarily need to be in commercial real estate to benefit from them.”
The app includes:
- Map-Based Property Searches: Search properties near you on a map and get detailed listing information including directions with the press of a button.
- Contact Information: Ability to add listing agents directly to your contact books and call or email them right from the app.
- Map-Based Measuring Tool: Ability to select points on a map and measure the distance in feet between them. Great for determining a rough estimate on square footage or frontage.
- Financial Analysis Tools: Includes a TVM Calculator, NPV/IRR Calculator, Mortgage Calculator, and an Investment Analysis tool.
- Report Generator: Generate pdf reports from your financial calculations complete with charts and tables. You then have the ability to email, print or send these reports to your Dropbox.
- Media Section: Stay up-to-date with commercial real estate news and stats.
The app has been almost a year in the making. It all started back in early February 2012 at the NAI Global Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. “While at the convention, I met with about 40 other marketing directors from other NAI offices around the world. NAI Latter & Blum in Louisiana had already developed a similar app and became a gateway to us finding our developer. As soon as we got back from Vegas, we got right to work,” said Shane Ikola of NAI Wisinski’s Marketing Department. “These past months have been an exciting time and this is a testament to the power of the NAI Global Network.” The developer is based out of New Jersey, and has worked on mobile application solutions for commercial real estate companies all around the country.
The app hasn’t come without it fair share of hurdles. “We had to determine the most economical and efficient way of transferring the data of over 900 listings into the app, manually uploading and making changes to each property individually wasn’t an option,” Ikola explained.
The NAI Wisinski app and all of its features are free to download from the App Store. “We really wanted to provide a service and making this app free ensures that everyone has the chance to benefit from this app. In return we just hope it shows everyone what our brand is about,” Decker explains.
Note: While the app is currently available for the iPad in addition to the iPhone, an iPad-native version is being developed that will be more user friendly for iPad users and provide more functionality.
Configura still growing
Published: May 29, 2012 (Grand Rapids Business Journal)
Configura, the Swedish software company that set up shop in Grand Rapids six years ago because of the office furniture industry base here, has expanded that local facility and opened a new office in Malaysia to serve Asian companies.
The new office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will serve Configura client companies that are already in Asia or plan to be, and new Asian customers.
Configura CEO Johan Lyreborn said by having software programmers, training and support staff at work in the home office in Linköping, Sweden, plus in Grand Rapids and Kuala Lumpur, “we can work all tasks around the clock.”
The privately held company got its start developing business software for European office furniture and cabinet manufacturers. Today it is one of the leading software developers of its type in Europe. Started in 1990, the company develops software for four industries that configure products — hence the name Configura. Those markets are kitchen and bathroom, industrial machinery and equipment, material handling products and contract office furniture.
Configura’s CET Designer is design/specification software that allows an office furniture dealership to complete every step of a sales proposal in one program, including final pricing.
Contract office furniture sales are complicated because an interior designer usually has to be involved from the start, and a new office layout often combines different products from different manufacturers, making the price calculation difficult.
Peter Brandinger, the head of Configura Inc.’s U.S. headquarters at 100 Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, once explained to the Business Journal the office furniture ordering process is very expensive and time-consuming because “the customer wants to know how much it’s going to cost — and what it looks like.”
CET Designer is described by Configura as “intelligent” in that it automatically factors in rules for each product required, determining whether or not a given combination of different products will work. Configura calls it “parametric graphical configuration.”
A company that buys a license to use CET Designer also receives additional software development, programming and support, as an extension of the software. The client company’s authorized dealerships can sign on for access to the software by its design and sales staffs.
In 2005, Haworth became a client. Steelcase and Teknion signed on three years ago. More recently Configura signed KI (Krueger International) based in Green Bay, Wis. KI makes furniture and movable wall panels for education, health care, government and corporate markets.
Brandinger said in April Configura has about 20 employees in Grand Rapids. In early 2008, before the recession, the employee roster was at 18, but that number went down as the economy tanked. Brandinger said hiring here picked up in 2010 for the support staff and programmers.
Configura’s worldwide sales revenue in 2011 was about $9.5 million, according to Lyreborn.
Office furniture production in the U.S. is predicted by BIFMA International to be flat this year, but that is just one of the markets Configura serves.
“We are in a positive trend, but it might not mean the industry is going in the same direction,” noted Lyreborn.
The Grandville Avenue office just completed an expansion into adjacent space.
“We saw this as a good opportunity for us to create a little bit more spacious environment for our employees,” said Brandinger. He said the local office has not had a real break area or collaborative space, which he described as “quite popular these days in most cutting edge technology companies. We have a staff of very creative people.”
CompuCraft Named a Preferred Partner by Kerio Technologies
By Marketwire .
SAN JOSE, CA — (Marketwire) — 05/15/12 –
Kerio Technologies, Inc. today announced that CompuCraft, an IT solutions provider that serves the Western Michigan area, has attained Kerio Preferred Partner status. As a value-added reseller of Kerio’s IT infrastructure portfolio for more than five years, the company has demonstrated continuous sales growth and advancement within Kerio’s Business Partner Program.
CompuCraft specializes in serving Mac business environments and excels at building long-term relationships with its more than 250 clients by helping them align their IT infrastructure with their business goals. As a certified Apple Specialist with a strong commitment to the Mac platform, the VAR focuses extensively on Apple solutions and combines technical expertise with a commitment to customer service before, during, and after a sale. A provider of Kerio’s portfolio of solutions for clients that prefer a simple approach to IT, CompuCraft provides comprehensive email, collaboration and security offerings that are easy to administer and provide tremendous value to customers.
“CompuCraft has served Western Michigan small businesses for 25 years and we have worked with many technology vendors,” said Bill Smith, owner, CompuCraft. “Kerio’s solutions are an IT Manager’s dream, they are feature rich and extremely secure, but still painless to deploy and manage.”
Recently, CompuCraft deployed Kerio Connect at NAI Wisinski of West Michigan, a member of the NAI Global network that provides commercial, industrial, retail, and property management real estate services. The organization deployed Kerio Connect for more than 50 employees when it merged two commercial realtor offices. NAI had previously been using the Microsoft Exchange server, and with the help of CompuCraft, found that Kerio Connect was a more flexible solution for mobile device support, and much easier to administer.
“We believe that our Partners’ success translates into our success, and this mutually beneficial culture drives our partnership program,” said Mirek Kren, vice president, worldwide sales, Kerio Technologies. “CompuCraft is a welcome addition, as they are dedicated to providing customized implementations of Kerio’s products to customers for simple, stable and secure business solutions.”
On Wednesday November 9th, Stu Kingma was given the opportunity to present at the 25th Annual University of Michigan (UM) & Urban Land Institute (ULI) Real Estate Forum. The UM/ULI Real Estate Forum is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing real estate education both professionally and at the university level. For twenty-five years they have been celebrating best practices in Michigan real estate. Professionals in real estate, development, and academia were all present at the forum. This year, the Forum’s focus was on identifying opportunities.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), along with the ULI published “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2012” and ranked Detroit dead last among U.S. cities in terms of investment and development among other things. Stu was part of a Local Response Panel and discussed recent opportunities in West Michigan. Stu’s goal, along with the rest of the Forum, was to refute the claims of the PwC report. “Even though the PwC numbers show Detroit is lagging behind the rest of the country, great things are happening here,” Stu says. “I especially wanted to demonstrate that great things are happening in West Michigan as well. We are sustainable and growing in many sectors.”
Some of the topics Stu covered include the manufacturing rebound, the growing medical sector, food manufacturing, and the advanced battery production sector for vehicle use.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI (September 13, 2011)
NAI Wisinski of West Michigan had the privilege of hosting NAI Global in Grand Rapids this past week. NAI Global’s Executive Vice President, David Blanchard, and NAI Global’s Leadership President, Kevin Fitzgerald, ramped up a crowd of 60 plus brokers from NAI Wisinski of West Michigan (Grand Rapids), NAI Mid-Michigan Vlahakis (Lansing), NAI Farbman (Detroit) and NAI Harding Dahm (Ft. Wayne). The NAI Global “Road Show” is going across the continent to re-energize the NAI family of brokers and to launch its brand new suite of technology. NAI has been, and continues to be, the leader in technology and has landed the industries highest awards. NAI Global, who ranks internationally in the top five in the commercial real estate industry, continues its strong push with the largest Managed Network of commercial brokerage companies at 373 offices worldwide to date. The uniqueness of NAI is the global reach with local expertise. This global reach and local touch makes clients such as Hertz, Pepsi, and the US Post Office glad they have chosen NAI to manage their real estate.
The Road Show was a two day event which brought new industry tools and benefits to the newly merged NAI Wisinski of West Michigan. The former S.J. Wisinski brokers were astounded by the host of services NAI Global offers. “The Road Show really excited me about NAI,” Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely explained, “Learning about what is available and how it can benefit our clients is incredible. I am really looking forward to implementing these tools!” These tools include REALTrac™, NAI’s proprietary web-based real estate management software giving the client 24-hour access to each and every step of the marketing process including all listing and closing documents. Another is NAI’s Opportunity Broadcast system, a global email blast system, which allows brokers to share and inquire about listings with over 5,000 NAI members worldwide. “During this tough economic climate, every tool we can offer our clients that increases their ability to move their real estate is a bonus,” says Kurt Kunst. “Our team is well prepared to manage the waters ahead. We are committed to West Michigan. Connected to the World.”