After Reviewing the Information for Investors, we understand you may have questions
Index of Questions
(Click Link to Jump to Answer)
Q: What Will Prevent People From Just Copying You?
A:I do have two U.S. Patents that cover the types of items/objects depicted and annotated in my drawings, as well as the way the drawings operate. My patents date to 2007, so basically someone would need to demonstrate they independently came up with the same way to portray property, and can also demonstrate that their use predates my 2007 patent. But I acknowledge that may not deter everyone. Consider the following:
- They can’t copy 14 years of experience and 14 years of MLS data demonstrating their success in the high value luxury real estate market. I don’t expect a whole LOT of Brokers / Agents are keen to trust the marketing of their multi-million dollar properties to a “copier” with no actual experience, or demonstrated success in the market.
- Copying the look and feel of the drawings will not be enough. They lack the knowledge how to consistently and rapidly CREATE that product in 48 to 72 hours and under 3 megs so it can upload onto real estate systems around the world. This takes knowledge and practical experience they just don’t have. My method is successful because of not only WHAT I’m drawing, but HOW I’m drawing it; using my same software, its doubtful they could get the same degree of high level results.
- They don’t have the software to integrate the photographs and amenities text with the drawing and make it all work together online. They would have to develop all that, and it would need to be different than my patented method of doing that.
- Also bear in mind that the basic floor plan is just the starting point for the SMARTePLANS marketing system. They will not have the furniture-moving plans, or the software that creates them; or the ability to consistently produce and link detailed Amenities Text, or the ability to link everything together into a single self-contained file, nor the ability to index the features and finishes of the property to Google and run a Google Report. They would need to develop all that — just to name a few things they will also lack.
- They don’t have my costing experience and business knowledge; its highly unlikely they will be able to be cost competitive.
- In summary, a copier would have to expend quite a lot of money / time/ effort just to catch up to me, would end up with a lesser product in the marketplace … and still be risking a trip to federal court for patent infringement. If they are attracted to the floor plan business, they’d actually make a lot more money working with me and expanding into new territories, with a considerable lesser expense to them in both time and effort.
Q: Do You Use Proprietary Drawing Tools?
A:I use an off-the-shelf software drawing program. But I’ve added some of my own shortcuts, so HOW I use it is very different than the way it is designed to be used. New operators would need to be trained.
Q: How Will You Handle Training?
A:The training program is a combination of online and in-person face time. Online Video tutorials can supplement their training sessions, as well as a share-your-screen software “helpdesk” if they get in a jam. Artists will progress through a series of competencies, becoming certified to confidently and rapidly render increasingly complex properties. [Link: Certification of Drawing Levels]
Q: What Is Your Targeted Investor Profile?
A:Most people perceive SMARTePLANS to be an Information Technology application — that is wearing Real Estate clothes. I believe it to be a Real Estate application utilizing IT for channels and distribution. I’ve observed a number of firms do start-ups in Real Estate figuring they “know” Information Technology so they’ve ”got it wired” … and many fail because they don’t have respect for, or a true understanding of, how the Real Estate business “works”. To get to the next level, I believe I need someone who is both experienced in Real Estate and has a passion for Real Estate, and together we’ll evaluate our choices, chart our route and go forward.