Know a good PHP Developer – We’re Hiring!

We’re looking to hire an experienced PHP/mobile web application developer who is interested in developing awesome, mind-blowing mobile web applications and related mobile technologies. Primary areas of responsibility will be server side technologies using PHP, database architecture using MySQL, and setting up server environments, but there will be plenty of opportunity to dabble in the front-end. There will also be the opportunity to interact directly with customers, participate in the product development process, and influence the daily operations of the company. It’s a great opportunity to join an early stage company and to be part of helping it grow to the next level.

If this sounds like something you, or someone you know would be interested in, please send a resume to jobs<at>aumnia<dot>com or click the button below. Please be sure to include information about past and previous projects, including links to completed projects that we can take a look at.

For more information, check out our job posting on Stack Overflow.


miniListings has a new home

I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to transfer our miniListings product and website to RealtyTech. RealtyTech is a California Corporation based in Thousand Oaks that offers real estate agent websites, IDX MLS Search systems and internet marketing for real estate agents, brokers and companies. We are in the process of migrating the product and expect to have the transition completed shortly.

On the one hand, transferring miniListings was a difficult decision – like having to give away a pet to which you’ve become attached. However, it became obvious over the course of this year that in order for miniListings to reach its full potential, it needed to have a more complete product offering around it. Instead of investing the time and money to build the products ourselves, we were better served to partner with a company who already had the products, brand and reputation required to succeed within the real estate space. RealtyTech is a perfect fit and will be a great home for miniListings. I’m looking forward to watching it grow to its full potential under its new owner.

On the other hand, seeing miniListings off to a new home provides a sense of accomplishment – kind of like sending a child off to college. It is a validation of not only the work we put into the product but also our strategy and vision regarding the importance of mobile technology. Every day, more and more consumers are using their mobile devices as the primary means to connect to the internet. Therefore, it is a requirement that an online presence is mobile friendly. miniListings provides this mobile friendly experience to consumers, allowing real estate professionals to get the most out of their online presence. Integrating miniListings with RealtyTech’s existing web and internet products helps us to achieve our goal of providing effective, relevant, results-oriented mobile solutions to an even broader range of customers.

As we go forward, our goal is to continue developing the strategies, tools, methodologies and applications that produce results-oriented mobile solutions for our customers. If you’re interested in finding out how we can help you get more out of mobile, feel free to contact us today.

(For more information regarding the product transition, as well as a FAQ for miniListings customers, please visit the miniListings blog.)

A New Chapter Begins

Aumnia's New OfficeThis week begins a new chapter in Aumnia’s history as we moved our offices from Huntington Beach to Camarillo over the weekend. It was a long move some 85 miles north, but thankfully, everything went smooth. We’re still doing some unpacking, rearranging, and much needed decorating of the new office, but otherwise it’s back to business as usual.

As always, when a new chapter begins, the prior one ends. In this case, it’s the end of a particularly good chapter, as we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Huntington Beach where we were fortunate enough to share office space with Jeff Turner, Steve Zenghut and the rest of the Zeek Interactive team. I consider Jeff and Steve not only business colleagues but also good friends. I’d like to thank them for their generosity, hospitality, and help over the past year, which will be sorely missed (along with our entertaining breakfast and lunch conversations).

One of the other things I will miss are the OC WordPress Meetups. For those who don’t know, Steve and Jeff host regular meetings with the WordPress community in their Huntington Beach office, which I highly recommend for anyone who develops or has an interest in WordPress. They’ve assembled an incredibly talented group of individuals who get together twice a month to share tons of great information with the community. To find out more check out their Meetup page.

Starting a new chapter is always exciting. I’m looking forward to what the rest of 2012 has in store for us!

The Loss of More than a Colleague

Devesh, I, and the rest of the Aumnia team were deeply saddened yesterday to learn of the sudden passing of Linda Hawkins, President of Winkelmann Realty, on December 8, 2010.

We first met Linda at the Winkelmann office in April, 2007. At the time, we were a young company that had decided it was time to get serious, stop working out of Devesh’s Newport Beach apartment, and get a real office. We decided to look in Fullerton and were directed by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce to Linda. They said she had a small office available for rent on the second floor of their building.

Upon arriving at the office, we were immediately greeted by Linda’s warm smile and charming personality that we all came to know and love. Needless to say, it was an easy decision for us to rent the office, and one which we never regretted.

During our short stay at the office, Linda always made us feel at home. We were always invited to office events, pot luck lunches, and treated as part of the Winkelmann team. Linda also became an informal mentor and advisor to our business. She helped us with general advice, and gave us valuable guidance as we developed a product for the real estate market. She opened up her impressive network of contacts to us and was genuinely interested in helping us succeed.

When it came time for us to leave the office at the end of September, 2007, Linda said something to me that I will never forget. She said that once you work with us at Winkelmann, you become part of our family – for life. She just didn’t tell me that, she meant it. Over the last three years, Linda remained by our side and was always willing to help. She always welcomed us at her office meetings to run crazy new mobile ideas past her team. She always made time for our questions or to go to lunch to get more specific guidance on how the industry worked. No matter how busy Linda was with her work, when I would talk with her, she had a way of making me feel like my problems were the most important thing on her mind. Truly, she made sure that we remained a part of the Winkelmann family.

I, for one, will never forget one of my last interactions with her at the Leading RE conference in Las Vegas this past March. As usual, Linda was extremely busy talking with her network of friends and colleagues discussing both business and catching up on personal details with everyone. During the entire conference, no matter how busy she was with her work at the conference, she repeatedly went out of her way to make sure that she introduced us to as many people as she could. I didn’t ask her for the help, she did it because we were part of her “family”. That’s just who Linda was.

We here at Aumnia are all proud and honored to say that we knew Linda Hawkins and were, and still are, part of the Winkelmann family. She was a great human being and an inspiration to all of us. With her passing, we lost more than just a business colleague or customer, we lost a mentor, friend, advisor, and most importantly, a part of our family. We will truly miss her.

Customer profile – Winkelmann Realty

Winkelmann mobilesite on the iPhoneEarlier this year, we launched a mobile website (mobilesite) with Winkelmann Realty, a full service residential brokerage located in Fullerton, CA. A leader in Relocation and REO services and certified as a minority and woman owned business, Winkelmann has achieved impressive results serving lenders, third-party firms and in-house corporations, and was the first company in California to have a Realtor designated Senior Certified Relocation Professional, SCRP. With the launch of a mobile website, Winkelmann continues to demonstrate leadership and ingenuity by bringing their website and property search to the mobile phone. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Linda Hawkins, President of Winkelmann Realty, to discuss their mobile site, how mobile technologies apply to real estate, and other fun topics.

Obviously, mobile is a hot topic these days with all the talk of the iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid, Palm Pre, and other interesting devices. What are some ways that mobile technology can be applied to real estate?
Linda: It’s amazing – everyone has a mobile device these days, and I’m always shocked when I run into someone who doesn’t have a cell phone. When mobile phones first arrived, real estate agents were excited since they became accessible to their clients and other agents anytime, anywhere, even when they were out of the office, which is where they spend most of their time.  I’m amazed how such a simple device evolved into so much more than just a phone that lets us increase productivity and stay connected. For this reason, we launched our mobilesite earlier this year to let our agents and their clients easily and quickly search properties using any web-enabled mobile device. I want to give our clients the ability to be in front of a house, find our mobilesite, and easily get the property details within seconds. Our clients appreciate these kinds of tools when working with Winkelmann Realty.  I’m really excited about other applications and future possibilities that mobile technologies will bring to real estate. The mobile phone has really become an essential, indispensable tool for real estate agents and professionals.

With all the hype around applications, why did you choose to launch a mobilesite instead of an app?
Linda: For us, a mobilesite was way more cost effective. Our agents and clients use a variety of mobile devices, including BlackBerry, Palm, and iPhone, so we need our mobile presence to be accessible across all platforms.  An application is built and managed for each phone separately, so we would have to pay for multiple applications which was too expensive for us to even consider.  With our mobilesite, we simply manage the content and views in one place, but can reach users on any data-enabled phone.  It’s simple.

Winkelmann mobilesite on BlackBerryHow do you use the mobilesite to promote Winkelmann, and how does it fit into your current marketing and advertising channels?
Linda: We promote the mobilesite through all of our existing branding and advertising channels. We have a link on the front page of our website to let people know that they can access our site and search properties using their mobile phone. We also promote the mobilesite through our hardcopy and print ads as well. For example, we run ads at the local colleges that target students who as we know are big mobile users. We promote our mobilesite to let the students know they can use our website on their phone to search listings. The mobilesite helps us to establish a relationship with potential clients early in the property search and buying process.

Why did you choose to use the Aumnia platform and how was the experience?
Linda: The Aumnia platform was very easy to work with since it required no effort on our part. We simply reviewed the features we wanted on our mobilesite like search, featured properties and contact information, and the rest was taken care of by the Aumnia team. I enjoyed working with the Aumnia team and they helped me achieve my goals and stay within budget. They were very knowledgeable about the mobile market and helped us to focus our mobile strategy to drive our desired results.

On a lighter note, what mobile phone do you use and how often do you access the mobile internet?
Linda: I am currently using the Tilt on AT&T because I like how easy I can text with it. I also use it to access the internet, mainly when I am travelling. Even though I like the Tilt, I’m planning to move to the iPhone for my next device.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Linda. We really enjoyed working with you on the development of your mobile site and are happy to see you getting good results from it.

To experience the Winkelmann mobilesite for yourself, go to http://www.winkrealty.com/ on any web-enabled mobile phone.