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…