Gone are the days of the dial phone, typewriter, and rolodex. No one does real estate today without a smartphone or tablet. The next wave of technology is bringing mobile access and use of mobile devices in quantum leaps as life-changing as the Internet itself.
Most brokers are going to mobile versions of their business websites and are incorporating a host of apps to support client investment strategy, rental portfolios, and unusually priced properties.
Real Estate Apps
Here are some of the hottest new favorites.
AroundMe–This app pinpoints your geographical location and lists the businesses in a category you choose as well as how far away each one is.
Carbonite – This gives you access to your backup files at all times.
CardMunch – This app converts business cards to contacts. It’s integrated with LinkedIn, making it easy to see a LinkedIn profile of your contacts and connect with them.
CardStar – This is the long-awaited solution to carrying around all those membership and rewards cards. The app consolidates them all, letting you finally consign the plastic versions to the dustbin.
Dragon Dictation – This is a voice recognition app though which you can speak and immediately see your text and e-mail messages. It allows you to even talk status updates right into your social media apps or send notes to yourself.
Dropbox – This is essentially a portable container for all your information-rich, large sized photos, documents, and videos. Dropbox is accessible from any device.
Evernote – This is an app to help you stay organized, remember everything, save ideas, and generally enhance productivity. You can write notes, take pictures, make lists, set up voice reminders, and make all these entries searchable from anywhere.
OpenHomePro – This device is for running an open house from a mobile device along with managing walk-ins, following up leads, and creating pages listing properties that allows prospective clients to view and leave feedback.
REALTOR.com® – This is a way to access over 3 million homes that are for sale, rent and property records for other types of real estate.
SugarSync – This is a free app that allows you to access, synchronize and share files across all devices.
Trulia Real Estate & Renters – This is an app for keeping abreast of homes in your search no matter where you happen to be located, whether its homes for sale or rental apartments.
Waze – This is a very useful traffic and navigation app. It is connected to your local driving community, allowing all to share information to make travel as efficient as possible. It will help you save time and money on gas while enhancing everyone’s ride.
One of the hazards of overuse of technology is losing personal touch with clients. It is easy to forget that real estate is not about land or buildings – it’s about people. What do they want? What will make the customer happy? There is no substitute for the human touch and face-to-face contact.
Cost and Overkill
Technology is seductive and there is a real danger in buying more than you need, especially with the overlap of services. There is also the problem of involving colleagues and clients who just do not want to deal with the latest and greatest in technology. Sure, it may enhance your efficiency as a real estate professional, but if your client is uncomfortable with anything electronic as opposed to paper, you won’t make the sale.
There is such a thing as too fast in technology and it applies to industries like real estate which move big-ticket items one at a time with days, weeks, and months between sales.