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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Technological Convergence Has Greatly Improved the Practice of Real Estate

Published in the Denver Post, Oct. 22, 2009:

It’s awe inspiring how cellular and other technologies have converged to revolutionize the practice of real estate in recent years. The primary platform for this convergence is the “smart phone” — a generic term for the BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone, Palm’s Pre and similar products.

Let me paint a few scenarios, and you’ll see what I mean.

Scenario #1: I’m in my car and my iPhone rings. I push a button on my steering wheel and the caller’s voice comes across my car radio, which is silenced automatically. (This is Bluetooth technology.) The caller is a client wanting to reserve my free moving truck for later in the week. Stopping at a red light, I consult my Outlook calendar on the phone and confirm a date and time. At the next red light, I enter the reservation on my calendar, confident that it will be on my laptop next time I look at it.

Scenario #2: I have a buyer in my car and we pass a home that sparks his interest. I open the Zillow application on my phone, and it displays a satellite view of that location with a red icon for active listings and green icons for every other home. I can touch the red icon and instantly get the essential MLS information about the house. Touching the other icons gets me a similar amount of information about them, including when they sold and for how much.

Scenario #3: Another client is a flight attendant who flies internationally, so calling her on her cell phone is not practical or affordable when she’s in Rio or Paris or Hong Kong, but I can text her and get a text response the next time she’s on the ground, without worrying about what time zone she’s in. (If she had a smart phone, we could exchange email on our phones.)

Scenario #4: I come across a property that a client in New York would really like. I pull out my phone, shoot a video with my own narration, and email it to him on the spot.

There are countless other scenarios I could share. Another favorite device is my car’s navigation system. When showing homes, I can enter several addresses at a time, view them on the map, re-order them as I wish, and then let the voice guide me from one listing to the next without taking my eyes off the road to look at maps or directions.

Technology continues to make me more effective and productive — and, fortunately for my clients, I readily adopt it!

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