post

8 Essentials for the Mobile Real Estate Agent

To be effective, the mobile real estate agent should incorporate many different technology tools into his/her business. But what technology is best? What is really going to make you more efficient in the field? Below I have listed my favorite technologies for mobile Real Estate agents on the go:

Tablet PC **Updated 6/2008**
Real Estate agents will find that Tablet PC’s have many advantages over the traditional laptop. Most notably the ability to reduce the amount of paper you burn through. With a tablet PC, Real Estate agents can sign important documents such as listing and purchase contracts, emails, and notes onscreen in their own handwriting. This often times eliminates the need for printing entirely. Simply email or fax the document directly to the party in question. In regards to brand and model, I like the convertible HP tc4400 (Core Duo) and Lenovo ThinkPad X61. Both models are ultra-lightweight, provide outdoor viewable displays and manage to provide long battery life. They also have strong wireless and Bluetooth capabilities. The X61 is slightly lighter and also comes with Active Rotate which uses an internal accelerometer to dynamically determine the tablet’s angle and adjust the screen position. This may prove useful when handing your PC over to those buyers in your next contract signing.

VREO Real Estate Dashboard
Real Estate Dashboard is a critical component to truly going paperless. Sure there are tools such as Microsoft Journal that can be used, but they fail when it comes to security. With VREO Real Estate Dashboard, the Real Estate agent must use a password, and all files are created in a proprietary file format. Signatures are then flattened onto their corresponding document, and then allowed to be sent via integrated email or fax technology. Read our previous post here.

TransactionPoint
TransactionPoint is the ultimate piece of Real Estate technology for automating the entire real estate transaction from listing a property to closing the deal. TransactionPoint is integrated with ZipForms for easy form creation. TransactionPoint will also store other transaction related documents for easy retrieval. You may also benefit from reduced liability for E&O (Errors and Omissions) insurance, as TransactionPoint saves a permanent record of emails and other communication in the communication log

Digital Camera with Wide Angle Lens **Updated 6/2008**
homes they sell. So why use a marginal camera for those photos that help sell the home? Real Estate agents should look for a quality digital camera. I recommend the incredibly light Canon Rebel XTi with wide-angle lens. The camera takes great high-quality photos. The Rebel boasts a huge amount of features, but presents them in a very easy to understand interface. Works with PictBridge compatible printers such as the i80 referenced below.

SmartPhone **Updated 6/2008**
With the Blackberry, Treo or Windows Mobile device Real Estate agents can streamline their business greatly by taking advantage of wireless MLS capabilities, free business and local search tools, mobile calendar & email, calculators, etc. Personally I’m a fan of the Blackberry Curve 8310. Mainly because of overall size, full QWERTY keyboard and outstanding email capabilities. The 8310 also includes GPS capabilities and 2 mega-pixel camera with flash. If you’re looking for a 3G network…you’ve still got a few more months for the Blackberry Bold.  Needless to say Treo and Windows Devices are also very popular. I really believe you should hold each of the phones before you purchase.

3G Wireless Access
Real Estate agents spend a great deal of time accessing online information via MLS, CMA utilities, buyers tours, email, door-to-door directions, fax to email solutions and more. So why wait until you get back to the office. Real Estate Agents who embrace this technology will uncover many time benefits. Read our article here for items to consider when selecting a service.

Mobile GPS **Updated 6/2008**
As the mobile real estate professional you need to know where you are going 100% of the time. That’s why a mobile GPS utility may prove useful. I recommend the Garmin Nuvi 880. With this unit you’ll surely get from point A to point B, but you may also save time with its integrated traffic tuner capabilities. You can even keep both hands on the steering wheel with the Hands-free feature for Bluetooth phones, and text-to-speech control.

Mobile Printer **Updated 6/2008**
This piece of real estate technology will surely impress real estate agent’s on-the-go that require a printer for photos and more. I recommend the Canon PIXMA ip100, as it comes with the ability to print high-resolution at up to 9600 x 2400. Speeds are around 20 pages per minute b/w and 14 color. You may want to connect using the IrDA port from your tablet pc…at a range of up to 10 feet. Even print directly from your PictBridge compatible digital camera. The Canon ip100 can also accommodate a car adaptor for power or take advantage of the portable kit which includes rechargeable Li-On battery and holder.

About Reggie

Reggie Nicolay is founder of the real estate technology blog MyTechOpinion.com, and is the Vice President of Marketing and Social Media for the Realtors Property Resource “RPR”, a property database for REALTORS®. Reggie was named one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate for 2010 by Inman News.