By Subhi Gharbieh
Now that I have sort of become known as the “Real Estate Technology Geek,” I receive calls and e-mails daily about how REALTORS® can become paperless. I highly doubt that it is possible to be 100 percent paperless in our business, but here are three tips that will get you darn near close to never using a printer, ever again.
1. Daily Real Estate Task: Printing “Agent Full Report” from MLS. It is something that we must have when showing a property. It has the details that customers/clients don’t have in their “Customer Full Report,” such as days on the market, the listing agent’s contact info, private remarks, etc.
For PC users — Instead of printing this report, download a program called CutePDF. It is a free PDF converter that will set up as a printer in your print menu, BUT… drum-roll, please… it will not print! It will save your report as a PDF. This program is great and saves you the hundreds of dollars it would cost to purchase a similar Adobe product. I simply save the reports in Dropbox or Box (another must-have) and simply open it up on my iPhone or iPad.
For my fellow Apple/Mac users — Simply click print, and in the bottom left corner there will be a tab that says “PDF,” click on that to save your report as a PDF. No third-party program necessary.
2. Contracts/Addendum: Instead of printing the contracts/addenda you create in zipForm (or any other forms software that you may use): From your iPad, open the document with Box (an app that must be downloaded) and save it in your Box Cloud. Once you have it saved, Go to DocuSign (an app that must also be downloaded) and link your Box account directly to DocuSign. From there, you will be able to open the documents you saved in Box, place initials/signatures, assign recipients, and send the documents for signatures — getting your document signed without it ever being printed or scanned.
3. Listing Presentations: Instead of printing and binding a fancy listing presentation to give to your potential sellers, create a presentation in Keynote or Powerpoint, with fun graphics and the information you want your customer to see. Hand your clients your iPad/Tablet and let them flip through it while you ramble on about how you’re the best REALTOR® in town. They will love it, and if it’s done right, they will be sold on you immediately.
By Marianne Guenther Bornhoft
A new study just released from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism indicate that half of American adults have mobile Internet access via a tablet or smartphone. This is a major shift on how we as REALTORS® might want to review how we price our listings. Now more than ever, it is important to identify how potential buyers are using new technology to find their dream home.
At the center of this growth phenomenon is the tablet computer. The report states that nearly a quarter of U.S. adults — 22 percent — now own a tablet device-double the number from a year earlier. Another 3 percent of adults regularly use a tablet owned by someone else in their home. And nearly a quarter of those who don’t have a tablet, 23 percent, plan to get one in the next six months. In addition, 44 percent of U.S. adults have smartphones, which, according to the survey, is up from 35 percent from May 2011.
Most buyers start their home search by looking at listings online, or most often, on a real estate app specifically designed for a smart phone or tablet. This search tool allows the person to search for very detailed criteria. For example, the app will prompt the buyer to select the price grid they desire. For example, on the REALTOR.com® app, a typical price starts from a no minimum amount up to $300,000 with a $25,000 price spread between the two different price brackets. Most apps follow this rule. Some are only $25,000 between the price brackets and some real estate apps use a $50,000 price spread.
So let’s say you’re a seller and you would normally price your house at $224,999, now with the specific price brackets in mind, you might want to price it at $225,000 exactly. That way it will show up in both searches. Specifically, the search criteria a buyer might pick has house prices that go up to $225,000 or some would rather start from the $225,000 price bracket and search higher.
Remember, the real estate app only gives you exactly what you ask it to produce. So a seller might actually be losing a buyer who could afford a higher price home by pricing it out of targeted range. It would have been better if they would have priced it precisely the amount of one of the specific price brackets on the desired real estate app.
Rethinking how we expose the listings to the public is crucial as technology becomes more advanced and different ways to search for a house develop. We must learn to adapt to this change or be left behind.
Marianne Guenther Bornhoft is a broker at Windermere Manito in Spokane, Wash. Connect with her at www.SpokaneHouse.com , on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marianneguentherbornhoft or on Twitter @spokanehouse or www.linkedin.com/in/marianneguentherbornhoft.
By Stefanie Hahn
What does getting it done mean? My “it” goes something like this…I want to work hard, be kind, and have a life. In order for me to be kind and have a life, I have to get it done. Working hard is weaved right in there. Here are a few of the apps that I use each day to get it done. *Bonus – all of these apps are free!
Assistant (Android) | SpeakToIt (Apple)
I spend a ton of time in the car – I got an Assistant to help me use this time effectively. The Assistant app can open apps, search for answers and addresses, compose an e-mail or text, read news, e-mails, and texts, play voicemails, save “to do” list items, and more. The voice transcriptions are some of the best I’ve seen in apps of this ilk, which makes using the Assistant fast and easy (and hands free)!
Any.Do (Android, Apple, Chrome add-on and Web)
Using lists helps me keep it together and accomplish what I need to each day. Any.Do works on my phone and has a fun little Chrome add-on that I use on my laptop. Of course, like most of these “to do” list apps Any.Do allows you to cross off items that you’ve completed. Additionally, you can set priorities, display and file under multiple lists, set alarms, add notes, and share your “to do” items.
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