In today’s fast-paced world, having a smartphone is a must. According to the National Association of Realtors®(NAR), 93 percent of agents now use smartphones in their day-to-day business.
For those of you still debating the advantages, here are the ways your phone can help you stay ahead of the curve, and on top of your business.
First, pick the right smartphone…
There are many options when it comes to picking a new smartphone. Some questions you’ll have to ask yourself include: Do you want a specific brand? Do you want a touchscreen phone? How large do you want your screen to be?
According to Realty Biz News, shipments of smartphones with screens of at least 5 inches grew by a whopping 369 percent in 2014. They explain that the increased demand for large screens is largely due to the need for agents and their clients to view detailed photographs. To pick the best phone for you, check out their list of the 10 best smartphones for Real Estate Agents to find out how various smartphones stack up against each other.
Now, use your phone to make your day-to-day tasks easier!
- Communicate in real-time with clients: Having a smartphone means you’ll have not only voice and texting, but also email capabilities and social media platforms at your fingertips. This makes it easier for your clients — and all the agents, lawyers, inspectors and other folks you communicate with — to get ahold of you (and vice-versa!).
Tip: Email is a great way to get in touch with clients. Whether you are sending them a fancy e-newsletter or just staying in touch with them throughout their homebuying process, email is an efficient way to communicate. Use these 8 tips to woo and wow with email.
- Connect to social media: Installing the social media apps you use as an agent onto your smartphone gives you the power of instant gratification. You’ll have the ability to watch for reviews from your clients, post photos of the areas you’re working in, and tweet about the open houses you’re hosting.
Tip: The most popular social media apps for agents are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. If you’re looking for great ways to use social media, become a social media guru in 7 tips. Additionally, if you’re ready to hop on Pinterest, we’re here to help you with these 9 tips.
- Manage your time: As explained in our article 10 time management tips for real estate agents, time equals money. With the aid of the calendar on your smartphone, you can keep track of your upcoming meetings throughout the day, as well as tasks you need to complete.
Tip: You can also use apps like Toggl to help track your time, as well as Trello, which helps you manage your tasks to keep your time well-managed.
- Lost? Get directions anytime: The days of pulling over to the side of the road and opening a giant map are over. Now we have directional information at our fingertips, and that’s a huge benefit to those who travel a lot — like real estate agents. Map applications will often provide route guidance based on current traffic conditions, as well, which can help ensure you’re never late for your appointments.
Tip: According to Real Simple, which test-drove five of the top GPS apps, Google Maps was one of the best apps — and it’s free.
- Access your listings on the road: Access your listings on the go via various apps, depending on which you’re using to list properties.
Tip: For example, Realtor.com® has an official app. You can also get apps from other common real estate listing sites like Trulia, RedFin and Zillow.
- Stay on top of current events: A big part of being a real estate agent is being able to build relationships with people. With the help of your smartphone, you can access current events and local news, both in your area and around the globe.
Tip: Digital Trends has reviewed the 18 best news apps across iPhone and Androids along with the prices and content they offer.
- Manage your finances: With your smartphone, you can access your bank’s mobile banking app (if they have one) or website in the palm of your hand. You can keep track of your finances and use the app to manage the money you have allotted for marketing, promotional items and more.
Tip: If you’re a BMO Harris account holder and use BMO Harris Online Banking®1, BMO Harris Total Look®2 can help you keep track of your accounts (even if they’re not with us), income and expenses.
- Stay safe: According to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), 40 percent of realtors have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information.
Tip: The NAR has a list of apps you can use to keep yourself safe in your day-to-day work.
1 Certain conditions and limitations apply. BMO Harris Online Guarantees apply to personal accounts only and do not apply to commercial or business accounts. Please see the BMO Harris Online Banking Services Agreement found at bmoharris.com/legal for full details.
2 BMO Harris Total Look Mobile is available for select BMO Harris Mobile Banking Apps.