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10 Ways to Best Utilize Wireless in Real Estate

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RISMEDIA, Oct. 19, 2007-Being a real estate agent is a 24/7 job that requires constant contact with clients. Between juggling multiple appointments, showing properties or making presentations, being organized and staying connected is more important than ever. In fact, improving responsiveness to clients can increase the number of referrals. And, familiarity with the Internet can set one real estate agent apart from another by having access to this vital tool.

“For real estate agents, a sale can be lost if a phone call or appointment is missed,” said Tom Shaughnessy, director of business marketing for Sprint. “Fortunately, with today’s wireless technology, there are many solutions that cater specifically to the real estate industry enabling professionals to stay productive and connected with clients while on the run.”

Shaughnessy offers real estate agents these 10 tips to bring value to their business and benefit from wireless technologies:

1. Consider a PDA
As a real estate agent, you most likely already have a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) like a Treo or BlackBerry, but if you don’t you should consider looking into one. More than just a phone, this one device allows real estate agents to access e-mail, schedule appointments, take photographs, and even browse the Internet.

2. Turn your PDA into a powerful tool
Aside from being able to access all e-mail, calendar appointments and calls on the run, a PDA can be a powerful tool with applications available that are specially designed for the real estate industry. As a real estate agent you can check rates and calculate closing costs while your client inspects a property, email listings to clients right from your car, glean information as to who has shown a property, use your PDA to open a lockbox so you can access a house you saw on yesterday’s drive with no appointment-and no key, or access new MLS listings real-time.

3. Buyers have questions, you need answers
If you don’t have the answer to a client’s question, you can potentially lose a sale. If you are out with a client at an open house, you may need to access the Internet to find the answer to a question. If you only have Internet access at your office, consider a mobile broadband connection card which plugs easily into a laptop, providing that needed access wherever you have mobile broadband network coverage.

4. Explore options for call forwarding so important calls aren’t missed
You obviously can’t be at the office and showing a property at the same time. Fortunately, there are services available that allow office call and voicemail forwarding to your mobile phone, essentially wirelessly integrating your mobile phone and office phone system. Should an important call come to the office line while you are out, your mobile phone will ring simultaneously.

5. Save money by making unlimited calls to your office landline number
If you’re calling your office number multiple times a day, you can burn through daytime or anytime minutes easily. Some wireless plans or additional subscriptions allow you to make unlimited voice calls to a pre-identified landline phone number. If you need to stay connected with the office regularly, consider taking advantage of such a plan.

6. A camera phone is more useful than ever
In the real estate profession a camera phone brings many benefits, from taking a snapshot of a property to emailing it to a client to fine tune the search in advance. Take advantage of the countless uses an integrated camera and video phone can provide.

7. If you run your own business, seek an e-mail messaging solution
By having an e-mail provider manage your infrastructure, you can easily outfit your employees with PDAs and the software they need to collaborate with colleagues and interact with clients on the go – all without the hassle of deploying and maintaining costly software systems and servers.

8. Pull in prospective buyers with today’s advanced technology
Imagine turning you or your client’s office – regardless of location – into a hub of audio, video, and Web-based conferencing and communications, enabling anyone to conduct live demonstrations of a home to prospective buyers or host a training seminar to colleagues throughout the country. Such services can dramatically increase the value and attractiveness of your property or enhance presentations giving you an edge over the competition.

9. Avoid getting lost on your way to showing a property
With GPS-enabled smart phones, step-by-step driving directions can be spoken to you by your phone. In addition, trip planning and much more are at your fingertips when you are on the road, so getting lost (and wasting you and your client’s time) is a thing of the past.

10. Open house and open for business with mobile broadband service
Extend your workplace and minimize non-productive time while at an open house, in the airport or when working remotely with mobile broadband access. Consider a fast and reliable service that allows you quick and secure access to emails with attachments, Internet sites and company applications.

For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

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