Homes.com’s National Speaker and tech expert Joe Sesso gives his take on the Apple Watch. Is this new technology just another trendy fad or a game-changer for the industry?
Real Estate magazine: What were your first reactions to the Apple Watch?
Joe Sesso: Apple wasn’t kidding about it being the most intimate device they’ve ever created. I’ve found myself constantly using my watch for everything from measuring my workouts to checking texts and client calls. I get more done because I don’t have to continuously pick up my phone. I know it sounds lazy, but you’ll immediately notice the benefits and convenience of this device.
RE: What kind of apps are available on the Apple Watch?
JS: Many standard apps are already compatible. Currently, health and fitness dominate the watch apps. Disappointingly, while social apps like Facebook and Twitter display notifications on the watch face, they haven’t been optimized for full functionality. As a result, users can’t interact with their social channels through their watch and must resort to pulling out their iPhone to respond to a tweet or comment.
RE: How does it change calling and texting?
JS: The coolest feature of the Apple Watch is the ability to answer a call and speak into it. You can also forward calls to voicemail by pressing a button or covering the face with your hand. If you’re driving, you’ll immediately see the value of using your watch versus your phone.
Texts show up as push notifications and can be easily replied to by selecting from a list of popular words and phrases or voice-texting through Siri. It’s a great solution for agents on-the-go.
RE: How can real estate pros take advantage of this technology?
JS: While it might seem lazy to use your watch instead of your phone, it can be a huge time-saver. Imagine previewing messages and calls without having to rudely reach for the phone in front of a client. Furthermore, with nearly 75 percent of real estate online leads going unanswered, the Apple Watch may be the tool to help the industry be more responsive to its consumers. Now, agents can pick up that “hot lead” by simply looking at their wrist.
The average REALTOR® spends more than three hours per day on email or looking through their phone. Using the Apple Watch can streamline productivity so you focus on your work and only respond to the most important texts or calls. Finally, having a smartwatch shows clients and prospects that you’re tech-savvy, which can help build rapport, especially with millennials.
RE: Final thoughts?
JS: While the release of the iPhone revolutionized technology, now, the Apple Watch is more about additional convenience than a breakthrough. This gadget has the potential to make agents’ lives easier, but it’s highly unlikely that it could replace the functionality or accessibility of smartphones and tablets. While the Apple Watch isn’t a “bust,” in order to be a “must” in the real estate world, there will need to be more apps that focus on functionality and productivity for agents.
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