As the year closes, it’s time to look back and think about everything that’s happened in 2015. Technology is even more necessary, wearables are more popular and smart phones are getting smarter. We’ve reached the golden age of gadgets, and it’s time to begin planning for what will come in 2016. We’ve made a list (and checked it twice) with the top gadgets to add to your holiday wish list to help drive your business forward in 2016.
1. Activity-tracking wearables
If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re going to wear yourself down, and your productivity will be affected. It’s important to take care of yourself so you can be at your peak to keep your clients happy. Activity-tracking wearables empower you with knowledge and can be a great motivator to take even better care of yourself by monitoring your exercise, sleep patterns, calorie intake and more. Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin and Microsoft all make wearable activity trackers with styles to fit any budget.
2. Wearables to keep you safe
Agent safety is a top priority in the industry. The newly created Cuff is a smart device that fits into your jewelry or keychain and pairs with an app on your phone to monitor your location. If you ever feel like you’re in trouble, you can activate an emergency alert through the device. A notification will immediately be sent through your phone to your preset VIP contact list, allowing them to call the police and direct them to your location.
3. Picture-printing phone case
Let’s face it. We have so many pictures on our phones that, most of the time, we can’t even remember what’s on there. With Prynt Case, you can turn your smart phone case into a photo printer. The case attaches to your phone, and the compatible app prints images directly. No ink required, Prynt Case prints on the provided ZINK Paper. What better way to connect with potential buyers than to send them home with snapshots of their favorite listings?
4. Apple Watch
Since its release, the Apple Watch has been one of the hottest items on the market. The watch sports many benefits from enhancing productivity to tracking your health. There are also a number of apps that can take your experience to the next level. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Streaks – A productivity app that helps you manage and track your goals. Whether it’s walking your dog, reading a book or even brushing your teeth, Streaks monitors the number of times you complete an activity, helping you accomplish your goals.
- Dart – Another productivity app that can answer 90% of emails using prefilled text, letting you respond to important messages as quickly as possible.
- Citymapper – This navigation tool lets you see traffic in real-time, helping you plan the best possible route to reach your destination. Citymapper also includes information on public transportation options in the area.
- Apple Maps – A preinstalled app on your watch, Apple Maps gives you turn-by-turn directions to your location, so you’ll never get lost on your way to meet with an important client.
- Around Me – When you’re out with a client, it can be embarrassing when you’re not familiar with the area you’re supposed to be an expert on. Around Me solves the problem by telling you exactly what’s in your area, be it restaurants, gas stations or even hospitals.
- ProCamera 8 – Turn your phone into a digital camera with this app. Control shutter speed, exposure and resolution all from your phone. Plus, when paired with the Apple Watch, you can set your phone on a tripod and take pictures from anywhere with just a tap on your wrist. You can even preview the shot on your watch without having to move.
5. 3-D home tour
Matterport is a standing camera that turns ordinary listing photos into a virtual home tour. Running around $4,500, Matterport is a great way for you to entice buyers who are either too far or too busy to come in for home tours. Or, pair it with Oculus wearable goggles and clients can look through rooms of your listing without even having to leave your office. Look through these sample listings to see just how useful this technology can be.
6. Portable scanner
Sometimes, a real estate transaction can feel like an endless stream of paperwork. Consolidate your documents with a portable scanner to be sure you never misplace any important papers. Perfect for agents on-the-go, a portable scanner allows you to digitize photos, signed forms or even business cards. Here are some of the top scanners on the market: Fujitsu ScanSnap and Avision IS15+.
7. Bluetooth speaker
Add some ambiance to your open house with a portable bluetooth speaker. Speakers connect directly with your phone through bluetooth technology, meaning your phone won’t be plugged in when you need to use it. With a range of options, it’s easy to find one in your budget. To start, we’d recommend looking at the JAM Classic or the Bose SoundLink.
8. Battery extender
We’ve all been in situations where we’re waiting for an important text or phone call and our phone battery is almost dead. Rather than rushing home to grab your charger, here are some simpler (and more practical) options: Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 Portable External Battery Fast Charger, and Lenmar Meridian Battery Case.