Baton Rouge Area Homes Technology Blog

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Technology Plan, Part 1 Developing a Mobile Office

As we are moving into an era that demands that top agents and companies are proficient at both real estate marketing and sales and in technology to support those efforts, I am including the development of a technology plan as part of my goal setting in 2009.  There are five parts to that plan 1)Developing a Mobile Office, 2) Evlauation of Using Virtual Assistants, 3) Development of Mobile Listing Presentations, 4) Developing Technical Tools for Warm Market and Social Networking, and 5) Websites.

My plan spans a 5 year period, not just one year, as cost of technology is expensive.  Also, after completing the ePRO course, I decided to put to full use what I already have as part of the time investment required to be effective.

I started developing a mobile office 2 years ago. My first goal was to become a Mobile Agent.  Then second goal was to connect with my company team.    The ultimate goal was to sit in a clients home and conduct Seller Consultation, close the deal, write up contracts and sign on the pc screen,  put signs in yard  immediately, put brochures in the home, and have a listings ready to show in the 2-4 hour period needed for the Seller Consultation.  Once this capability exists for a Seller, it contains all the components needed for Buyer Contracts.  Also, being in a car a lot, I wanted to be able to check & respond to emails and texts frequently during the day, which I'll cover in Part 4 Developing Technical Tools for Warm Market and Social Networking. 

Summarizing what I've Done so Far...To achieve first goal of being a Moblie Agent. Your mobile office plan involves both hardware and software choices. My first purchase was a PC with docking station for autobackup.  After evaluating the RedTablet, approach,  I opted for a Hewlett Packard Tablet PC to allow for future ideas I planned to develop, even though I initially used it just like any PC. Hewlett Packard Compaq tc4200The case studies given in this link will help you visualize where you want to go.  Tablets allow signing on the screen and printing handwritten documents.  It was self-contained and not internet dependent.  If your interested in Tablet PC, join the Active Rain Group Tablet PC's, the New Age or a Dinasour? I selected a Verizon Wireless card so I wouldn't be dependent on free wireless networks not always available.  For software I added Office Pro 2003, which contained Outlook for integrating my emails, Publisher and Word and Power point for presentations and e-broadcasts and newsletters. Active Rain has an Outlook group where you can pick up all kinds of ideas.   I also added Hewlett Packard's HP Real Estate Marketing Assistant to allow me to sit with a client and create brochures from photos I took while at their home. Hewlett Packard Deskjet 460 Then with a mobile printer HP Deskjet 460, I had brochures ready to leave at the end of the listing presentation. This printer operates on battery and blue tooth so I can print in my car or in a clients home.

Finally adding an eFax service I could send documents out of town and out all over the world.  These were items I accomplished in 2007 and 2008.  Plug into some of the Active Rain technology groups that have a wealth of information...e-PRO Internet Technology Making Real Estate Better with Technology,    Technology,

My next 3 year plan includes connecting with other agents and my team.  We are evaluating mobile sales meetings using systems such as CallWave that connects BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Nokia, with Apple Fuze Conferencing.  We all have different PDA's and it would be desirable for us NOT to have to be in any office for a meeting.  (Maybe we'd be on vacation in Hawaii)   :-)

Also in the next 2year plan is evaluating online notary services like the one used by USPS, that authenticates online signatures on contracts, as cut and paste causes legal issues in many states. 

Now the last step will be to find creative, interactive virtual tours that will allow us to "show" homes online without stepping a foot in the door.  So far nothing quite replaces that in person visit.

I'd be interested in knowing what others of you in the Active Rain are doing to create a Mobile Office.

Comment balloon 10 commentsAnn Dail • January 03 2009 05:06PM

Comments

Sounds like a great plan! I am a REALTOR by trade, but implemented a mobile office into my career about 5 years ago. I now am an instructor of technology for REALTORS (still, REALTOR first) and enjoy teaching other agents how to create the ultimate paperless mobile office. Let me know how you're doing with all of this.

Posted by Jeffrey Raskin (Advanced Real Estate Solutions, Show Appeal Realty) almost 10 years ago

Ann, great tips.  I've had a mobile office for several years and comes in very handy.  It allows me to be free to work from where I choose.

Twitter

Posted by Kris Kombrink ~ The Kombrink Team (RE/MAX Excels - Chicago's Western Suburbs) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Ann!  What a great post.  You have really thought things out.  I have been a bit more erratic but am going to think about this more. Also did not realize there was a tablet pc group so thanks for the links.

Posted by Eileen Begley, Monterey Real Estate (Coldwell Banker, DelMonte) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Ann!  What a great post.  You have really thought things out.  I have been a bit more erratic but am going to think about this more. Also did not realize there was a tablet pc group so thanks for the links.

Posted by Eileen Begley, Monterey Real Estate (Coldwell Banker, DelMonte) almost 10 years ago

Jeffrey, Since you have 5 years experience with a mobile office and teach technology, I'd love to read some posts from you on technology you've come across for mobile offices!

Kris, I'd love to hear about some of your mobile office stuff in posts, too.  And how did you get that twitter link to appear that way?  I haven't joined twitter but it's in my goals and plan to do.

Eileen, Do you have a tablet?  If so, please do some posts to the group.  I struggle with consistency too; but it helps to put all this on paper and post.  Makes you organize your thoughts!

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) almost 10 years ago

Yep, being a technology instructor, I mainly focus on creating a mobile, paperless office. I am starting to get more involved in Web 2.0, with the social networking, etc. I started a tech blog... here is the link: http://activerain.com/blogsview/863862/Happy-New-Year-Lets-get-our-computers-in-shape

I will keep everyone posted on what they can do to create a system so that you can literally conduct a real estate transaction from anywhere in the world.

Posted by Jeffrey Raskin (Advanced Real Estate Solutions, Inc) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Ann! I certainly is the wave of the future. It's all about time management and making money in the field (not in the office).

Posted by Marty Remo, HV Home Team (RE/MAX Benchmark- Marty Remo-CDPE, E-Pro) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for the links....My plan is to be more mobile very soon.  I have the on-line phone and fax, the tablet PC for signing, portable printer, etc.  But it's not enough still have way too much paperwork.  Tried the Sure Close online Transaction Management System, and loved it but when the market changed this was a luxury and is gone now from my Title Co.

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) almost 10 years ago

Marty,  I think saving time is one of the best benefits it's given me...not having to drive and meet people all the time.

Kathy,  I bet the loss of that online transaction management system was tough; we are fortunate in Baton Rouge to have one provided by our Board of Realtors that stores all our official forms + we can add custom company ones.  It creates a PDF document interactive with clients.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) almost 10 years ago

Nice information., I love tech and would love to have less paperwork. NY seems to be the king for requiring way to many forms. I just got the blackberry Bold though, and have to say I love it. So nice to keep up with the emails right away.

Posted by Carol Olsen, Realtor - Delaware County Real Estate (RealtyUSA) almost 10 years ago

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