Blackberry and iPhone tricks for real estate agents

For the last 5 years, the enigmatic question has existed… Blackberry or iPhone?

I have both…

I have compiled some iPhone tips to help realtors increase their capacity for new deals by decreasing their workload.

Clients demand prompt service, and unless you are going to commit to sitting at a desk 16 hours a day / 7 / 365, you'll need some shortcuts to help you process work as it comes in, and respond within minutes from wherever you are.

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Set up your mobile device with push notifications for your email accounts. A push notification will notify you the moment you receive an email, whether you are online, in an app, or doing anything else on your iPhone or Blackberry. Receiving emails as they come in, rather than having to check your inboxes, will allow you to read the email and respond in a timely manner.

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Copy commonly emailed items.  I often have a few paragraphs and bullet points for each property that I hold back from the listing, and send to those clients who inquire about the property.  It is foolish, in my opinion, to put all of the information on the internet.  If you put everything on the internet, and the property doesn't sell, you'll never know why because you haven't had any dialogue with the tire kickers. 

Most Blackberries and iPhones are synchronized (either via wire, or through an exchange server) and thus it is best to safely store items under notes in your contacts.  That way they will be safely synchronized with your desktop.

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Copy URLs that lead to documents stored in the cloud.  Let's say you always have documents that you need every client to sign, ie. Waiver, Buyer's Agency forms, etc.  You can use something like Google Docs to upload PDF and Word documents to the cloud, and simply email the URL (ie. www.docs.google.com/52973974928lkjefkab$) and the recipient can click on it and view or print the document.

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Have an easy email address forwarded to your email address. In Alberta, Canada, Telus is one of the main email servers and luckily my email address happens to be bob@telus.net.  It makes it super easy to explain to people over the phone.  Because the @telus.net domain is so common, and "bob" is such an easy word to remember, people have no problem remembering my exact email without writing it down. Even though my website has my official bob.sheddy@century21.ca email address, when I'm on the phone I prefer to give out my bob@telus.net email address.  If your name is Samantha Herjelovick (which isn't easy to spell or pronounce) I recommend that you acquire an easy email such as SamC21@gmail.com.  You don't want to miss any emails because someone wrote down the wrong letters.

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Copy the exact signature and account details among all of your devices.  Imagine your client has been working with you over 3 months, and you've emailed them from your Blackberry, the office, and from webmail when you were on holidays.  If they go searching your emails looking for an offer to purchase document, they might have dozens of emails and to search for them they may have to first search Sam, then Samantha, then SamC21, etc.  If all of your email settings are the same from device to device, they will be able to use your display name to search all emails.  Also, in your signature line, I suggest you include your email address, for reasons I'll explain in the next paragraph.

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Most devices allow you to scroll over an email address and "Add to Contacts".  I recommend the quickest way to add an entry is to select and copy the sender's signature, then scroll over their email address at the top of the message and click "Add to Contacts".  This will automatically add their first name, last name and email. You can then paste the rest of their contact info in the Notes section of the contact entry.

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As of the date of this writing, I'm not aware of a single email program that rivals Google's Gmail.  Perhaps one of the best features is the fact that iPhones and Blackberries can seamlessly hook up to an enterprise server, and you can use the delete function, sort folders, etc.  Prior to using Google's Gmail service, I would always be stressed wondering if the emails, contacts and calendars on my mobile devices were synchronized.  With an enterprise server, no matter where you send an email from, it gets put in your Gmail 'Sent Items' folder and it will store years and years of emails.  I also used to have issues uploading or sending large attachments, and that seems to have gone away as well.

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Bob Sheddy

Bob Sheddy

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 PowerRealty.ca
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