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Technology Thoughts and Trends for 2012

April 9, 2012

Every few months, there’s a new development in technology that grabs the headlines and offers to transform the way we work.  Easier, faster, more flexible.  As a result, working on the road, away from the office, has never been easier, and so far, this year, new trends are emerging that offer even greater productivity for real estate professionals!

1. Tablet usage is growing:  According to a recent study, tablets make up 30% of non-desktop computer traffic, and that is growing. Apple CEO Tim Cook has predicted that tablet sales will outpace PC sales by the end of this year!

Tablets and real estate are a natural pairing. A tablet like the iPad cannot replace a laptop; instead it’s an additional tool that’s well suited for use in the field – it’s light weight, aesthetically impressive, and powerful when it’s loaded with the right apps. And there are many! Dropbox, Evernote, Trulia, and Zillow to name a few. To make it foolproof, you will need 3G in case you’re in an area with spotty Wi-Fi.  With web-based presentation apps like Prezi, you can also put together slick presentations for clients and other colleagues that really “wow” on a tablet.

2. Cloud computing

For the techies among us, you already know all about being in the “cloud.” Cloud computing means having all of your data available to view, edit and share from wherever you are, if you have an internet connection. If you set it up, it’s also available across multiple devices and information can be synched between them. You can upload photos from properties, listings, or documents and then download them to view, exchange and collaborate with colleagues and clients, and more! You can even have clients sign paperwork with apps like EasySign, right on the tablet screen and then email them or place them in Dropbox to print back at the office. Being in the cloud is fast, and storage is secure, and often free.  And it allows you to do almost everything you do right at your desk.

3. Wi-fi cameras

Cables? What are those?  Some new debuts in the camera world allow you to send photos and videos to your computer from a Wi-Fi spot, saving you a ton of time and hassle looking for the right cable or pulling out your memory card to download images. Removing that extra step gives you more time for making a few more calls or getting information to a customer or another real estate professional that much faster.

4. Mobile usage

The number of people accessing the internet on their mobile device is exploding; the number has almost doubled every year since 2009! And one half of all local searches are done from a mobile device! That means that your marketing strategy must take into account how you can cater to those buyers, who expect quick answers while they are driving through neighborhoods and want to know about a specific property. If you do already use QR codes, be sure that they link to a mobile-friendly site or you may lose your lead when they become frustrated trying to view a poorly-rendered full website on their phones.

Watch for Part 2 of Trends in Technology and how you can apply these trends to making your business more efficient and successful.

Sources: Digitalbuzzblog.com, Comscore study – November 2011, Smartinsights.com

Daphne Johnson

From Loan Officer Daphne Johnson

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