In last week’s post I introduced this multi-part series of posts on how successful Realtors® are making a living these days. This post will continue where we left off last week by examining what I consider to be the most important tool that a Realtor® has…and it’s one that most of us have yet to completely master, although we all have one.
In case you have forgotten what I talked about last week or in case you are just joining us on this journey, here is the link to last week’s article: http://budurl.com/hywg
Last week I talked about the 6 traits of successful agents and the one thing that none of them do. It will be important to keep those traits in mind as we talk about this week’s tool. This tool enhances all of the traits and is the keystone of any successful agents toolkit. What is it? Simple, it’s the cell phone.
I can’t think of any thing that has had the impact on our business that the cell phone has had. Some might argue that it is the Internet, but the cell phone (the right cell phone…more on that later on) enables the agent to access and use the Internet from anywhere.
Let’s look at this a little closer. Previous to widespread cell phone adoption, an agent was tethered to a land line. Whether at home, the office or public pay phones we still needed a land line. A tremendous amount of time was spent calling in for messages, either to a receptionist/operator or to a voice mail system. That required locating a pay phone and carrying around the proper coins to make it work. Try finding a pay phone these days!
The right phone makes the following things possible:
- True mobility. You are not tethered anymore. You can work from anywhere you can get a signal
- Access to your Contact list
- Access to your Calendar and appointments
- Pick up, read and send email from multiple accounts
- Access the WWW and obtain information form the Internet
- Get maps and directions
- Search listings
- Open lockboxes (Not all MLSs permit this)
- Track your income and expenses, and do online banking
- Update your blog and other social sites like Facebook and Twitter
- Listen to music, watch videos or “read” a book
- Take pictures and videos and post them your social sites or send them via email
- Record voice memos to yourself or others
- Use it as a replacement for that venerable HP 12C calculator
- Track your stocks
- Find restaurants, movies, ATMs, Grocery stores and more
- Send and receive text messages
- And lest we forget, make and receive phone calls!
In my opening paragraph I alluded to the fact that fact that most of us have yet to master all of this on our phones. If your phone has these capabilities and you are not utilizing them, you are leaving a lot of benefits on the table.
When I quiz agents on this, I am often told that the phones are too complicated and that the instructions are vague or hard to understand. And I completely agree.
But, you can’t let that get in the way of your mastery of the phone. Go back to the first post in the series and read the last paragraph.
You can’t quit and expect to be able to reap the full benefit of the phone. Even though there is complexity and obtuse instructions, there are answers to be found. Do you know someone who uses the same phone as you? Could you ask them for help? Remember Google is probably your best source of information on almost any subject. Do a Google search like this: “How do I send a text message on my Samsung Blackjack II?” (Insert your own information, but follow that format). You’ll get a wide variety of answers and leads to valuable websites.
You can often find more useful information on your service provider’s website as well. (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile etc.) You could also visit one of the many stores that sell cell phones. Sometimes you get lucky and find a knowledgeable sales person who can show you the ropes. (Sales tip: Let them know that you are a real estate agent and give them your card. Who knows, they might become your next client)
The point being is that most of us give up and move on and never learn how to use our phones to their fullest capacity. Don’t be that person. Put aside some learning time to spend with your phone. Get up 15 minutes earlier, stay up 15 minutes later, give up a TV show once a week, whatever it takes, but you NEED to do this.
In case you are wondering what phone to buy, you may want to read a post I wrote about how to choose and buy a Smart Phone. Here is the link to that post: http://budurl.com/6uub
So here is the wrap up for this week. Pick up that phone and the instruction book that came with it and start learning what all those buttons and icons can do for you. A little time invested now will pay dividends in the form of more time or greater efficiency later.
Next weeks post will continue with a look at computers. I am not sure how many posts this series will comprise, but I can assure you this: If you stay with me through the series you WILL learn something that will positively impact your business and your income.
Are you in?