Have you ever watched someone text message while they’re driving? A new service called Jott may soon make simple texting obsolete.

For many boomers, texting has always been a bit of a challenge. Many of us get the concept, but seeing or pushing the keys without our glasses is difficult.

For the last year, I’ve been telling audiences on the speaking circuit that when Gen X and Gen Y have children, their kids will make fun of them for doing that “stupid thumb thing.” Texting will be replaced by video. At that point, face-to-face skills will once again become important.

In fact, at the Consumer Electronics show a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, one company was demonstrating a wristwatch similar to the one that Dick Tracy wore in the old comic strip. For those of you who are too young to know about this, Tracy could speak into his watch and send a message. The 2008 version not only sends an audio message, it also accesses the Internet and can send video as well. In other words, it’s a watch, telephone, Web browser and video camera all rolled into one. While it wasn’t very pretty, it is a harbinger of the next wave of technology innovations that can do almost everything.

Enter Jott

Jott.com is one of the coolest technology tools that you can use as a real estate agent. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to set up your account and there’s no charge for the service. Once your account is set up, you can leave yourself a message or broadcast a message to one or more people in a single easy step. For example, once you have entered your important phone numbers and want to send a message, Jott will contact these people using voice recognition software. Thus, if you wanted to let both the buyers and sellers know that you have loan approval, you would call Jott.com. The system greets you and asks, “Who would you like to Jott?” You reply by giving both the buyer and seller names or you could also use a grouping that you set up for that particular transaction. The system then takes your message and delivers it to your recipients as an MP3 file that can be played on your phone or computer. It also sends an e-mail and a text version as well. This is much more efficient than texting and much safer.

The flexibility that Jott gives you is amazing and there are literally hundreds of applications for this tool. Here are just a few that apply to the real estate industry.

1. Track your expenses

How many times have you forgotten to write down your mileage or forgotten to record how much money you put in a meter? All you have to do is call Jott using your hands-free headset and record the amounts. When you return to your office, there is both a written and a text reminder of the expense. If you work with an assistant, this is a simple way to rid yourself of the pain of tracking petty cash.

2. Need a reminder?

One of the cool functions on Jott is the ability to specify when you would like a written reminder delivered. For example, if you have a habit of forgetting things, you can have Jott send you a reminder at the time you need it the next day. It’s often frustrating when you want to make sure that you remember something and you are unable to write it down because you are driving. Jott takes care of the problem easily.

3. Maximize your warm calling

With Jott, you can leave a message with your buyers about that new listing you just saw. Instead of having to send them an e-mail describing it, you can now leave the description on Jott and your clients can choose how they receive it — by phone, MP3, e-mail or text. You can also use Jott to send out a message to everyone in a particular group such as all of your first-time buyers. Rather than having to call everyone about that new listing or price reduction, you need to make only one phone call to let everyone know.

4. Use Jott as a business planning tool

Before you go to bed each night or first thing in the morning, put together the list of items that you need to accomplish, starting with the most important ones first. Jott can give you reminders throughout the course of the day of what you need to accomplish. This can help you stay focused on accomplishing what matters rather than getting distracted by other activities.

5. Customize your communication to fit your client preferences

For the first time in history, the age of our clients determines the way in which they would like to communicate with you. Jott gives you the flexibility of using phone, text, e-mail or MP3 files to communicate with your clients. Isn’t it time to stop texting and to start jotting?

Bernice Ross, national speaker and CEO of Realestatecoach.com, is the author of “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters” and “Who’s the Best Person to Sell My House?” Both are available online. She can be reached at bernice@realestatecoach.com or visit her blog at www.LuxuryClues.com.

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